Potential game changer: Real-time commerce engine Ginjex launches in beta
London-based startup Ginjex launched its "real-time availability engine" in Beta on Wednesday, providing small and independent businesses a place to list their availability live so customers can get the services they need exactly when they need them.
Bringing goods from website to consumer has become a mind-bending race to see who can get there the fastest. Zappos set a standard for speed with its common next-day delivery upgrades, and Amazon Prime offers subscribers next- and second day shipments on all purchases for just a couple of dollars, where just a few years ago, such rapid delivery used to tack on a significant extra cost.
This week, eBay Now dropped the service time to the same day in its initial San Francisco test deployment. With that service, users can buy goods from major retailers like Macy's, Target, or Best Buy, and have their goods delivered to them within hours.
Ginjex is not about delivering goods to consumers immediately, But it applies that same urgency and immediacy to connecting users to services. With it, users can see what businesses are open, and see who is available right this minute.
The name Ginjex is a truncation of "Global Instant Jobs Exchange," and it takes the concept of real-time presence that instant messaging and communications systems have used for years and applies it to a location-aware business directory. Let's say, for example, a hair salon has some unexpected cancellations, and its day suddenly opens up to taking new customers. The salon's Ginjex listing can be switched to show immediate availability, and potential customers who search the area for hair salons can see that there are immediate appointments open.
With Ginjex, availability is effectively a boolean that has been added to location-based search, so if you search for "restaurants near me," you're only going to get the results that you can actually go to immediately.
That should appeal to anyone who has traveled to a city that is not their home on a holiday, and found themselves searching through sites with regular business hours, but no way of knowing if the places they searched were actually open or not.
Beyond the availability feature, the service can be used to post live offers or coupons to attract nearby customers, and any alerts can be pushed to users via SMS. The whole service is about making immediate connections.
Businesses and individuals have to subscribe to Ginjex for this "live broadcast," capability, but because it is currently in beta, listing is free. The beta test bed is limited right now to East London, but there are plans to expand the service to the rest of the UK, and then into emerging markets such as Brazil, Russia, India, and China.