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News Online Retail Shopping is Social

Thursday, Nov 18, 2010, 10:10 AM

edelight is an Internet start-up based in Stuttgart, Germany. We met part of the edelight team during Social Media Week in Berlin and were immediately drawn to their company and fundamental concept: social shopping.

When the company started out in 2006, the founders: Tassilo Bestler, Peter Ambrozy and Steffen Belitz, had wanted to create a platform to highlight, showcase and recommend interesting and innovative gifts and gift ideas. However, things rarely go as initially planned… And by their Public Beta launch in Autumn 2006 the start-up had decided to go into a significantly different direction: allowing users to present their favourite products from any online shop, in any part of the world.

edelight quickly found that there are a plethora of online shoppers who prefer to engage in the act of ‘shopping’ rather than ‘buying’. In other words, they enjoy the act of browsing; taking their time to carefully select products, reviewing them and sharing their findings with other users. And herein lies the core of their business model. More than 8,000 online shops now have a presence on and from these, approximately 34,000 products have been recommended, discussed and thus passed onto other users.

70% of edelight’s members are female; and the products covered on the site are a reflection of this, ranging from fashion and lifestyle to children’s toys and home wares. By employing a dedicated team of 33 bloggers, each an expert in their own field – i.e. the flamboyant fashion student gives advice and comments on the latest collections, the mother of three on the latest Twilight merchandise – edelight are actively involved in the discourse that’s happening around the products.

Furthermore, by creating a widget, the start-up have managed to spread their influence and branding whilst helping small, up- and-coming shops reach a broader online presence, giving them with the opportunity to present their products to edelights 2.3 million visitors a month. According to their B2B press release, edelight has become the second most important referrer for many online shops after Google – impressive!

So how exactly do they make money? edelight create part of their turnover through placing traditional advertising on their site, though this does not mean that they generate fake recommendations to boost sales. The advertising is placed in the hope that a user will write a review and recommend a product– this is the only way a product becomes available on the platform. The marketing and product insights can also be offered to businesses to help them to tweak and reshape their own brand image and marketing strategies to correspond more closely with their consumers wants and needs.

Additionally, they’ve developed visualdelight, which functions in a similar way to Polyvore, in that it allows user to amass all the products they want, creating their dream party outfit or holiday look and then buy them (if they so please), Edelight then take a percentage of commission on each product sold through visualdelight.

With an impressive list of clients including,,, not to mention a powerful investor (Burda), edelight seem to have a positive future ahead of them.

It’s incredibly interesting to see how powerful user-generated product reviews and recommendations can be, and how fun it is to participate in them… Everyone knows that word of mouth is the best way to promote and market a product, edelight have turned that philosophy into a business– genius!

Update: edelight launched a new blog! Find it at:! The idea was to get all the discount vouchers they’re given by online shops, as well as all the information regarding shopping locations both on and off line, in Germany and internationally, and put it in one place! Enjoy!

Sophie von Oswald | TribaSpace

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Sophie von Oswald | TribaSpace

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