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Online Store Abe’s Market Uses Producer Stories To Sell Natural Products

October 13, 2010: 10:54 AM EST

Start-up organic product aggregator, Abe’s Market, opened last year using a seemingly contradictory concept: use personal, local-feeling merchant profiles and stories to add the ‘farmers-market-like’ sensation to buying online. Online sales reached $155 billion last year but are soulless and devoid of human contact. At the same time, farmers markets are rising in popularity, with their number doubling in the last decade.  Abe’s Market hopes to bridge the gap with high-touch merchandizing and personal stories. Its business model relies on specialization – separating manufacturing from distribution – and charging its merchants, many of whom have their own online stores, a 30% fee. Revenues, so far, are unremarkable but angel investor, Toby Coppel, believes Abe’s buyers are “passionate about organic and natural products and want to connect with the people behind the products.”

JESSICA BRUDER, "Turning Business Owners Into Stars of Their Own Stories", The New York Times, October 13, 2010, © The New York Times
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