Below is our recent interview with Daniel Senecal, CEO and Founder at Vendazzo:
Q: Could you provide our readers with a brief introduction to your company?
A: Vendazzo is an e-commerce search engine that connects shoppers directly to independent shops and brands. We bring our shoppers an alternative to shopping on Amazon as a first stop.
With nearly 100 million items that we index from about 140,000 retailers, a shopper is sure to find what they are shopping for. We index more than 20 million items in Apparel and Accessories, more than 15 million in Home & Garden, and millions of items in other common categories such as Health & Beauty and Furniture.
Q: Any highlights on your recent announcement?
A: We are very proud of the work that we have done to bring the shopper fast and accurate search results for items that they are shopping for online. We have built a categorization algorithm that allows us to sort items according to a taxonomy of categories and subcategories. The user can then use the categorization as a filter, to drill down into the search results, and display more relevant items. This makes finding what you’re looking for quick and accurate.
Q: Can you give us more insights into your offering?
What we are building is good for shoppers who are looking for an alternative to Amazon because we connect the shopper directly to the retailer’s website to complete the sale. That means the shopper has the freedom to choose where their online shopping dollars are spent, and who they support. This is meaningful because, as a society, we are becoming more and more aware of the impact to our communities in the way that we shop, and where the profits from our purchases go. With more than 38% of the top sellers on Amazon being foreign sellers, oftentimes being the foreign manufacturer directly, we are seeing not only an offshoring of manufacturing from our communities, but also an offshoring of the retail businesses that used to operate within our communities. Vendazzo is helping shoppers to support small, independent, and sometimes even local businesses that keep their shopping dollars closer to home.
Vendazzo is also beneficial to the retailer selling online because we offer an entirely new method of discovery for them. Any new business can tell you that one of the most difficult things about being a small business is getting the traffic that you need. Currently, new online retailers get the traffic they need through pay-per-click advertising on platforms like FaceBook, Google AdWords, TickTock, Instagram and other advertising distribution networks. By connecting shoppers directly to the retailer’s website, they are able to receive the traffic they need in order to grow their businesses. Vendazzo partners with some of our websites in order to share in the profit of a sale through a commission agreement, but in this way, the seller is not paying for traffic that does not convert to a sale… They only pay us when a sale is made. This is a mutually beneficial partnership. We succeed when our partners succeed.
Q: What can we expect from your company in next 6 months? What are your plans?
A: In the months ahead we will be working hard on our User Interface, to bring the shopper a clean, beautiful, easy to use shopping experience. We want to produce a user experience worth sharing. A user experience that brings value to the shopper, and gives them a reason to shop on Vendazzo and support our partner shops before going anywhere else (except of course to a local shop. If you can find what you need locally, always try there first).
We will also be working hard on our search return algorithm so that we continue to improve the relevance of the items returned for a shopper’s search. There’s nothing more frustrating than not being able to find what you are looking for, accurately and quickly. This is something that we will always be working to improve.
Q: What is the best thing about your company that people might not know about?
A: We are currently a small, bootstrapped startup based in Calgary, Canada.
What we have accomplished to date has been accomplished without any venture capital, or angel investment. We are a small team, operating as lean as possible and working hard to improve our product everyday. Of course, we aren’t opposed to partnering with investors in the future, but we are very proud of what we have built, with the small team we currently have.