MN E-Commerce Captains: Dug Nichols, Kidizen

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Thanks to Irish Titan for underwriting our MN E-Comm Captains series focused on leading local online retailers!

Dug Nichols is the co-founder & CEO of Kidizen, a peer to peer marketplace for kids clothing and apparel started in 2014.  Since then, they have acquired over  over 250,000 registered users, grossed over $5m in sales, and raised ~$5m of angel/venture capital.

He’ll be speaking to success in person at the next Twin Cities E-commerce meetup on 5/24.

What do you sell online?

Kidizen is a social marketplace for buying, selling, and sharing kid style. Our mobile apps provide a source of discovery and inspiration for children’s fashion and a reselling marketplace for buyer and sellers all over the U.S. to exchange resale items.

When, why and how did you get started?

Kidizen launched in January 2014 after pivoting from an earlier business that was a broader sharing platform for all things resale (Itizen). With kids of their own, all three co-founders recognized the opportunity for building a business based on the ongoing need all parents have to continually cycle clothing and goods in and out of their homes as their children grow, and layered in a social platform in addition to the marketplace functionality to provide both buyers and sellers with a daily source of kid fashion inspiration.

 

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Is it Primarily B2B, B2C, or both?

Kidizen is a consumer-to-consumer business. Similar to a marketplace like Etsy or Ebay, our platform provides tools for sellers to sell directly to buyers, providing tools like easy listing functionality, item and store promotion tools, and shipping labels for sellers, and the ability for buyers to follow shops and brands to get updates on new inventory arriving in their favorite styles.

How many unique products/SKUs do you sell?

Since launch we’ve had over 1.6 million items listed for sale on Kidizen, across hundreds of kid fashion brand names, and we’re continually adding new brands to keep up with the exploding kid fashion phenomenon.

What do you attribute success so far to?

Our users! Absolutely 100%. Kidizen is a community-led marketplace that is built by our Momizens and their passion for sharing kid style and a little about themselves, too, every day. Without them, we wouldn’t be here.

What is something — tech, mindset, book, person, etc — that really positively impacted sales? We all read Nir Eyal’s book “Hooked” and as a direct result of reading that book started doubling down on social and community features in Kidizen, which had a significant impact on driving growth.

What’s the greatest challenge faced today?

Prioritization! With a two-sided marketplace we need to introduce features that help make both sides work better, and also be cognizant of feature work that helps power users vs feature work that helps newbies become power users, which isn’t necessarily the same feature set.

Where do you see your business one year from today?

Fresh off a recent round of financing we’re focused on team growth, adding positions in Dev and UX and focusing on bringing new social features to life in Kidizen, which we expect to see the results from in the coming year as we see an increase in the already impressive 70% monthly word of mouth growth in the business.

What is your advice for the new e-commerce entrepreneur?

Ship early and ship often. Don’t get hung up going deep in the weeds on a complicated feature vs releasing test versions of it along the way.

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