Jason Del Rey

Recent Posts by Jason Del Rey

Square Has Jumped on the E-Commerce Curation Bandwagon, Starring a Wacky Lumberjack Video

Square market lumberjack

If you’re an e-commerce marketplace and you don’t “curate” your goods into “collections,” do you really exist?

I’ve been harsh on eBay for what has, at least initially, felt like a forced attempt at coolness with its new collections layouts, with goods organized into themes by “celebrities” of varying levels of import.

Amazon’s take on “Collections” also strikes me as uninspiring.

But Square’s new attempt to curate goods into browsable lists — feels like a better fit.

Square’s e-commerce platform, Square Market, has hand-selected a little more than 200 products from its sellers, and organized them according to the wish lists of fictional, quirky characters. For a young marketplace, storytelling is key to let first-time visitors know what you’re all about — how you differentiate yourself. And you can’t have a great story without compelling characters.

So, on Square Market, there’s the accountant surfer, the techie antique collector (possibly inspired by Jack?), and even a ridiculous lumberjack confectioner.

Square will be creating video promotions around some of these imaginary people, and sharing them via email and social media campaigns in the coming weeks, a spokeswoman told AllThingsD. “We wanted to acknowledge the unique, and sometimes quirky items that are available on Square Market from across the country,” she said.

The first one, embedded here, rolled out this week. Meet the lumberjack confectioner:


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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