Tom Zawacki Talks About Lemonade Marketplace

image Back in September 07′ we covered Lemonade’s launch, and business model in detail so I won’t be going into too much about the company here as with some of our other comparison shopping interviews. I have enjoyed watching the growth of Lemonade’s application, brand and user base. They seem to have found a perfect fit in between the eCommerce and affiliate spaces.

Basically, Lemonade offers merchants or entrepreneurs the ability to create and publish their own personal “lemonade stand” packed with products or items from the Internet’s top online retailers. Merchants can pick and choose from over 2 million products from roughly 200,000 top eCommerce sellers including retails such as Macy’s, Nordstrom, Zappos and TigerDirect.

Users can then place their personal lemonade stand widget in a number of places including Blogger, Vox, Facebook, Yahoo! 360 and more. Once the user has created their stand and has the products they wish to recommend loaded, they have the opportunity to earn revenue each time a shopper clicks through to the retailer’s page to buy an item. Commissions range from 5 to 15 percent of the sale price to anyone who delivers a paying customer. Certain online retailers will pay up to $10 for each new customer, while others may just pay Lemonade merchants each time a visitor clicks on a link to see recommended products.

Add your favorite stuff to a lemonade stand and put it on your personal profile, website, blog, wherever. It’s free and when someone purchases from your stand you get paid.

Lemonade Marketplace:

Lemonade’s merchant marketplace is a collection of individual stands/widgets that have been created using Lemonade’s application. Shoppers are able to browse different stands including best performing, most viewed and top rated or featured stands. Shoppers are also able to view stands by creation date (new stands) and they can even rate or review the stands they like the most.

Tom Zawacki, CEO, Answers 10 Questions About Lemonade Marketplace:

eCopt Interview Icon Roughly how many merchants are included within Lemonade?

Lemonade Interview Icon There are more than 200 retailer partners of Lemonade, including Apple, Sony, Estee Lauder, The Gap, Lands’ End, Macy’s, Nordstrom, Old Navy and Wal-Mart.

eCopt Interview Icon Roughly how many products are included within Lemonade?

Lemonade Interview Icon Right now we have a selection of over 2 million products from some of the best companies in the world. We have access to over ten million products and brands, and we will continue to add to Lemonade based on our users requests.

eCopt Interview Icon Roughly how many individuals currently work on Lemonade support and coding teams?

Lemonade Interview Icon Lemonade currently has 3 full-time employees with a team of up to 15 contract resources.

eCopt Interview Icon What other places across the Internet, if any, are merchants and products included?

Lemonade Interview Icon Lemonade enables individuals to make money by setting up a digital lemonade stand, distributing it on their social networking profile, blog or personal website, effectively starting their own e-business. Users currently have set up Lemonade Stands on Facebook, MySpace, AOL People Connect, Yahoo! 360, Blogger, SixApart, and many others.

Lemonade Inc. will also feature every Lemonade Stand in the Lemonade Marketplace section.

eCopt Interview Icon What, in your opinion, are the highlight features Lemonade offers it’s users?

Lemonade Interview Icon

  • In under 5 minutes, a user can set up a personalize e-business, their Lemonade Stand
  • Users add personal reviews and recommendations of the brands/products they promote in their stand
  • Forrester reports that word of mouth recommendations are the #1 driver of online purchases
  • The ability to earn extra money by referring products & services to shoppers, and via online advertising on their stand
  • The ability to learn about starting and running a business
  • The ability to add the Lemonade stand to social networking profiles, blogs or individual websites
  • The opportunity to shop from the Lemonade Community – to connect with people like them who are finding great deals or the best brands/products for a particular need

eCopt Interview Icon What, in your opinion are the highlight features Lemonade offers merchants?

Lemonade Interview Icon There are currently approximately 150 million individuals who have set up a social networking profile, blog or personal website. According to Internet research company comScore, these social networking websites and blogs receive an estimated 170 million unique visitors per month. Partnership with enables companies to extend their brand presence, e-commerce footprint and loyalty programs onto the personal pages of these individual authors.

Lemonade’s Enterprise Solution allows merchants to private label the platform to offer the Lemonade experience within their own branded context. The Lemonade Enterprise Solution enables merchants to activate their most loyal brand advocates as an extension of their sales staff (e.g., the Avon Lady, Tupperware Parties, etc.)

eCopt Interview Icon Are new features being added and updated often? How often would you say?

Lemonade Interview Icon We launched in October 2007. An upgrade of the entire experience, Lemonade 2.0, will be live in September 2008. We have given our users a full-page e-commerce experience for when they set up a stand, enhanced our search engine and shopping experience, and upgraded the functionality of our widget. We continue to add new retailers and products every month. We expect to release new features every 4 months.

eCopt Interview Icon How does Lemonade plan to stay competitive with sites like Amazon and eBay marketplaces?

Lemonade Interview Icon Amazon and eBay are not competitors, in fact they are partners. We have a completed contract with Amazon to offer their products in Lemonade Stands, and we hope to work with eBay in 2009 in the same way. In addition, we are enabling individuals to start-up their own e-business by recommending products/brands/services from leading merchants vs. eBay which enables individuals to sell their own things in an auction environment. We think we will have a very strong relationship with both Amazon and eBay.

eCopt Interview Icon Where do you see Lemonade in the next 3-5 years?

Lemonade Interview Icon In 2007, eCommerce in the U.S. is a $150 billion marketplace. U.S. Online advertising is a $20 billion marketplace – That is $170 billion today – Forrester projects these numbers to grow to almost $350 billion in 5 years. Today, 0% of eCommerce and Online Advertising in the U.S. is driven from the Social Economy. We believe that in 5 years at least 10% of U.S. eCommerce and Online Advertising will be driven by the Social Economy, which is a $35 billion marketplace. Lemonade Inc. is in position to be a leader in the Social Economy, and if we can capture just 1% of this new marketplace we will be a $350 million company.

In addition, Lemonade Inc. will expand internationally over the next 2 years. We will look at very large online populations with high growth rates such as China, the greater Asia Pacific Region, India and South America.

eCopt Interview Icon What Online product marketplaces, other than Lemonade, do you personally use to shop from?

Lemonade Interview Icon iTunes, Amazon, Sephora (for my wife), (for my wife), EastBay Sports (for my baseball team), Netflix

Conclusion & Final Thoughts:

To Tom: I really appreciate the detailed thought and attention that you were able to provide in the QandA answers, it sounds like some exciting things are happening on the Lemonade front. It’s great to see you guys nearly through your first year! I love being able to cover a launch and come back to see where the company is after a bit of time in the space, it’s been interesting and fun watching your brand and application grow. I hope you are able to find as much success in the international arena as you’ve seen here in the U.S. I can’t wait to see Lemonade 2.0 in September!! Please consider sending me an update when you’re ready to launch, I’d be happy to cover it on the blog. Thanks again Tom (and all staff) for providing such a cool concept application and for the support you’ve shown the online selling industry.

To our readers: I certainly hope you’ve all enjoyed this latest comparison shopping engine (CSE) QandA with Tom Zawacki from as much as I have. As always we have several more interviews out there and in the works for the future, so check back regularly. If you’re lazy and want us to deliver the content to you, simply grab our feed or subscribe to email updates and we’ll send the good stuff to you directly. You may also wish to read back in our archives at some of the ecommerce interviews that have already been published.

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