This post is part of a series on ecommerce startups.
When shopping online, it can be tough to pull the trigger on the purchase. Why buy a pair of booties for $150 when their price could be slashed to $110 tomorrow — or the company could release a coupon code overnight?
The ecommerce startup PoachIt seeks to solve this dilemma. With PoachIt, shoppers can track all of their favorite items and receive a notification when the bag of their dreams goes on sale. The startup also hunts down and verifies coupon codes to save its customers tons of cash.
How much money, exactly? More than $8 million, founder Gidi Fisher told Betabeat in an email. He was inspired to start PoachIt thanks to his wife’s expensive handbag obsession.
“I was looking for a birthday gift for her when I discovered something crazy: prices were changing constantly, just like airfares,” he said. “Some days I tried coupons that didn’t work, other days the price was different — the whole process was beyond frustrating.”
We’ve all been there. He decided to “create a simple way to get price drop alerts and working coupon codes, all with a click of a button.”
Now, PoachIt has 120,000 users after less than a year in business, Mr. Fisher said. The community consists of “extremely savvy online shoppers hungry to snap up great deals,” he said. Because PoachIt can be used along with pretty much any online retailer, there’s no single prevailing demographic.
“Our shoppers range from young professionals eager to invest in staple items as they ease into the working world, to moms planning their family budgets, to retirees who are looking to splurge on coveted items,” he said.
Mr. Fisher, an Israeli entrepreneur who was also an early employee of BuzzMetrics, tapped Tufts University classmate Ben Yee, formerly of Gilt Groupe, as chief experience officer. Rounding out the PoachIt team is CTO Sebastian Lemery, an award-winning engineer who previously developed large-scale apps for Vogue, Nike and HBO.
PoachIt has been in the works since more than two years ago, and their site launched on May 2013. Their first iPhone app came out just before the holiday season.
Users can create PoachIt accounts by logging in through Facebook, then drag the POACH icon to their browser’s toolbar. When they see an item they like while shopping online, they can click the icon. The item will be saved, and the user will be notified via email when it goes on sale. The average savings is $47 per item.
For revenue, PoachIt receives a small commission directly from the merchant whenever a shopper makes a purchase using their service, Mr. Fisher said. The service is free for consumers and there’s no limit on usage.