Interview with our publisher friendfundPosted by Valerie Ponell in Tips for publishers , December 10th, 2010
With Christmas business peaking these days, we would like to take the chance and introduce you to one of our latest exclusive publishers with an especially exciting business model: With friendfund, people can virtually get together via social networks, find and fund a special gift for a common friend. friendfund is already available in the US, the UK and Germany. We talked to Harry McCarney, founder and CEO of the Berlin-based company.
The friendfund team
How does friendfund work and what’s your business model?
Friendfund enables friends to chip in for group gifts. We are simplifying the complicated and daunting process of group funding. The user creates a pool in three simple steps by determining the recipient, occasion, and gift. Friends are then invited through Facebook, Twitter or email to share the costs. There is no limit to how much each invitee should chip in and contributions can be made using Paypal or credit card.
How does the zanox technology support you for your business?
zanox’s product data currently forms the basis of friendfund’s product search. By working closely with zanox, we are able to give our users access to a massive product catalogue. Purchases of funded gifts are then made using zanox tracking links.
What are you looking for in advertisers?
We have found that, in some cases, product data tends to be incomplete or missing. We only use advertisers with complete and up to date product catalogs as we have to provide our users with a comprehensive and targeted product search.
What gift trends are you seeing this Christmas?
We have seen a clear trend towards experience based gifts like those sold by Jochen Schweizer. This is partly because they make such excellent group gifts. In general we find luxury, novel or exclusive gifts work better as the friendfund’s cost sharing system makes them much more affordable.
What’s in store for friendfund’s future?
We offer a white label solution and an embedded friendfund button which allow users to create gift pools from directly within a merchant’s site. This group payment method is currently being implemented in US, UK and Australian companies as well in Germany and will be very visible early in the New Year. Integration of the friendfund button is simple and straight forward and gives our partner merchants an instant way to place their products on social networks. Our merchants get great value from integration specifically because friendfund transactions reach out across social networks and become viral marketing campaigns for advertisers.