Leveraging an existing community to enable social commerce.

Growth Story:

    • 6 weeks: Created and launched a complete, fully-functional e-commerce-enabled marketplace
    • Now offering 80,000 products from over 350+ brands 

“Establishing this marketplace has brought together two experts in their respective fields. We have each learned enormously from the other. Both Fishbrain and Marketplacer are interested in making social commerce a success. This project has enabled us both to explore, and better understand, how to achieve that. It has been one of those rare meetings of minds and talent that has undertaken a journey that is as rewarding as the outcome itself.”

Jens Beckemeier, Commercial Director, Fishbrain


Based in Stockholm Sweden but with a marketing focus on the United States, Fishbrain is a mobile/web-based social network and online fishing equipment retailer for 13 million avid anglers across the globe. The company has an engaged community in which anglers can connect and communicate, offer helpful tips, share their preferred fishing destinations, recommend, purchase and review equipment for catching specific species of fish, and much more. Fishbrain also maintains one of the largest fishing-focused data sets in the world, and it freely shares this information with scientific research partners to better understand fisheries, advocate for more sustainable fishing practices, and preserve the Earth’s valuable waterways and oceans for outdoor enthusiasts.

Business Challenge:

After seeing its passionate worldwide community of anglers steadily grow since the company’s founding in 2010, Fishbrain needed to determine the best approach for leveraging its vast, unparalleled wealth of fishing data to better serve its engaged user base, and generate ancillary revenue through social commerce in the process. More specifically, the company wanted to: 

  • Effectively address its community’s extraordinary interest in fishing equipment and accessories, a passionate Fishbrain discussion topic.
  • Readily utilize its highly relevant data, including telling statistics on how people are using their fishing gear, the products they prefer, and the best equipment catching certain species of fish, to give the Fishbrain community a higher-quality user experience (UX).
  • Design and offer its members a stellar online buying component that gives them greater product information, and helps them make better, more informed purchasing decisions.
  • Enhance the UX with a complementary, carefully-curated fishing equipment marketplace featuring products from highly-regarded, well-known sellers.
  • Solidify its position as the preferred online destination for two distinct important, audiences:  the anglers (and potential buyers) already connected through the Fishbrain platform, and the brands modifying their respective e-commerce strategies in a rapidly-changing online retail landscape.

The company decided now was the time to identify and unify a high-quality group of sellers so its users could meet all of their needs from a single source.

Marketplace Goals:

Buying fishing gear online is a relatively new concept, and the space is heavily dominated by brick-and-mortar retailers ranging from major, well-known brands to small, independently-owned bait and tackle shops located near popular fishing destinations. In reality, there are few large players in this space which have both physical presences and e-commerce operations. Of those that do, many of these online experiences are lackluster, and are not all that user-friendly or easy to navigate. 

Fishbrain realized it could do a much better job than these companies on the e-commerce front, while providing a valued, much-needed service to its community. The company’s specific marketplace goals included:

  • Reinforce Fishbrain’s status as a comprehensive, one-stop destination for all things fishing, including gear purchases, for its members.
  • Bring fishermen and equipment sellers together in a compelling way that enriches the entire Fishbrain UX.
  • Identify and curate a portfolio of reliable, reputable sellers that offer high-quality fishing equipment and accessories, and can deliver these products expediently to community members at competitive prices.



Because of its shared focus on making social commerce a success, Fishbrain selected and enlisted the assistance of Marketplacer and its platform for the design and implementation of the company’s new online marketplace for fishing equipment and accessories.

Rapid Development Time and Launch:  Despite the two companies’ offices being located on opposite sides of the world, Fishbrain and Marketplacer collaborated closely on the development and launch of the Fishbrain Shop in less than six weeks. This fast time to market was largely the result of Marketplacer’s extensive e-commerce expertise, and a nearly “out-of-the-box” platform that Fishbrain’s team could easily understand and customize.

Shopify Seller Integration:  As part of the implementation, Fishbrain discovered not all fishing brands are using Shopify to facilitate e-commerce sales, currently the fastest and easiest way to set up retailers on Marketplacer. As a result, Marketplacer helped Fishbrain create API integrations between existing platforms, such as Woo commerce, big commerce and Shopify seller sites and the Fishbrain Shop. Marketplacer’s XML feed solutions also helps sellers on other ecommerce platforms with a smooth integration.This made approaching and pitching brands on the merits of the Fishbrain marketplace quite easy, and the onboarding of new sellers fairly effortless.

Additional Benefits from Working with Marketplacer:  As the launch of the Fishbrain Shop became a reality, Fishbrain reaped numerous immediate benefits from working with Marketplacer, including:

  •   Significant ease and flexibility for launching promotional campaigns and deals.
  •   Collaborating with an experienced consultative support team with extensive expertise.
  •   The opening of new ways for Marketplacer and Fishbrain to working together and drive additional business via the partnership.

Fishbrain Marketplace Results:

Fishbrain launched the online version of its Fishbrain Shop marketplace in ​​May 2019, with immediate traction and excellent reviews from members. The company followed that success with the introduction of the Fishbrain Shop on iOS and Android on October 8, 2019. Other results included: 

  • Within three months of its launch, the Fishbrain Shop had curated and began selling, over 30,000 high-quality fishing products from more than 100 brands, making it one of the fastest-growing platforms in Marketplacer’s history.
  • The ongoing addition of larger volumes of equipment from more fishing brands to its marketplace as Fishbrain’s user base continues growing.
  • Deep integration of the social commerce experience into the fabric of Fishbrain Shop, and its community at large.
  • The ability to offer recommendations on the best gear, along with the social proof needed to ensure the best possible fishing experience.

By bringing sellers into its sphere, Fishbrain introduced the missing piece of its community puzzle. The brand already had a robust community of potential buyers, but now they have sellers to satiate that community’s needs. Moreover, Fishbrain now has an unparalleled level of social proofing before purchase. Community members inform other users about what they caught, where they caught it, and, critically for the marketplace, the great gear they used so effectively for the catch. The community itself is the most effective sales tool.


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