Shop Storee Helps Small Retail Businesses
Sharon Zhen and Ricky Phung, Co-Founders of ShopStoree
Wish you could get the boutique shopping experience when shopping online? Local boutiques wish you could too, but don’t always have the funds for an online store. And they certainly don’t have the funds to compete with the Amazons and eBays of the world.
That’s why ShopStoree allows you to discover and shop from a variety of boutiques on a more visually-pleasing site than the Amazons and eBays. “Shopping online will no longer be about searching through a grid of products against white backgrounds,” says Sharon Zhen Co-founder and head of Business Development of ShopStoree. “Our goal is to make shopping online a beautiful experience.”
ShopStoree is building a new kind of shopping experience online. It brings the same special experience of shopping in a brick-and-mortar boutique store into the virtual world. With ShopStoree, visitors are transported into a store’s interior through beautiful imagery. These shoppable images contain all the products that the shop owner has tagged to make available for sale. “So much like how you would take a photo and tag your friends on Facebook and Instagram, a shop owner will tag with products for sale,” explains Zhen. “Our goal is to make shopping a beautiful experience.”
The ShopStoree team is comprised of Co-founder and CEO Ricky Phung, CTO Shawn MacArthur, and Sharon Zhen the Co-Founder and head of Business Development. Phung’s experience is in consumer marketing and in-store experiences, having worked for Disney in North America and Asia. “MacArthur is our CTO and he’s a powerhouse software programmer,” says Zhen, adding that her experience is in buying and merchandising for Disney, Anthropologie, and most recently Apple in Asia-Pacific.
“Having been in retail our entire careers, Ricky and I would visit small unique shops wherever we traveled,” says Zhen adding. “Each and every one we found would make us feel like we just walked into our new favorite shop. However, when they went home to find these shops online, that’s when they hit a dead end.” Either they didn’t have an online storefront or their online store looked and felt nothing like the actual shop they fell in love with. “Therefore, we thought what better way to capture that in-store experience than in photos,” says Zhen. “We wanted these shops to not only share their products, but their stories. Hence, the idea for ShopStoree.”
Zhen says their goal is to evolve the “E” in E-Commerce to stand for Experiential Commerce. “Where shopping is more engaging, personal, and interactive,” she adds. “As a shopper, however, the images will make you want to uncover every product in the shop, just like you would in real life.”
Brick-and-mortar businesses aren’t disappearing anytime soon, but they will need to be tech-enhanced to move forward, Zhen says, and ShopStoree was built with these businesses in mind. “By leveraging the shop owner’s efforts and work put into visual merchandising and creating vignettes,” says Zhen, “we are making it as simple as taking photos of this work to share with shoppers and eliminating the stoic and impersonal experience of shopping online today.”
Additionally, ShopStoree is a platform that can be used by retailers as a new revenue stream. “It is simple and embraces the behaviors and actions of what many retailers are already doing on Instagram: selling and sharing their newest products,” says Zhen. “At ShopStoree, we know every shop has a story.”
For more information visit shopstoree.com or their Facebook Page.