A new Kiwi startup is utilising Facebook integrated technology to help drive a new smartphone shopping concept, which is already experiencing significant interest internationally in countries as diverse as Italy and Mongolia.
SellShed.co.nz is a free mobile ecommerce platform which matches buyers and sellers in their local communities.
Marketing Director of SellShed Peter Howell says there is a global trend towards social trading and mobile ecommerce but other platforms have failed because they require users to be tech savvy or make it difficult to upload new products on smartphones.
The app has proved popular with already more than 4,000 international downloads in its first week.
“By using the familiar format of an existing social media platform, new users are intuitively able to understand how to use the technology,” Howell says.
“We set out to create a platform for consumers to trade in a way that is natural to them. The app is designed to help people engage with others in their community the way we used to.”
Howell is quick to point out one of most significant advantages of SellShed over other trading platforms is that it encourages users to trade directly with each other rather than restricting them to only transact through the app.
Howell says sellers can quickly create new item or service posts with their mobile phones.
Once a seller lists an item on SellShed it is placed on the browse stream which is searchable in a Facebook style framework - the post can easily be added to the seller’s own Facebook page as well.
Howell says the company has lodged patents to protect unique functionality of the app internationally.
“We have also added in unique tools which are not available on other popular trading sites including the ability to easily list ‘items wanted’ and be matched with a potential supplier,” he adds. “This is one of the features we have patent protected.”
Howell says that by removing any listing fee or commission structure, it’s economically possible to add in a range of other features allowing users the flexibility to make swaps, or part sale and part offer transactions.
The site is completely free for people to buy and sell products, with the company’s revenue derived from advertising and possibly premium services in the future.
“People can trade new and secondhand goods and look for specific items they want to purchase,” Howell adds.
“Browsers can list items quickly and receive notifications of new items they are looking for within their area, they can use SellShed to trade safely, quickly, locally free of charge.”
Howell says SellShed currently employs seven local staff and has plans to increase this number to 20+ as uptake of the app expands internationally.