An entrepreneur finds considerable appeal in starting a company that sells to moms because they control about 85 percent of household spending. But a new business faces some challenges that are specific to attracting the mom market.
Experienced entrepreneur Jody Sherman sold his private jet business to Richard Branson before creating a venture that sells to moms. Sherman started a corporation called Won, Inc. in February 2009 and launched a website as sproutbaby.com, which sold a line of organic baby food. Earnings from the home-based business were reinvested into buying new products. In February of 2010, Sherman’s corporation purchased Ecomom, Inc., a company started by Emily Blakeney.
Sherman is the CEO of the corporation he started that rebranded itself as ecomom.com in May of 2010. Blakeney is the company’s “Chief Mom Officer” and provides customized weekly picks on the website.
The objective of ecomom is delivering moms with ways to easily and affordably provide optimal care for their families and the environment. That image is reflected by the education, tools, and products found on the company’s website. This e-commerce business simplifies the ability of moms to make healthy choices.
The website offerings are baby food, toys, bath and skincare items, clothing and accessories, strollers, safety monitors, and numerous other products. Users set up accounts and the company never sells its customers’ information to other companies. The consumer experience is enhanced with product reviews, recommendations, and daily deals plus ideas for gifts and parties.
Moms trust the ecomom site for the product assurances and order placement simplicity. In addition, ecomom has 24/7 customer service. The conversion rate of direct search traffic into purchasers is an impressive 5 percent. About 3,500 products are now offered on the website.
Sherman attracted $4 million of financing in late 2011. Among the investors in ecomom is Tony Hsieh of Zappos. According to Sherman, ecomom grew threefold in 2010 and by five times in 2011. The company expects further growth in 2012 fueled by the addition of home products to a revamped website.