Spinback Sells The Social Side of Commerce

Like all these uppity tech entrepreneurs, Andrew Ferenci started his first venture as a freshman in college. It was an e-commerce business he built with his best friend from high school selling items from university stores that weren’t easily available online. They decided not to get too creative and called it CollegeShack, eventually turning it into a six figure business. 

Perhaps because he was a college student growing up in Mark Zuckerberg’s universe, Ferenci was acutely aware of all the buyers that social sites were driving for his startup. “We saw that something like 80 percent was coming from these kinds of referrals,” says Ferenci. “But I was really frustrated with what I could find on Google analytics and Omniture about who was recommending our stuff and how to reach out to those customers.”

Fast forward three years and the social shopping space is heating up. Group buying sites are worth billions and even the NY Times is working daily deals into its editorial mandate.  Ferenci recently sat side by side with Living Social, one of the biggest players in the space, at a Mesa conference packed with NY VC likes Howard Morgan. “I saw this big void in the market because there still wasn’t anyone providing great, actionable analytics about the social component of shopping online,” Ferenci told the crowd.

His new venture, Spinback, is based out of Dogpatch Labs in Union Square. With a few lines of javascript the company enables retailers to embed social sharing widgets across all the purchase points on their site. More importantly, Spinback provide a dasboard that lets sellers see who is sending customers in the door. “We can tell you, ok, here are the 100 people that deliver the best traffic to you, if these folks are powering sales, why not reach out to them and see if you can capitalize on that.”

Let’s say women in their twenties in Southern California are sharing a company’s skinny jeans a lot on Twitter, and these shares aren’t just making noise on the internet, they are are actually moving dollars. Now that firm can plan out some daily and group deals in the area targeting that demo. One of Spinback’s clients is New York based BuyWithMe. “They were able to give us a lot of social tools at a price that made sense for a start-up,” says product manager Eric Price. “But it was the analytics that really stood out.” Price says Spinback gave them insight into how different social platforms aid their business. “Twitter was way more viral but less efficient,” says Price. “We saw fewer shares on Facebook, but they were much more effective in terms of turning into actual sales.”

Partnership talks are in the works with some of the nation’s more massive retailers, although Ferenci wouldn’t divulge any public details yet. Spinback recently saw most of their peers move out of Dogpatch, many to the plush new environs of General Assembly. “We’re kind of the super-senior now,” says Ferencci, “But that’s all going to change this summer.”

Spinback Sells The Social Side of Commerce