Are they hipper than the Home Shopping Network? More engaging than eBay?
Tophatter, the live auction website, has just launched its new iPhone app. The app will provide users with their own avatar and enable them to communicate with each other and the auctioneer.
Tophatter is the latest project and major pivot from the team that brought us transaction-sharing Blippy (Finovate alum, Spring 2010). But whatever Blippy may have missed in its ability to keep users coming back for more, the makers of Tophatter believe they have found in their new “QVC for the social Web” network.
A few early metrics:
- More than $1 million dollars in monthly gross transaction volume
- 35% of first time buyers bought three items in their first month
- 500,000 bids placed in March, with a sell rate of 80%
The live auction approach of Tophatter reflects CEO Ashvin Kumar and COO Andrew Blachman’s continued investment in “social spending”. In working to promote retention, the team has tried to capture the live experience of the auction with interactivity, while at the same time enriching the virtual experience with a design described by TechCrunch’s Anthony Ha as “loose and cartoony.” In a good way.