Most people who have heard of Zaarly know it as a service that allows users to posts tasks for others to fulfill, such as babysitting, odd jobs, errands and the like, as well as the price they're willing to pay. Now, the San Francisco-based startup is opening up its service to retailers and publishers, allowing visitors to the Los Angeles Times, Ikea Hackers, Everyday Health to post tasks to Zaarly without ever leaving those sites.
The service, "Zaarly Anywhere," is being pitched as an opportunity for publishers to earn revenue from the inspiration they create. Zaarly's half a million users have already completed $30 million in requests and some of these projects were no doubt inspired by content created by a publisher or online retailer.
"If I read about renovating my deck at a home-improvement site, I [would] need to visit another retailer's site to take action and get that deck built," explains founder Bo Fishback. "It helps publishers capture their readers at the moment of inspiration and turn that inspiration into commerce."
Starting today Zaarly, is offering its API to publishers, so readers of third-party sites can post tasks connected to content. For example: A visitor to Ikea Hackers might use it to hire someone to assemble a Expedit shelving system, or better yet, build something inspired by it. Publishers get a percentage of the transaction.
Though launching with six partners, the most interesting might be The Fancy, an image-based commerce marketplace that many have likened to Pinterest, but with an ever-increasing array of baked-in commerce functionalities that similar sites lack.
Zaarly has grown quite popular with several niche user groups, including the "craft" goods production community -- the Etsy types -- which is exactly why hot commerce startup and Pinterest's main rival, The Fancy, chose to partner with it for its third platform development in as many weeks.
The Fancy has already launched a affiliate program, allowing users to make money from posting images of products and driving purchases, first on The Fancy, and then expanding to individual web publishers and bloggers using its own "Buy It Now" button.
Both of these products came out of conversations with The Fancy's most active users, according to its founder, Joe Einhorn, and the Zaarly integration is no different.
"We kept hearing that the ecosystem was cool, but people were trying to figure out where they fit in -- 'if I'm influencing people to buy things, I should be getting more out of it' -- and we agreed with them," he said. "With Zaarly, it's another extension of this idea."
By working with Zaarly, The Fancy is launching a "make it for me" feature, allowing users to tap the Zaarly community for projects. Prior to the partnership, there was a popular product on The Fancy -- a beautiful secret door, selling for $3,000 -- and in the comments section, one user offered to make it for only $200. Mr. Einhorn said that "opened our eyes."
That said, The Fancy will not be employing the new "make it for me" button on products that are already available for sale.It points to a future of e-commerce that expands beyond commercial curators from Amazon to Fab.com, to personal ones, who will sell their taste graph on sites like The Fancy and hybrids like This Is Why I'm Broke.
One thing seems certain: The future of commerce will not be limited to what is "for sale."