Beyond the Pitch
F13 Works Is Creating a Powerful Way for New Brands to Scale
It’s thrilling when a startup has an idea so powerful that it influences a shift in a $400 billion industry. That’s the vision behind F13 Works, an e-commerce distribution business that connects product companies to influential online stores.
With a robust, intelligent technology that grows smarter with every transaction, F13 Works provides a plug-and-play channel that helps increase online sales for both brands and online stores.
“We are building the future of commerce by giving brands and online retailers a reach that they otherwise wouldn’t have and helping make e-commerce a natural part of everyday life,” said Chris Sentz, F13 Works CEO.
“Columbus is amazing from a retail perspective,” he said. “This place has such an intelligent business-based retail community. From my board members to mentors, it’s a wonderful place to gain industry perspective and influence.”
F13 Works provides a new way for brands and online stores to grow.
With growth rates that are as much as seven percent higher than the retail sector as a whole, online channels have produced most of the gains in retailer revenue for the last five or so years.
Convenience, price, and the ability to buy products from different brands at the same site are three of the top reasons consumers like to shop online. That third preference represents an excellent opportunity for e-commerce sites who have a loyal audience who could buy more. But it’s a challenge for these sites to identify, much less vet and signup new brands or lines that are complementary to the products they already sell.
“As online evolves,” Sentz said, “we have e-commerce retailers who are great at marketing, getting traffic, and building brands. They are always looking for new products and suppliers. They want to integrate new product categories into their sites, but there’s no easy way to do that, especially without taking inventory. F13 Works is the bridge between these online retailers and new brands.”
Brands have the problem in reverse. “Let’s say you make bath bombs,” Sentz said. “It’s fairly easy to put up your own site and to sell on Amazon or eBay, but what about the other hundreds of online sites that sell bath bombs and other products to audiences that might also buy bath bombs? If you could find them, wouldn’t you want them selling your product, too?”
With F13 Works, brands upload their product listings, and they are connected to the startup’s e-commerce distribution network that, in less than two years, already reaches more than 300,000 online stores that influence millions of customers every day.
Using intelligent analytics to predict buyer behavior.
“As an example of how we work,” Sentz said, “We are currently working with a brand of male products that is really high quality at a reasonable price. It fits into the market between Old Spice and Kiehl’s. We want to match them with influential stores that are already reaching the male audience. It’s a powerful way for a new brand to get to market.”
Sentz says that F13 Works is working to scale to thousands of shops. “The more traffic our proprietary intelligence sees, the smarter it gets,” he said.
“If a brand is able to scale up, we can get them into online shops and seeing orders in four to seven business days,” said Sentz. F13 Works has developed an efficient and repeatable vetting process and in this early stage chooses to focus on domestic suppliers to better ensure quality.
“We are having explosive growth but always shifting through what is real and what is not,” said Sentz, who has been involved in multiple startups as well as traditional companies.
“We try to make sure that we are doing things the way they should be done,” he said. “Our initial business plan was one way. We expected the market to act as our first five customers acted, but then we realized there was a much larger market that we could reach. We help brands and online stores achieve sales by giving them a plug-and-play reach they wouldn’t have had. That’s empowering.”
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