Only after 2 months established in the UK, the OOOOO app is now ranked No1 shopping app in the UK ahead of Amazon.
OOOOO is a live-streaming video commerce platform that helps people earn a living doing what they love.
The company was founded in 2020 by Sam Jones (ex-Wish) and Eric Zhang (ex TikTok) and they have offices in Oxford and Shanghai.
OOOOO have studios in their offices in Oxford and are building studios in offices across the UK. They have also created a studio in Soho London, for creators to use, to access stock 24/7.
The app follows a mega trend in China for live shopping, already estimated to be worth US $180 billion dollars a year in sales.
Through the OOOOO platform, consumers can access real people reviewing real products in live shows, which they can buy in a couple of clicks from the OOOOO app.
For merchants, OOOOO is a trusted layer helping to sell more products to informed consumers. This saves brands using black boxes like Facebook or Google to find consumers.
OOOOO helps creators start businesses from their bedroom with a smartphone app -without worrying about marketing, logistics or inventory.
The app launched in November 2020 selling cosmetics products in the UK, with many live shows each day. 100 brands have joined the platform.
Former Managing Director at eCommerce unicorn’ Wish (which is valued at US $14 billion) is Oxford-based British entrepreneur Sam Jones. Sam spent many years living in Hong Kong witnessing the rush of live shopping in China and wanted to bring to the west. Sam joined forces with China-based partner Eric Zhang, a founding member of the successful consumer app Musical.ly, which was acquired by Bytedance and renamed Tiktok. Eric joined OOOOO from TikTok where he was a senior engineering lead.
As they watched TikTok climb to 2 billion downloads, Sam and Eric saw a space in the market for social shopping outside of China and quickly formed a team. Which is now 35 people globally.
The premise of OOOOO is to connect merchants with consumers via live shows, and reward the community for growing the user base, instead of buying adverts from platforms like Facebook. This has been a growing trend in China with apps like Pinduoduo which started in 2015, offering discounts to users who bring friends to the app. Pinduoduo is now valued at US $208 billion dollars.
As an example of how Pinduoduo works, a user can buy a product for US $100 dollars, or they can bring several friends to the platform and all buy for US $70. Basically, the platform is saving money buying ads – and passes this benefit directly to the consumer. This is social commerce.
OOOOO have been bust recruiting real people to make videos from their homes and learn how live commerce works. This includes training, but the company is at pains to ensure that people remain as real as possible. Sam Jones, Cofounder of OOOOO said “The last thing we want is fakes salespeople, there are enough of those on TV. We want real people who only share products that they love. If they do this, we pay a % of commission to them. We help them build a brand and a business for them online”.
OOOOO now have 15 people trained on the platform to run live shows. The company intend to grow this to thousands of employees worldwide.
Live shopping is already recognised as a career in China by the government, with schools teaching people how to sell. OOOOO imagine some similar ideas in the west and are already developing training courses to help people market themselves online.
The app launched in the cosmetics industry, under a channel name of cosmetics.tv in the OOOOO app. The company has become one of the world’s largest owners of domain names for this domain format – adding many other channels which they intend to launch in 2021.
OOOOO will launch the following channels in 2021, which they own, sneaker.tv, shoes.tv, handbags.tv, jewellery.tv, electronics.tv, gym.tv, toys.tv, perfume.tv, supplements.tv, drinks.tv and more.
“Amazon are so good at what they do. We are targeting cultures, such as wine, toys, handbags – where people have high levels of passion. Where there is a culture, there is a conversation – this is best suited to a platform where there is live chat, interaction, and a chance to watch live video. This is not just a shopping platform – it should be entertainment first. Connecting people to vineyards, toy factories and peoples beauty counters…. all live” Sam Jones, Cofounder OOOOO
The company set up just ahead of the COVID-19 break out but have accelerated as the retail industry has collapsed. “Our view is that the retail industry will never truly recover from this year. Instead, people will form new habits and seek new ways to earn a living. We want to be part of this inevitable shift.”
With the insane explosion of TikTok’s success and the surge in online shopping due to COVID-19, will OOOOO be the new e-commerce giant??