Although Amazon.com started as an online bookstore, its expansion into selling so many different types of items has created a marketing channel with room for similar operations. One example is Alice.com, a website that sells only household items.
Alice.com is headquartered in Middleton, Wisconsin. The company started in 2008 and has since established a joint venture with Spanish website Koto.com. That resulted in the launch of Alice.es, which targets the European market for consumer packaged goods. Using the connection to Spain, Alice.com recently raised $3,600,000 from investors there. This brings the total outside capital obtained since founding the company to $18,200,000.
Amazon also offers general household items on its website, such as diapers and cleaning products. But Alice.com provides a special user interface for this product category and creates a different customer experience than Amazon. Alice.com has a suite of home budgeting and planning tools. It also tracks user profiles and what products they buy in order to provide notifications about time to restock.
Alice.com sells over 600 brands. Most products are offered at wholesale prices as a consequence of the company’s relationships with manufacturers. However, in order to offer a broad selection, some items are sold at retail prices. The company reported that last year it experienced a 200 percent increase in the number of consumer packaged goods brands accessible on its website.
Purchases are delivered in a single “Alice Box” package. Users simply open a free account and can even use a free iPhone app. Shipping is also free. Alice.com reported that last year it reached one million user accounts.
The company intends to use the new capital infusion to accelerate its growth with enhanced consumer benefits. It also expects expanded opportunities with its partners in consumer packaged goods lines. The aim for Alice.com is creating the leading online marketplace for household essentials.