The Problem With Decentralized Commerce

Next Big Thing 2016: It's hard to keep product information accurate and up to date when you're selling across so many channels. Hubba has a solution

Written by As told to Alexandra Bosanac

Ben Zifkin is the founder and CEO of Torono-based Hubba, a platform for product information sharing and discovery. Here, Zifkin explains how decentralized commerce is challenging brands, and what his company does to help them.

Ben_Zifkin-Hubba-P_Nikki_Ormerod-Next_Big_Thing_February_2016-300x450Hubba’s Ben Zifkin. Photo: Nikki Ormerod

Whenever you go to an e-commerce site to buy something, you first look at the product listing to get more information about the item. But the vast majority of information out there is incorrect.

“What we do is allow brands to pull together these amazing profiles of all their products—a lot of basic stuff, like price, colours or flavours—and manage it in one place. We share it in real time with all the different retailers.

“Today there isn’t just one destination or retailer you visit to buy stuff. You used to go to Walmart, but now you can buy things on Facebook or Pinterest. We make it incredibly easy to go into this whole new world of decentralized commerce.

“It’s not that we’re a utility telling brands, €˜Go put your stuff here and we’ll share this information with these people.’ It’s a network: Brands connecting on their own with different retailers, and retailers connecting with different brands.

“We really become a community rather than a software utility. It allows us to scale, to grow really, really fast. People that used to change their product information once a year are logging into our system multiple times a day. It’s a living, breathing repository.”


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