Jason Del Rey

Recent Posts by Jason Del Rey

Fab Says It Will Give You Flash-Sale Emails How You Want Them, When You Want Them

Fab CEO Jason Goldberg wrote in a blog post on Monday morning that his e-commerce site will no longer be sending one generic daily flash-sale email to all of its users. Instead it is asking its customers to select certain categories to “follow” — such as Food or Furniture or Men — and to only receive emails or push notifications when new items go on sale in those areas.

Fab Follow Screen

Eventually, Fab will allow its users to follow certain designers, as well as topics within the department categories — such as desks or photography — and get emailed updates or push notifications on those, too. The website or app experience will also be personalized around a customer’s preferences.

With the changes, Fab is essentially bringing personalization to its offering, something that other young e-commerce startups have been doing for some time. Groupon and LivingSocial, for example, let users enter their category preferences when they sign up, but they still receive daily emails, just personalized a bit. OpenSky also allows its visitors to follow stores and get updates only when there is something new in them.

But it is still a smart move for Fab. Yes, it may lose out on a sale here or there in cases where someone happened to see an item that interested them in a daily flash-sale email. But Fab is making the right bet that its customers will be much more likely to make a purchase if they are getting updates on categories or designers that they are actually interested in, making it more of a true opt-in experience.

Plus, even though each category will only send out a sale notification once a week, you can imagine a scenario where Fab’s best customers choose to follow a bunch of different categories, designers and topics — and actually end up receiving more email or push notifications than they do now.

I have some questions out to Goldberg, and will update when I hear from him.


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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald