Often times, a startup will try to build their fan base at home before making the leap to the national level. The discount e-commerce platform Proozy.com took the opposite view. Now that his email list has surpassed 2 million buyers, Founder and CEO Jeremy Segal wants his community to know that the fast growing company is based in Eagan.
In a recent survey of Proozy buyers, Minnesota ranked 27th among states for the number of active users. “We’re trying to find a way to grow up in our own backyard,” Segal said.
So the discount retailer hits I-494 in its new Proozy Gear Truck. From Lakeville to Minneapolis to Stillwater and back to Eagan, the truck shows up at breweries, softball tournaments and summer festivals, stocked with sports gear, shoes, accessories and clothing, the all at the cost of displacement. Proozy competes with Nordstrom Rack, TJ Maxx and Marshalls, offering discounts on branded clothing from Nike, Adidas and many more. Unlike its big box competitors, Proozy is strictly e-commerce, emphasizing daily flash deals and relying on analytics to determine its inventory.
“I could sell little size 200 Adidas polo shirts in a minute,” Segal said. “I know the right customers to send the offer.”
Getting to a local event with a truck full of bargains is a less predictable proposition, but Segal said the show draws crowds. The truck has been on the road for just a few weeks, posting its daily route and offers on Facebook. “It was a huge success,” Segal said. “We have so many people saying I didn’t know you were based here. “
Loyalty is particularly important at a time when purchasing overstock goods becomes more competitive. “When the pandemic first hit, there was so much product that we had a second warehouse,” said Segal, who immediately started hiring. But very quickly last spring, manufacturers cut back and retailers canceled orders. “Now the product evaporated and we had to get creative. “
Proozy, which has built its audience primarily through branded sports equipment, has expanded its assortment to include home goods and electronics. The company is also making inroads with luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton, Stella McCartney and Gucci, high-priced powers that don’t care to advertise overstock offers. Proozy is able to set up private sales pages, accessible only to targeted customers. “We know we have 700,000 buyers who say they want Louis Vuitton, for example,” Segal said. The only way to find these luxury deals is to subscribe to Proozy emails.
Proozy scored another victory this year by retaining Nike, which has reduced its wholesale partners in recent months, in an effort to focus on its direct-to-consumer business. Offers on Nike athletic footwear and apparel remain a top traffic driver for Proozy. “We know people don’t go online and look for ‘Proozy’,” Segal said. “They look for brands and find, wow you’ve got some great deals.”
Segal said Proozy has added 50 new brands in recent months. But he doesn’t want to rely entirely on other brands. Proozy will launch its first private label lifestyle brand this fall.
Listen now: Jeremy Segal shares the story of Proozy.com and his approach to e-commerce on this episode of Podcast By all means.