Luxury Wholesale Marketplace main tab Serial is redesigning its platform after raising a $1 million pre-seed earlier this year from entrepreneur Jason Bright, who is now the company’s CTO.
The New York-based company is set to launch the new website and app this fall with about 200 retailers but a waiting list of about 1,000 retailers, Key Tab founder Lyseda Shelegu told Nerdshala.
“We have deployed a significant amount of funding to the technology side to completely revamp our website,” she said. “We are the only marketplace that is sales rep friendly. Sales reps write all the orders and one of our biggest hurdles was initially due to contracts, so we brought them on board and made them part of the company.
The additional funding will go toward adding three to his team, and sales and marketing, something Shelegu, who has a background in sales, was cautious about — didn’t want to throw a bunch of money into advertising, so he asked retailers, brands, and more. Engage and Sell replicates the “old-school way” by reaching out directly.
He said one of the challenges the company is anticipating is inventory. Inventory shortage and supply chain slowdown, which is affecting e-commerce right now, is affecting its retailers. For example, one owner said that the candles’ inventory would be about 20% of the normal units due to no glass source.
“When you’re running a business, it’s going to affect us a lot if we usually do $20,000 a month in October, but can do $5,000 because they don’t have stock,” Shelegu said.
Shelegu jokes that the majority of The Main Tab’s product sourcing comes from her being a “shopper” and her background in brands. She also gets a lot of targeted ads on social media and will connect with owners, but she looks for retail price point, packaging, and owner story.
While there are 1,000 retailers vying to switch to The Main Tab, the company approves about 30% of them, saving retail buyers time from sifting through thousands of SKUs. When brands receive orders from retailers and pay zero commission on any of the retailers they refer and currently operate in, a commission is charged from them. Shelegu said retailers can still buy and pay later and take advantage of other rewards depending on their business status.
Bright said via email that the website features curated luxury brands such as Agaria and Bodwell Living, and enables them to enable independent sales reps and retailers to connect and do business with one website.
“The way retail stores search for their products has changed in response to the global health crisis,” he said. “I’ve always wanted to invest in companies that solve issues and was thrilled to invest in and join the team as CTO.”