Thai startup brings social networking to Ecommerce

Innovative new ideas and takes on Ecommerce and online payments show us that we have yet to tap the surface

Innovative new ideas and takes on Ecommerce and online payments show us that we have yet to tap the surface of what we can pay for online. From paying the rent to Tweeting a cup of coffee to someone, we seem to find that there is always room for something different. Thai startup 500Trends is here to show us their new take on Ecommerce.

500Trends is an Ecommerce platform that integrates social networking. The service was established by Marcos Ferrer and Yod Chinsupakul, who also developed Wongnai, Thailand’s version of Yelp. The network consists of participating brands and shoppers and allows the shoppers themselves to help decide what products will be sold through the website, and at what price. Once a product is posted, the shoppers have the opportunity to Trend (like) the post and comment on it. Once a product receives between 40-50 trends, 500Trends then contacts the retailer about offering the product through them and negotiates a price dependent on the comments and amount of trends.

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One of the main hurdles with such a service is the time frame. If a shopper voted for a certain product and finds it somewhere else, he might purchase it from the other outlet, rather than wait for it to become available on 500Trends. Marcos Ferrer explained that the level of engagement and the ability of controlling the price will help with keeping the shoppers on the 500Trends.

“It matters that people need to work for that item. It creates a gamification concept. If the person wants the item fast, then they have to share it with more friends. The items that get most interest are the only ones we will negotiate to get the discount for consumers.” Marcos Ferrer explained on the product availability issue.

500Trends was launched less than a month ago and already has 10,000 users and a 1,000 different brands. Currently, the site is accepting users on an invitation only basis, but is making more invitations available. Chinsupakul and Ferrer see the site reaching 50,000 users by the end of the year.

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