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Online store creator Zlio is in the beginning stages of launching their Version 3 of their application. When we interviewed founder Jeremie Berrebi he described Zlio as, "Zlio helps you start your own online shop in 5 minutes! Even if you don’t have anything to sell! Zlio offers you to choose from an exhaustive catalogue of thousands of products and arrange your own ZlioShop without programming anything!"
Check out the Zlio blog for more details on the upcoming release which appears to launch "soon". They are using the strategy of sharing bits and bits before the full launch. This can have positive and negative buzz effects. If they keep it to a short duration and deliver on the dates they promise, it’s positive. If they miss dates, and/or keep the game going for a long period, their shopkeepers might become frustrated.
The first piece of the upgrade is the management interface split between store promotion and store management. Here is an example of the updated version:
About a month ago, Jeremie from Zlio sent me a note about their upcoming release. Mashable had a great writeup of the release so I decided to see if Jeremie was interested in discussing his app in more detail. Jeremie and I discussed Zlio, how you can benefit, how they make money, and what's next. Jeremie also discusses what Web 2.0 life is like in Paris along with what you need to be successful with your startup. Have a look below and don't forget to grab the RSS feed to be notified when we post new interviews.
Allen: Can you provide a brief background about yourself?
Jeremie Berrebi: I am Jeremie Berrebi. I founded Net2one.com in 1999. Before launching Net2one, I worked for Compuserve from 94 to 96, I wrote a book on Compuserve on 96 and I worked for the first ZDNet France team in 95/96 as an Editor. I was also the President of the French Chapter for the IWA (International Webmasters Association)
Allen: What is Zlio?
Jeremie: Zlio helps you start your own online shop in 5 minutes! Even if you don't have anything to sell! Zlio offers you to choose from an exhaustive catalogue of thousands of products and arrange your own ZlioShop without programming anything!
Choose a Shop Name, choose a template, pick products and your shop is ready! For example:
Allen: How do I make money if I use your service?
Jeremie: You make money if one of your visitors buys a product through your shop.
Allen: Where did the name come from?
Jeremie: I have registered this domain in 2000 when a 4 letter domain name was very rare but Zlio was still available (Ze Leading Internet Organization)
Allen: Is there a team at Zlio? If so, what is the makeup?
Jeremie: Sure! We are 8 and we are hiring. Besides my partner, David Levy, and myself, we have 2 developers, 2 marketing people, and 2 customers support members.
Allen: Who is using the service? Is it geek-only or mainstream? Are the users mostly in France?
Jeremie: We have launched the service in France in September 2006.
Allen: Do you monetize Zlio? If so, how?
Jeremie: Very simple…every time someone purchases a product through a shop, we make money. In France, we also have CPC links to merchants. We will soon launch this feature in the US.
Allen: Who are your competitors?
Jeremie: 2 companies are working on a similar concept: Chitika (with their Shoplinc product dedicated to websites who already have a lot of traffic), and Amazon Astore (with only Amazon products)
Allen: Why shouldn't I just setup a shop with Amazon myself? What is the benefit of using your service over traditional Amazon shop?
1. Products from many merchants.
2. A lot of customization features.
3. An independent platform.
You can find a comparison between the 3 services here.
Allen: You received a lot of press coverage across the blogosphere when you launched. What has the feedback been like and how important has it been to the success of Zlio?
Jeremie: In France, we have launched the service through Blog. I'm one of the top 30 French bloggers (http://www.berrebi.org) so it was easy to buzz around the service. In US, a lot of bloggers have written very good reviews about Zlio. It's very important for us but it's just the beginning.
Allen: Is Zlio funded? Can you share any info on the funding?
Jeremie: Soon :)
Allen: What's coming in the next 6-9 months for Zlio?
Jeremie: Opening the service in the UK and some other countries, adding a lot of new features…and millions of shops :)
Allen: What is the web market like in Paris?
Jeremie: Zlio is a French company but a big part of our team is in Israel. In France, you have some big companies like Dailymotion, Netvibes, Fuzz.fr (disclosure: I'm Fuzz Coowner), PriceMinister (C2C platform) and all the big players (Google, AOL, Yahoo, Lycos etc..)
Allen: What do you believe are the most important things that a startup must have to be successful?
Jeremie: An EXCELLENT team and a lot of passion.
Allen: What is the greatest business lesson you have learned in your career?
Jeremie: Don't think that having a lot of employees will help you to go on holiday… It's the opposite.
Allen: What advice do you have for someone who wants to start a business?
Jeremie: Don't launch something only for money! You really need to have a lot of passion to succeed.
Allen: Which new RSS feeds are you reading these days?
Jeremie: Almost 350 feeds through Google Reader… including Centernetworks, Lifehacker, Techcrunch, Readwriteweb, Ecommerce Times, Gigaom, Venturebeat, Alarm Clock, etc…