Zwoop: The new consumer champions, looking to make money out of the customer without cheating them, share the proceeds from their data, and blow Amazon out of the water!
In today’s world of online shopping, the odds are very much stacked in favour of the retailer - never the consumer.
There’s no doubt that e-commerce aggregators make shopping easier, rule our lives, influence our shopping habits; yet still all the current investment goes there – to make selling better and bigger, to monetise the system further. Whether through advertising or re-marketing, AdWords or store rankings, the results we see usually depend on who’s paid the most to which platform.
But then it’s sold to us as efficient – the way to filter and aggregate choice across one, two, three, infinite, platforms.
But it’s never become as efficient as it should be. Deliberately.
Now – finally – emerges someone who is aiming to be the consumer’s best friend.
Today’s interviewee, Alessandro Gadoffi, co-founder of Zwoop, tells me a few hard facts about the way e-commerce is failing the consumer, while milking every penny out of the transaction.
And explains how he and his team intend to disrupt this!
We might go looking for a particular pair of trainers on Amazon. We can put as much detail as possible in our search term. And if we are a member of Prime, we may filter the results so we only see those available on next-day, free delivery. But even then, we still have to open the item’s own page – probably one of many listed, fed to us according to Amazon’s ranking system – to check sizes, and whether changing the size changes the headline price; and then finally whether that exact size and colour is available. Alex says the average time a customer spends from starting a search and actually buying is between ten and twenty-five minutes. And only then, if we’re really sure this is the best price for the exact item, do we hit the button to purchase. Knowing that the retailer will pay Amazon a whacking percentage commission.
And there might still be that nagging doubt, could you have got a better price going direct to a smaller retailer or even the manufacturer…?
Zwoop is a new platform that crawls every online retailer to find the exact item the viewer is seeking. Completely unbiased, results are listed according to all-in delivered price, and only for items that are available, real-time. As Alex says, giving not only the consumer the most transparent price, but giving the smaller retailer the chance to get in front of the customer without spending a fortune on AdWords or aggregators’ commission (does someone breathe the word, ‘bribery’?).
And the whole transaction, during its beta testing phase, is cut from 10-25 minutes to 10-25 SECONDS!
As Alex says, this is not just ‘searching’ – most online searching is almost instantaneous now. The difference is, this is ‘finding’. And it is unbiased, on the consumer’s side, and – uniquely - gives a complete insight into who is selling what, where, and for the best price.
Beta-testing by 1,000 users will be complete by the middle of October, and the platform will be released soon after; initially in the UK based on the 1,500 online retailers here, and then to the US - and beyond.
Of course the company has to be making money. Nothing comes from nothing. But while users may see ads for an alternative product – the latest Samsung handset, for example, while searching for an iPhone – the results for the chosen item will not be in any way affected. And consumers are able to turn off certain aspects of the pay-off – for instance, stop their data being used. But for those who do bring the platform income, there will also be rewards – like loyalty points – in the form of ZWP cryptocurrency.
Oh, and did we mention you’ll be able to purchase through Zwoop in any currency, fiat or crypto, in one click, simplifying what is otherwise a far-too-complex system for consumers?
Zwoop has already raised more than $30m in two regular funding rounds, and is running their ICO less to raise funds, but more to launch the ZWP so transactions become normalised, and they can distribute the reward tokens. More information is available on the website along with all the whitepapers and team background. But with a team of over 60 people and more than $50m spent to get to this point, investors can be sure that this is one ICO not looking to make a quick killing in a volatile market, but one that want to become the go-to shopping site to take on the big boys; to make itself a verb in common parlance - just like we all ‘google’ information today.
So, DOES my bum look big in these jeans? If it does, and I manage to lose some weight, at least I’ll know where to go back to find the next size down – and enjoy a reward for doing so!
- Alex started his first business at age 11 – more than 40 years ago!
- Zwoop was founded in 2014 and at that time the team looked at utilising blockchain for the platform – the cryptocurrency angle came later, with the customer loyalty requirement
- Third parties can still make money out of a transaction without cheating the consumer
- Data will be used to understand consumers’ buying patterns
- Beta-testing is already showing good results
- This is levelling the playing field for smaller retailers to compete for custom
- All a retailer needs is a good price – the rest is automatic, no registration or listing is required, Zwoop crawls the internet and finds the results
- If the site makes money from the consumer’s data or access to advertising, this will be shared back in tokens
- Any cryptocurrency can be spent directly with the merchants, simplifying the ecosystem for the mass-market
- This is the customer swooping in on a bargain!