In this Q&A, DTC Daily talks to Evan Wray, CEO, Mavely, on the back of the business raising USD$1m (£820k) in funding, to find out what gave him the idea to launch the brand, how they are helping DTC brands lessen their reliance on social channels, and how they help connect users.
Can you explain what Mavely does, and how it works?
Mavely is a curated shopping app that rewards women for their everyday activities – shopping, sharing and purchasing with their friends. On Mavely, a user discovers new DTC products, such as the latest new shoe from M.Gemi, or a great natural deodorant like Native. When a user finds something they like, they can buy it, or share it with friends. Each time a sale occurs, both the purchaser and the referrer earn a commission. On the brand side, Mavely builds a new channel for DTC brands to reach an untapped network of customers while driving lower CAC and creating brand advocates in the process.
What gave you the idea for Mavely?
As a Venture Partner for Trail Mix, I saw hundreds of consumer companies each year. Over and over again we saw how these consumer companies were working to keep their cost to acquire a customer (CAC) down, but struggling to with Facebook and Instagram CAC prices continuing to increase. It was (and still is) the number one board room conversation for direct to consumer companies…”How can we lower our CAC as we scale?” When looking at the future of e-commerce, DTC companies are going to be it (here are my thoughts on Medium). But the rising CAC problem as a systemic issue. Mavely was founded to solve this problem, and do it in a way that puts money back in the pockets of families across the country.
How are you helping DTC brands decrease the amount they spend on social?
Typically, DTC brands are spending 40-60% of the retail price of a product upfront, in the form of an ad spend on Facebook and Instagram. On Mavely, brands are able to distribute their products to thousands of users ready to shop, buy and share the products with their friends. Each time a purchase occurs, the brand pays Mavely a percentage on the purchase price. This is after a purchase has occurred. So the result is brands, using revenue (not balance sheet capital) to fund customer acquisition at less than half of what they are typically spending in ads on Facebook or Instagram. It’s a win-win!
Other than a cheaper cost of acquisition, why would DTC brands look to work with Mavely, rather than leading social channels?
Great question! While cheaper cost to acquire a customer is one reason, we actually look at this as secondary. The main reason is that by launching on Mavely, a brand is empowering thousands of users across the country to start shopping and sharing their products, with their friends. It is hyper local recommendations and word of mouth, on steroids. Now, instead of a user seeing an ad on Facebook for M.Gemi shoes, it is their friend, sharing their favourite M.Gemi shoe with them. They then have a conversation about why they love M.Gemi shoes, and then a purchase occurs. These interactions are happening at scale, across the U.S. The result for M.Gemi is not only a lower CAC, but also an extremely positive emotional conversation and connection to the brand.
You’ve had a great start in registering customers and brands! What are your goals for the next year or so?
Thanks! Yes, we’re very pleased with the start we’re off to. We have a great team behind Mavely with a lot of experience starting and scaling technology companies, along with some extremely knowledgeable investors. Short term, we’re targeting 30,000 users shopping, sharing and earning with their friends by the end of the year and over 300+ DTC brands on board. We are well on our way, and if we continue the trajectory we’re on we should be ready for a Series A early next year. But a lot of hard work between now and then. Long term, we want to blend social and e-commerce in a way that makes product discovery, sharing and earning with friends, the next stage of e-commerce. We want to be the social e-commerce storefront for millions of vendors connecting to millions of users shopping, buying and sharing with their friends.