Online shopping is a marvel – being able to buy something from a shop on the other side of the world and have it delivered to your door in Australia for the price of $12.99 plus $96 shipping? It’s great.
What is sometimes not great for, say, the indecisive (me) or fashion-challenged (also me) is that it can be difficult to gauge what something might look like, what it will pair well with, and so on – you know, all those important fashion questions – when you’re scrolling through hundreds of dresses sorted by price from lowest to highest. Sometimes it would be handy to have the shop assistant’s thoughts and advice.
Founded by husband and wife team Emma and Joel Inteman, ShopShare is a shoppable video platform aiming to give shoppers that advice: like you can tap a tagged item on an Instagram post to shop it directly, ShopShare allows viewers to purchase the products they’re being shown directly by, they’re hoping, bloggers, stylists, retailers, and other content creators.
The idea came to Joel after watching Emma help her friends shop online.
“I buy everything online: I know what I like and love searching my favourite online stores to find unique pieces and designer bargains. We identified a gap in the market as friends and family would express frustrations about the challenges with the online shopping experience of most sites, feeling completely overwhelmed with no store associates to assist them on their path to purchase,” Emma explained.
“Joel came up with the idea after watching me help, guide, and reassure them. He thought many others would benefit if they too could watch shopping and brand experts show, review, and talk through products online and actually instantly purchase what they’re being shown.”
Coming up with the idea, Emma admitted, was “by far” the easiest part.
“Building the extension, which enables creators to record their browser and make product shoppable by the click of a button, is a very complex idea that we needed to make really simple so that this content could be created quickly and easily,” Emma said.
Once the extension was up and running, the team then had to build the actual platform.
While Emma said it’s constantly evolving, in its current iteration ShopShare works by having a creator install the browser extension, then simply start recording their screen. They can then make various products they showcase shoppable, and review and edit their ‘shopcast’ before sharing it.
ShopShare believes the platform will be used by three core groups of creators: retailers, vloggers and other content creators, and stylists.
The pitch to retailers is fairly simple: ShopShare can give them another revenue stream. They can use their ambassadors, stylists, store associates, and team members to create shopcasts to guide consumers on their path to purchase, Emma said.
Meanwhile, Emma said ShopShare allows content creators to provide their followers with a deeper level of engagement, while they in turn can earn through affiliate links and collaborations, or influencer deals. ShopShare itself takes a cut from every affiliate link sale.
Stylists too can earn from the platform, Emma said.
“Stylists have the added benefit of being able to use ShopShare to create tailored shopcasts, which they can email their individual clients directly and even charge for, or add value to existing packages. It is a free tool for them to use to help grow and expand their business,” she said.
While creators can create their own channel on ShopShare and look to build an audience there, it seems the startup is primarily focused on having creators share their shopcasts on their own platforms, for example embedding videos on their own blogs. This is key: a frequent issue with new social media and content platforms is that it’s tough to get a significant number of users to move over from where they’re already hanging out and consuming things online.
“[Consumers] are already following bloggers, stylists, and brands for product and styling advice…ShopShare is not about trying to pull someone in with some engaging content and then trying to sell them something. We are totally transparent about what we are doing, and the viewers are engaging with the content for that reason,” Emma said.
Having brought on a handful of Melbourne-based bloggers, stylists, and personal shoppers to trial the platform and give feedback, Emma said ShopShare is currently in talks with a couple of beauty and fashion retailers who are interested in trialling ShopShare in 2019.
However, Emma believes the platform has significant scope beyond the fashion and beauty verticals, from tech to sports gear, homewares, wine, and more.
First things first, the startup is focused on signing up creators and getting shopcasts made.
“We are also working with a PR company to undergo a paid content trial so that we can gain some data, which we can share with potential users. It is exciting times ahead,” Emma said.
Image: Emma and Joel Inteman. Source: Supplied.