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Crowding Funding Secrets

How raising $28M through crowdfunding inspired Dan Shaprio, CEO of Glowforge, to build the ultimate ecommerce experience

via https://glowforge.com/our-products

Crowdfunding has been around for centuries — there have been fundraising campaigns for all sorts of things both commercially and in the nonprofit sector. But the internet obviously took crowdfunding to another level. With easy access to billions of people — and their wallets — young companies, inventors, and entrepreneurs have used sites such as GoFundMe, Kickstarter, and others to get some wind in their sales. Dan Shapiro was one of them. Shapiro is now the Founder and CEO of Glowforge, but before that, he had a massively successful crowdfunding campaign for a board game he had invented for his kids. Through that experience, Dan realized that there were certain elements of crowdfunding that he described as “magic” and that he thought could translate to the world of ecommerce.

“I looked at the conversion rate of a typical ecommerce page, and it was something like 1%,” Shapiro said. “And then I got to see the conversion rate of our Kickstarter page. So of the people who landed on a Kickstarter page, how many of them transacted? And it was over 10%. So think about that for a minute. A webpage where people are more than 10 times as likely to buy your product, that’s magical.”

He wanted to take the high-intent visitors to a crowdfunding site and get them to start converting reliably on a brand’s landing page. He wanted to build a community to build excitement that would turn into a flywheel of referrals and inbound leads. Oh, and he wanted to build an inclusive, mission-driven internal culture at the same time.

Well guess what. He did it. The team at Glowforge pioneered a new way to create that has led to opportunities that Shapiro only ever dreamed of.

“We didn’t want to build a geeky robot for tech early adopters,” he said. “That wasn’t what we were setting out to build. We looked at the opportunity here that turn the world economy upside down and create a world where it makes more sense to create things where they’re needed, when they’re needed, and by the people who need them than it does to make something half a world away and ship it across the ocean on a container, ship and put it in Amazon warehouses, stuffed the cardboard box full of plastic balloons and deliver it to you.”

Are you wondering how he did it?

For the answers, tune into Up Next in Commerce.

Up Next in Commerce is brought to you by Salesforce Commerce Cloud. Learn more at salesforce.com/commerce

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