How The Fascination Built a Dropship Marketplace with Zero Inventory
“We got 50 brands up and running fast, then optimized our approach with each”
Under 7 Days
To List a New Brand
Cutting through the clutter is what The Fascination is all about. They thoughtfully seek out and review brands and products they love, then share those brands’ stories and product reviews with customers – all in one seamless online experience. At The Fascination, customers can spend time discovering, exploring, and shopping a variety of brands and their products for every aspect of their lives.
Create a Marketplace with Zero Inventory
The Fascination originally chose a pure affiliate model where they would monetize content by taking a commission of sales generated by traffic driven to the sites of their partners.
Matt and his team soon realized that sending consumers to their partners’ site was not the ideal customer experience. So they decided to shift The Fascination from an affiliate model to a dropship model with no inventory, built around the concept of a shoppable direct-to-consumer marketplace.
“As a pure affiliate play…you don’t own the end-to-end experience from discovering a product to the purchase,” says Matt. “From an experience perspective, as brand operators and marketers, we really wanted to have that.”
Integrating Suppliers With Diverse Requirements at Scale
The Fascination team ran into the problem of how to connect their ecommerce platform with the systems of their suppliers early in their process.
Due to the resources they have available, emerging brands rarely have the capability (or patience) to work with solutions like EDI. This results in long implementation times and brands churning through the onboarding process.
On the flip side, more established brands would want a path to integrate via EDI or SFTP given the nature of their systems. The Fascination needed a platform that would allow them to integrate directly into any brand that they wanted to work with, regardless of their system.
“As a pure affiliate play ….you don’t own the end-to-end experience from discovering a product to the purchase. From an experience perspective, as brand operators and marketers, we really wanted to have that.”
A Scalable D2C Marketplace Built on Convictional
Convictional allows The Fascination team to integrate their store directly with the platform of any brand that they want to work with.
For the products that The Fascination wants to list in their store, Convictional allows them to access a brand’s product prices, images, descriptions, variants and inventory. On the flip side, Convictional allows the brands The Fascination works with to choose which products they want to sync and use price lists to set desired margins for each product.
Beyond the software, Convictional’s experienced team provides insights on sourcing new brands, managing the pipeline of suppliers, merchandising products in Shopify, and handling returns for The Fascination.
“The platform makes it incredibly easy to plug in, sync price lists and get up and running. We’ve been able to get brands with some really large catalogues onboarded at tremendous speed.”
Expanded from Affiliate Only to a Zero Inventory, Dropship Marketplace
Launching the marketplace, The Fascination went live with the brands they love in a whole new way.
With Convictional, they onboarded 50 suppliers in two months with more than one brand added each business day on average. “The platform makes it incredibly easy to plug in, sync price lists and get up and running,” says Matt.
“We’ve been able to get brands with some really large catalogs onboarded at tremendous speed.”
Finally, the efficiencies gained with Convictional are paying dividends. The incremental margin generated by the shift to a dropship model allows The Fascination to invest more into growing their audience and driving traffic to their site.