Have you heard of Tictail? The e-commerce platform for emerging brands was founded by Swedish entrepreneur Carl Waldekranz and co-founders Kaj Brobin, Birk Nilson, and Siavash Ghorbani in May 2012. And while it may seem like there is a new e-tail site popping up every day, what makes Tictail unique is its giant roster of new global brands from over 150 countries and the way it expertly curates the product into a sleek site design to lure in customers. Anyone can set up shop on Tictail and you can find undiscovered gems all the way from Portugal and Spain to France, Japan, and of course, Sweden. Starting today through December 20th, Tictail is bringing a selection of its best products to a pop-up store on 90 Orchard Street on the Lower East Side. We caught up with Waldekranz to find out what we can expect from Tictail.
How did you decide to found Tictail and what were you doing before you started Tictail?
Before Tictail I was working as an art director at an agency, helping brands like Spotify and Rosetta Stone to define and develop their brands. I was surrounded by innovation and creativity, but lacked a sense of purpose. I wanted to dedicate myself to one thing long-term. At the time my mother was just starting up her own homeware brand, ByMutti, which inspired me to think about ways to help small businesses become successful online. She later became the first store on the platform.
What does the name Tictail mean?
Tictail is a wordplay of “boutique” for tic and “long tail” meaning the huge part of any market that isn’t mainstream.
The site looks very curated. But can anyone create a brand?
Fundamentally we believe in the democratization of e-commerce; everyone should be able to sell online at no risk. At Tictail, we empower anyone to start a beautiful online store in a few minutes, we then rely on a combination of popularity, sales and editorial work to groom the vast amount of products available on the platform to a curated selection, tailored to you.
How many brands total are currently on the site?
More than 60,000.
How many will be carried in the pop-up shop? Which brands are the highlights?
140 brands and over 1,500 products. They have all been carefully selected. Some personal favorites are the transparent speaker (transparentspeaker.com), kika ny (kikany.com) and of course ByMutti.Com.
Who are the top five best-sellers on the site?
We don’t like to highlight top Sellers – we’re about the democratization of e-commerce. We want to give new emerging brands an equal opportunity. Instead we focus on editorial work and recommendations based on the stores that you like. The top categories are fashion, interior design and graphic design / art.
What would lure a brand to start their business on Tictail versus Ebay or Etsy?
I’m a big fan of all platforms that help small businesses become successful online and don’t see any reason to not accompany your Tictail store with a presence in other platforms. That said I believe brands are attracted to Tictail because you get both your own unique online store and are also part of a marketplace that reaches customers all around the world. We basically give you more space to build your own brand.
How fast is the site growing? What are your plans for the future?
Around this time last year we were the home to around 20,000 brands. There’s now more than 60,000 stores in Tictail. In the future, we will continue investing in the marketplace and in creating better ways to discover the creativity that lives on the platform. A big focus will also be to improve the merchant experience by creating easier ways to ship your products and find new customers.