Television networks like QVC and the Home Shopping Network revolutionized window shopping by bringing the concept of shopping for leisure into the living room. Now that people are watching less television and more short videos online, companies like Cinsay have the opportunity to bring shopping into the social video experience.
The Austin-based startup creates viral stores that combine video, e-commerce, and social media for a shared shopping experience. Single users can monetize their viral cat, cute baby, and skate videos by selling products within their videos, while large brands can turn online commercials into interactive, entertaining shopping experiences.
Here is a video of the embedded store in action:
The narration is a little hokey, but the video does a great job of explaining how the product works.
Cinsay’s SaaS-based technology enables anyone to sell products, display printable coupons, capture donations, and generate leads all within the patent-pending Smart Container. Customers are offered a complete turnkey business via merchant account services as well as an exclusive on-demand solution featuring dozens of personal, brand able products like T-shirts, caps, mugs, and iPhone covers.
Founder and CEO Christian Briggs was inspired to found Cinsay in 2008 after seeing the power of combining video with e-commerce into one single platform, which people could share via social media. The idea was spurred by watching movies with product placement as well as some inspiration from television shopping channels.
Cinsay officially launched its self-managed platform at DEMO Spring Conference in April. Since then, it has added 1,500 self-managed and 50 managed accounts. The company offers a subscription-based model for self-managed customers, and managed clients vary from a contract to project based model.
Since closing a $40 million investment from Pepperwood Partners in 2011, the company has brought on San Antonio-based billionaire Red McCombs as both an investor and member of their board.
Cinsay’s platform is a unique yet obvious evolution of e-commerce. As both independent and branded video content continues to grow, the opportunity to monetize by selling physical goods is more interesting than plastering intrusive ads all over a video. While Cinsay sees YouTube, Amazon, Vimeo, and eBay as competitors, the company is in a unique position to take these challengers head on.