The social commerce platforms I have covered up to this point find their locus inside Facebook. Not Moontoast. It provides social commerce functionality across a variety of channels, including social networks, blogs, ecommerce websites, affiliate sites and advertising networks.
“Moontoast provides unique and targeted products to directly acquire new consumers and fans, deliver incremental revenue streams, and measure campaign performance and social activity across social media sites,” said Tim Putnam, Moontoast VP of Client Services.
In terms of actual distribution Moontoast’s platform can:
- Create customizable store fronts that embed on any website, including social media newsfeeds, and can be shared socially;
- Integrate with eCommerce platforms including Demandware, Magento, and others;
- Incorporate game mechanics like group buys and flash deals, which increase excitement and impulse buys; and
- Facilitate word of mouth activity, allowing a brand’s message to spread virally.
Moontoast focuses on four specific verticals: Retail, music, publishing and celebrities, including athletes. Given that the company is based in Nashville, TN, the music connection is an obvious one and is how the company got its start.
Those verticals are reflected in the company’s client mix, which includes such recognizable brands as Sony Music, Universal Music, Big Machine Records, PowerBalance, Tretorn, Simon & Schuster, MacMillan, Mission Athletecare™, and others.
Moontoast shares the same group of competitors as I have been talking about in recent posts. Due to its emphasis on music, there is one other that can be added to the list: Topspin, a direct-to-fan marketing and retail software platform.
When asked what sets Moontoast apart from similar platforms, Geoff Smith, VP of Business Development, said, “Moontoast’s Distributable Store™ delivers offers in a variety of form factors across social networks, blogs, affiliate sites, and ad networks. Not only that, but our proprietary analytics dashboard is the only one of its kind and delivers incredible tools to brand managers, including suggesting future offers.”
“Our product is not about building a tabstore on Facebook and letting it sit there. We liken our strategy to that of email marketing and use the store to push offers to customers on a regular basis,” Smith added.
The company has four products in its lineup:
- Moontoast Distributed Store™ Brands can extend their shopping cart and transact with consumers right at the point of impression – wherever they might be online and without them ever having to leave the site. The Distributed Store allows brands to engage consumers through the life of the campaign’s purchase cycle (see images below).
- Moontoast Analytics – In comparison to other platforms, Moontoast’s analytics dashboard is the “most advanced social commerce analytics product available” says the company. It offers suggestive predictive modeling to improve campaign performance over time, something brand managers and CMOs can appreciate to be sure (see images below).
- Moontoast Game Commerce – Moontoast extends the brand’s reach into social by allowing brands to use appropriate motivators, rewards and incentives to facilitate their consumers’ and fans’ ability to interact and share their passions for the brand.
- Moontoast IAB Ad Store – This soon to be unveiled product provides a 300X250 IAB standard ad unit, which, when moused over, becomes a storefront. Purchases can be transacted via the ad unit allowing the consumer to stay in the experience. The Ad Store can be used via affiliate networks such as Commission Junction and in advertising networks, as well (see images below).
The cost to use Moontoast depends on the level of integration with a brand’s existing ecommerce platform. The deeper the integration, the higher the upfront costs. Beyond that, the company takes a revenue share based on a percentage of the client’s net merchandise sales that occur through the platform.
Client Results from Using Moontoast
Though no specific brands were mentioned, with regard to actual use of the products the following statistics were cited:
- Achieved over $10,000/hour in revenue within a Moontoast Distributed Store™ on Facebook;
- Average of 6.75 times greater fan base engagement compared to industry average;
- Average of 68% lift in new fan acquisition compared to a brands’ normal fan growth;
- Facilitated over 22,000 simultaneous shoppers within a Moontoast Distributed Store™ on Facebook.
“We’ve moved into the social commerce space early on, but we’re starting to see adoption take off,” said Putnam. “To cite an example, on average we’re seeing a three percent impression to order conversion rate within Facebook.”
Moontoast Management and Funding
The company, found in 2008, is led by a management team whose experience spans nearly a century. It includes:
Blair Heavey, CEO, is recognized as a leader in building high-growth technology companies and is charged with providing leadership to Moontoast’s strategic direction and execution.
Marcus Whitney is one of Moontoast’s founders and serves as its CTO. Prior to launching Moontoast, he was a partner and Director of Technology at email marketing company Emma. He helped build Emma’s platform from the ground up, enabling it to become a multi-million dollar business.
Other members of the management team include:
- Geoff Smith, VP of Business Development
- Don Cosseboom, VP of Product Management
- Ben Ramsey, VP of Engineering
- Jeff Sable, VP of Sales
- Tim Putnam, VP of Client Services
Moontoast’s funding is led by The Martin Companies, a Nashville-based venture capital firm. The company has experienced two rounds of funding to date, totaling close to $6 million.
The company was founded in 2008 in Nashville, TN, but has offices in Boston, MA, as well. Even though some of its clients do business internationally, Moontoast maintains a focus on US markets at present.
For those interested in learning more about what Moontoast has to offer contact:
- Jeff Sable, VP of Sales – firstname.lastname@example.org or
- Geoff Smith, VP of Business Development – Geoff@moontoast.com
There is also a toll-free number – 1.888.223.7724 – and a contact form on the website.
Lastly, Moontoast maintains a presence within social media via Twitter and Facebook.
Whilst Moontoast goes beyond Facebook commerce, they have some smart things to say on the subject – as summarised in this recent Moontoast report.