Little Black Bag is putting a bit of mystery and fun into online shopping. The recently launched, innovative e-commerce site offers a range of brand name women’s fashion items. But unlike most online shopping sites, you never know what you are going to get – in a good way!
Based on the Japanese shopping phenomenon fukubukuro, or “lucky bag sale,” customers purchase a bag of designer fashion and beauty products having no clue what the bag contains. They can then view the two to four items online and sort through them, swapping with friends or other fashionistas what they are not interested in.
“The experience of trading with your friends online is incredibly fun because it mimics a behavior that already happens offline,” Little Black Bag's CEO, Dan Murillo, said. “People swap fashion products with friends all the time – whether informally, or through gift exchange games, or in college dorms, or in a variety of different ways. The most compelling online experiences tend to build on behavior that people are intuitively familiar with.”
The first step is to take an interactive quiz, which helps determine your profile and your customized bag of accessories, jewelry, handbags, cosmetics and more (with beauty products coming soon). Shoppers are given a week to search the site’s gallery of goods and trade with other shoppers to put together their ideal bag of items. Find something you lust after and request to trade an item from your bag with another online member. The final bags are then shipped out.
“I’ve been fascinated for years by how cold the Internet is when it comes to e-commerce – and this gap has only gotten bigger as new social media sites have emerged (Pinterest, Path, etc.),” Murillo said. “When I came across this idea, I thought it would be the perfect starting point from which to build a truly interactive community around e-commerce, which is really the long-term vision of Little Black Bag. Bring the fun to e-commerce! … I knew in my heart that there was a real void to create a fun, social shopping community online.”
Trading becomes a fun game as customers uncover new fashions. With more than 80 top brands participating – including Z Spoke by Zac Posen, BCBGeneration, Betsey Johnson, Dolce & Gabbana and Kenneth Jay Lane – the site offers endless hours of thrill and discovery.
“There’s a real feeling of excitement that comes from trading,” Murillo declared. “I’ve seen friends yell out in excitement when they see a trade offer email show up on their phone. You’ve really got to experience it to see what I mean.”
The site is not just fun and social, but also a good value. Shoppers get the items from 40 percent to 70 percent off retail prices. A single bag costs $59.95 or a monthly membership is $49.95.
Under the Little Black Bag “Delight” feature, a few lucky customers will get a high-end item worth $150 to $300 in their bag – four to five times the value of their bag – in addition to their complete bag of goods.
“Our success so far has come from listening really closely to our customers and doing a lot of testing,” the CEO said. “Like any new concept, you kind of wander around in the dark for a bit and early customers become your light posts. They show you the way.”
Worried you may not like what you get? The site’s happiness guarantee means you can return the items in the bag unused for equivalent credit for your next bag.
Check it out at www.littleblackbag.com.