January 18, 2010
Guest Post By Robert Farago, E-Commerce Consultant
The Daily Grommet is Woot meets The Sharper Image at Etsy’s house. Every day, The Daily Grommet’s “Discovery Team” presents a single cutting-edge product in a video demo that’s not a million miles away from a late-night infomercial. Visitors behold the way-cool-ness of the invisibelt, TrekDesk, Handpresso Wild Domepod and other “how did I ever live without it” items from 26 main categories. The Daily Grommet’s Chief Marketing Officer says her employer differentiates itself from its mainstream competitors by limiting itself to a single item per day, focusing on the story behind the product’s origination, and tapping into its highly-engaged fan base. “The big box stores choose products by a top down process,” Jeanne Connon told ZippyCart. “Our team gets suggestions from real people who find neat products that they want to share . . . We’re circumventing the funnel for what products get seen and heard.” As part of its commitment to “citizen commerce,” The Daily Grommet connects customers and manufacturer’s reps in its “Talk About This Grommet” forum. And they don’t edit out negative comments.
The Daily Grommet launched in October 2008. Connon says the Massachusetts e-tailer is currently pulling-in around 40k unique visitors per month, with 3000 Twitter followers and 1500 Facebook fans. Although the site’s conversion rate is “somewhere around the industry average,” Connon claims that over 50 percent of visitors that click through to Amazon end-up purchasing an item. The drop-shipper has 10 full-time employees, sustained by the luxury of high margins. “People don’t come to us for bargains. They come for the latest thing, or the next big thing.”
The Daily Grommet’s folksy product videos make their way around the web. That’s just as well; the e-tailer depends on viral marketing and viral marketing alone. “We’re boot-strapping at the moment,” Connon admits. “We’re doing the venture capital dance right now.” She dismisses the worry that The Daily Grommet will eventually run out of products. “There are tens of thousands of new products every year. You’d be amazed at what people come up with.” Which is, of course, the whole point.