ShopRunner plans to shutter Spring less than a year after acquiring the fashion marketplace app. The marketplace’s app will shut down this week and its ecommerce site, ShopSpring.com, won’t accept orders after May 20.
ShopRunner is primarily known for its two-day shipping, membership-based ecommerce network, which offers its shipping benefits from retailers such as Chico’s, Bergdorf Goodman and Tory Burch, among 123 other retailers. Now, it’s in the process of bringing many of Spring’s more than 2 million SKUs from over 2,000 brands to District, the online marketplace it launched last holiday season, says ShopRunner CEO Sam Yagan. Some Spring brands are already selling on District, such as Kate Spade, Vince and Burberry Ltd. (No. 129 in the Internet Retailer 2019 Top 1000). However, Yagan is unsure how many brands will elect to operate on District.
ShopRunner is focusing on its own brand clients while it continues the ShopRunner/Spring integration, the company says. And it has recently added staff from Spring across product, engineering and design to support its marketplace efforts.
ShopRunner began developing District long before it acquired Spring in October, Yagan says, without specifying, and it launched District the following month in November. At launch, District featured mass-market items from about 140 retailers and a dynamic real-time feed that presents a shopper with trending products tailored to each user based on her past actions, as well as information she’s shared with the app. She also can explore her “favorite” retailers within the app, which make up her personalized shopping “district.” District also offers ShopRunner’s free two-day shipping and free returns.
The souped-up District app will encourage even more frequent browsing, Yagan says. “Since we have so many retailers and brands, you can be a daily shopper and see new things,” he says. It will continue to surface the most popular products, trending products in a shopper’s area or trending products from similar shoppers, keeping District personalization-focused.
District will not feature Spring’s onboarding quiz, in which it asked shoppers to answer questions, such as gender, clothing size and to choose three preferred items from a selection of six styles. But it will still feature its own questionnaire that asks questions, such as age and favorite stores, to “Build [the shopper’s] district.”
“We had so much alignment with Spring because they had a lot of ambition about personalization and data, but we have this trove of members in our network,” Yagan says, declining to reveal how many members. “We can take the data we’re seeing across all retailers in addition to what we see in the app, take what they’re doing and put it in District. We try to predict what the items you’re most going to want are.” ShopRunner will continue to build on Spring’s insights to enhance the app’s consumer experience, the company says.
ShopRunner is also leveraging Spring’s marketplace technology to enable retailers and brands to add a marketplace to their ecommerce websites with ShopRunner’s new marketplace services.
For example, if a department store retailer only has 100 Gucci items for sale on its ecommerce site, it can use ShopRunner’s marketplace service to expand its selection online and offer more Gucci products to its consumers without holding the inventory itself.
ShopRunner does not hold the inventory either. If a shopper purchases a marketplace item from the retailer’s ecommerce site, ShopRunner’s brand client will fulfill that order. All products purchased from a retailer’s marketplace (via marketplace services) come from the brand and will be sent to the consumer from the brand rather than the retailer from which the item was purchased. So, when a shopper purchases a Gucci item from a retailer’s marketplace, Gucci fulfills that order.
The service also allows retailers to add new product categories, such as a jeans-only retailer who wants to expand into shirts or shoes.
Along with Spring’s mobile app capabilities and its vast product assortment, the online marketplace also developed the capability to take all the disparate SKUs and brands and unify them with images and content into a shoppable interface, Yagan says. ShopRunner used these capabilities when developing marketplace services.
“We can repurpose [Spring’s technology] to make it available to other retailers,” he says, which is how these retailers can sell a variety of brands and products that aren’t part of their in-house inventory.
Many of Spring’s brands are already part of ShopRunner’s marketplace services offering, and ShopRunner plans to continue bringing more on board. Previously, marketplace services was only available to its international customers but it has had success so far, ShopRunner says. “Since recently developing a [U.S.] solution, our early discussions with partners have generated great feedback,” the company says.
ShopRunner’s same-day shipping efforts
ShopRunner was built on the foundation of being “Amazon Prime for everyone else,” Yagan says, by offering free two-day shipping to its members. In the last 18 months, it has focused on adding more layers of services for its retailers so they can have more amenities and better access to customer data. Marketplace Services is just the next one in a long line of plans, Yagan says.
Those plans include continuing to pilot same-day shipping with women’s apparel retailer Ann Taylor in Manhattan. The pilot will go to the alpha stage for the coming holiday season when it expands to two or three more markets in New York with apparel retailers Sandro and Maje, he says.
Member acquisition remains important for ShopRunner, but it does not heavily advertise. “You won’t see us in a lot of the same channels as our retailers because we want to supplement what they’re doing and not compete with them,” Yagan says.
Instead, ShopRunner markets itself through its payment channel American Express. “We’ve enrolled millions of their members,” he says. ShopRunner currently has 10 million members. And it works in conjunction with its retailers, such as giving a shopper a ShopRunner membership if they spend over a certain threshold or add another item to their cart for that transaction.
ShopRunner credits its revenue to its annual memberships, which are $79 for consumers, but it does also offer free memberships via its payment channel partnerships with American Express, PayPal Inc. and Yahoo. “ShopRunner also shares in the success of its retail partners on sales they deliver,” the company says, without revealing more.Favorite