Stereotypes tell us that men are not interested in shopping. They also tell us that men don’t use Pinterest. So you would feel pretty confident dismissing a shopping infused Pinterest-like app for men, right? But you would also be wrong.
300 percent wrong to be exact. That’s how much Tapiture, a shopping infused Pinterest-like app, grew its traffic, all the way up to 10 million monthly unique visitors by the end of 2014. The Venice-based startup has found success building on a concept that isn’t at first obvious: Pinterest for men.
“We see the male market and the whole millennial market traditionally looks at Pinterest as a mom brand,” said CEO John Ellis. “The content on their site hasn’t resonated with a younger audience, certainly not a male audience.”
Tapiture has built an app and website that functions a lot like Pinterest, but instead tailors content to young men in their mid-20’s. The site’s five most popular categories are humor, fashion, art and design, architecture, food and drink.
“People come to Taptiture because they want to get lost in content. Most of our users are coming to kill time,” said Ellis, “versus Pinterest where users are using it for planning things like weddings.”
That content is personalized via machine learning technology. The more users consume and interact on Tapiture the more their technology tailors content to their tastes. Eventually, it’s that customization that Tapiture hopes will help it expand beyond the mid-20’s male demographic.
“We have both men and women who rank as some of our most active users and, while currently the majority of our users are men, the platform is designed to customize the experience around the user’s interests,” said Ellis. “Our sole focus is on providing a platform for sharing great content, and then creating a personalized experience so our community stays engaged.”
Engagement is how Tapiture gets paid. Once users are engaged with Tapiture’s content the company completes the cycle by placing related items for sale like art, clothing, grooming accessories, and even candles that smell like campfire or brut, in the content feed.
The typical Tapiture user is male, in his mid-20s, recently graduated from college, has some expendable cash, and is realizing “it’s time to get rid of the posters and start decorating a little,” said Ellis. When Tapiture presents buying opportunities inline with that user’s tastes, he clicks buy. The whole sales process takes place within Tapiture.
According to the company, last year Tapiture’s e-commerce strategy brought in several million dollars in revenue. Letting users buy items straight from their content feed, instead of using banner advertisements to market items for sale on a differing website, cuts out a step in the marketing to buying process. That kind of efficiency may offer higher margins to content providers than traditional advertising and may be a more effective marketing tactic for sellers.
Watch closely as Tapiture trains its machine learning technology on new demographics, like young women, and tries to expand its native e-commerce revenue further.
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