Frame Demo Video from firstname.lastname@example.org on Vimeo.
WHAT: An HTML5 optimized layer on top of existing e-commerce websites, such as sites built on Shopify, that turns shopping into a touch experience on the iPad. Frame comes as a one-click install for e-commerce stores, and is ready in only a few minutes.
In store, employees can use the device to help customers make purchases. Frame will eventually utilize NFC payments, let customers see availability of nearby products and research items for customers to try on in person.
LAUNCHERS: Kareem Amin, Nav Patel and Nicolae Rusan. The three co-founders are former Microsoft engineers and program managers.
WHY: Shopping is an emotional experience, as is the iPad. A website that feels more luxurious makes people feel more comfortable shopping, and thus, more likely to make a purchase. Reports show that people like shopping on the iPad.
WHEN/WHERE: Launching Fall 2011/New York.
BACKSTORY: Before launching Frame, they "were working in the curation space," Nicolae tells LAUNCH. "We built a product (The Shared Web) that I'm still passionate about but our investors put it perfectly, we're solving a problem a lot of people don't realize they have."
Nicolae, Kareem and Nav eventually came to the conclusion that there were other opportunities they could pursue, given their skill set and the amount of runway they had left. They spoke with their investors and ultimately decided to focus on the shopping experience.
BUSINESS MODEL: We initially offer it as service for $10/month for each store.
COMPETITION: PayPal. Amazon. Google Checkout.
CUSTOMERS/GROWTH: Launching on Shopify stores soon. Shopify hosts 15K stores on its e-commerce platform.
PHILOSOPHY: "Apps are great and an important strategy, but people don't want to download an app for every single store," Nicolae says. We wanted to nail what the shopping experience would be on the tablet. HTML5 optimized websites matter more than apps for e-commerce."
ON THE INDUSTRY: "The iPad is an emotional device," Nicolae says. "People like swiping for the sake of swiping. We once joked that we should just make an app where you can just swipe and pinch various objects, and that's it. There's something to the way we interact with the touch interface that is a very powerful, almost soothing experience. Similarly, shopping is also an emotional experience. A brand's value is very much subjectively defined by the design of the experience around the brand."
WHO BACKED IT: Founders Coop (Andy Sack), David Cohen, David Tisch, other angel investors and Tech Stars Network.
TOTAL RAISED: $225K
NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES: 2.
Click "Shop now" or "Enter Store."
Browse through different categories.
Clicking Checkout will direct you to Charm & Chain's checkout page. Eventually, Frame intends to create a shopping cart that follows you around the web.
1. "Shopatron Reports Higher Conversion Rates with Apple iPad" (Shopatron, June 22, 2010)
2. "Tablets: Ultimate Buying Machines" (Wall Street Journal, Sept. 28, 2011)
3. "Report: Nearly Half Of Tablet Owners Made Purchases on Their Devices Last Month (Read Write Web, Oct. 12, 2011)
CONTACTS & LINKS
Kareem Amin, co-founder
Nicolae Rusan, co-founder
Nav Patel, co-founder