I read the company's prospectus a few months ago and it was a total page-turner. While I don't think it will make the New York Times Best Seller's List, I think Zulily has a very interesting take on e-commerce.
Zulily was founded just three years ago in Seattle. While people may think of Zulily as just another e-commerce retailer, the company has actually built a technology platform that aggressively sources unique items from as many as 4,500 vendors and showcases their products. The company photographs merchandise and features them on their mobile app and website for just 72 hours. Zulily handles the ordering and offers a fully integrated fulfillment infrastructure. By carrying small to medium lots that are sold out in 72 hours or less, the company greatly limits its inventory risk.
While the company offers a few nationally known brands, it focuses on emerging brands. The company specifically targets women and moms. The goal is to become a part of a mom's everyday routine and it is succeeding. Moms who are looking for unique items and children's clothes are flooding the site.
The company distinguishes itself by offering moms a fresh and affordable selection of merchandise. Zulily founders believe the retail experience has become uninspiring due to the concentration of sales among mass retailers and the commoditization of merchandise. By constantly refreshing the site with interesting merchandise that is available in limited supply, for only a short period of time, moms shop the site almost nonstop.