Cinsay Is The Home Shopping Network For Viral VideosBY: Kathryn Hough | July 13, 2012
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.
Kathryn HoughKathryn is a writer for Techli covering ecommerce, social, and the startup hubs of Portland, St. Louis, and Chicago. She is the CMO and co-founder of Huedio, a startup that is currently in stealth mode. Kathryn was an early employee at DailyBurn, a TechStars class of 2008, which was acquired by IAC in 2010. Prior to her foray into startups, Kathryn co-founded the New School Free Press at New School University.
Thanks for sharing this story! We are now up to over 2,000 self-managed users and growing daily! The newest users seem to be those who understand new media and ecommerce already. Specifically, they also have stores on FAB.com, Etsy.com and eBay. We're very excited about the coming months with the release of new features.