Flash-sale websites such as Gilt Groupe and Ru La La were hailed as disruptors in the ecommerce space, but recently there’s been a bit of a disruption in their success story, prompting some to wonder if flash-sale sites are more of a marketing gimmick than a sustainable business model.
The sector, while still growing, is being shaken up by consolidation, layoffs and slowing growth rates. Many industry analysts suspect that will continue unless flash-sale sites adapt.
Take design shopping site Fab. The company was once lumped into the “flash-sale” genre, but Fab recently revamped its website putting the spotlight firmly on features that help shoppers share information about products with friends. The new design was most noteworthy for what it didn’t highlight: sales.
Fab CEO Jason Goldberg told TechCrunch that he never really thought of Fab as a flash-sale site. Still, when the site launched, it followed the typical flash sale formula: it was a members-only site that sold home décor pieces and other items for a limited time.
For Fab, the redesign was another step in the company’s evolution, spokeswoman Melissa Klein told CNBC.com. But for some critics, it could be another chance to question the flash-sale business model.Page 1 of 6 | Next Page