Shupperz is a peer-to-peer shopping platform for global online shoppers to connect with smart locals available to shop for them in store or online. Shoppers get access to their favourite brands at much lower prices than in their home market, even after shipping, taxes and import duties, while local buyers benefit from one of the most well-paid and enjoyable gig economy jobs available. In one platform users get an unparalleled experience which translates into remarkable KPIs surpassing all industry benchmarks.
This role will be one of our first hires in the USA and offers an outstanding opportunity to the right individual. The individual will be able to shape how our US business grows by leading the local community of gig economy buyers.
Western brands outside of the USA and Europe can be very expensive, if available at all. Buying popular brands like Timberland, Ann Taylor, Lego and Sephora in countries like Japan, Brazil and Israel is costly – and often it’s not possible to buy goods online as many of these brands and their retail partners simply won’t ship to overseas locations.
For brand owners, one of the key advantages of a strong brand is the ability to command a price premium over the competition, and so each country often prices goods to maximise local profits rather than have globally consistent pricing. This creates significant disparity in prices across countries and regions, much to the frustration of consumers.
For decades, consumers have travelled to the US and Europe as “tourist shoppers”, arriving with empty suitcases which they fill with their favourite brands, usually at significantly discounted prices compared to their home market. Some of that trade is now done online, but even then shipping costs and import duties can be costly and provide nasty surprises for those who are inexperienced.
And yet the market is huge: global mobile ecommerce for our selected retail sectors is a $284BN market, with mobile one of the fastest growing channels. Our approach taps into that market with an innovative new approach and we’re going to change the way people shop!
Shupperz is a new way to shop that solves all of these issues. It brings together shoppers from around the world with local buyers in the US and European markets, who can buy top Western brands and ship them overseas through Shupperz’ partners. Consumers get to buy their favourite brands, often with significant savings while the local buyers get to use their retail expertise in finding the best deals, only work part-time and get well paid. The Shupperz platform takes care of all shipping, import duties and taxes.
Similar to Uber, DoorDash and Task Rabbit, these local buyers are self-employed and able to determine their own schedule. Successful buyers who engage overseas shoppers and sell effectively can expect to earn at least double the hourly rate of an Uber driver.
Buyers can engage shoppers through a variety of ways. Features like the creation of fashion item “collections” and announcements of upcoming “store check-ins” keeps shoppers interested (in 2019, over half of the apps users looked at it at least 3 times a week) but chat is the killer feature: of those users who started chatting to a local buyer over a third make a purchase. Heavy use of chat, with photos and videos, especially during the store visits by local buyers, has created a very popular and sticky social shopping experience with very high conversion rates.
The business makes money in 3 ways: a fee charged to overseas shoppers for each transaction; volume rebates from select retailers; and data insight reports, based on the buying preferences and habits of these overseas shoppers. Local buyers get paid a share of the transaction fee and an optional tip.
Shupperz was live for a year before the closure of retail stores in the Spring of 2020 forced the business to cease trading. As the initial results were very strong, it has since taken the opportunity to upgrade its technology, refine its business model and secure fresh funding.
The first “supply” market will be the US, and the first “demand” market will be Israel (where Western branded goods can be prohibitively expensive, if available at all), with the focus on fashion and cosmetics goods. More retail categories, other supply markets in Europe and further demand markets in Asia and Latin America will be added in time, once the end-to-end experience is polished and ready for expansion.
Funding is not as major a constraint on growth as some technology businesses, as Shupperz does not hold inventory – it operates like a marketplace, matching shoppers with buyers, with transaction fees paid to buyers when they make a purchase for a shopper.
This role is an important hire, one of our first in the US market, and will have both significant impact on sales but also product evolution and how the company grows.
Take a look at what Shupperz is all about: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1mmSeWvBTRe-r0-bbY9u_e3U-YoWc41er/view
US market Community Manager
The business will start by focusing on premium retail outlets on the east coast, with local buyers focused on just two (very large) shopping malls that have over 450 retail stores.
The business is looking for a Community Manager to recruit, develop and manage local buyers (also known as “Shuppers”). This is a hugely influential role with the ability to input on how the business grow.
- Recruiting local buyers – manage the end-to-end process to recruit local buyers, including sourcing, selecting, interviewing and hiring new buyers who will be champions for Shupperz and who will become outstanding at selling (although technically “buyers”, their retail expertise gives them a strong influence on the sale)
- Onboarding, training & development – design and manage the process to get new buyers on board, make sure new buyers have the correct administrative set-up (account, payment, etc.), ensure buyers undertake training to deliver a great customer experience and manage their ongoing development to become successful at selling
- Managing the community – oversee the community and ensure that they consistently operate to a high standard, including:
- Swiftly engaging on specific product requests from shoppers
- Regularly posting content and hosting store check-ins
- Delivering a great customer experience for shoppers
- Regularly reaching out to buyers to encourage further engagement
- Ensuring that buyers maintain strong rating scores
- Managing network health – ensure that there is a healthy balance between buyers and shoppers, working with the central team, to ensure that:
- The nature and volume of shopper requests (bespoke, store check-ins and others) matches the capacity of buyers, so that both are in alignment
- The range of content and store check-ins that buyers deliver matches the needs of shoppers, in volume, brand choice, time zone and time of day
- Be vigilant for any abuse, misuse or fraudulent use of the network by either shoppers or buyers
- Business performance – ensure that buyers regularly engage shoppers to help deliver strong performance of business KPIs, in particular:
- Engagement rate – ensure that buyers are posting the right content that gets shoppers to frequently check the app and spend quality time consuming content
- Sales conversion rate – ensure that buyers quickly respond to bespoke requests, are hosting the right store check-ins for shoppers, delivering great experiences and ultimately converting interest into sales
- Extended community and brand reputation – partner with the central team on social media and maintaining the presence and reputation of the brand in the US, particularly in digital channels
- Operational support – assist in problem solving any local issues, on anything from product collection, shipping, returns, payments, network coverage or app issues
Skills & competencies
The right individual should be able to demonstrate they have the following skills and competencies:
- Personal drive – self-starter with very high degree of initiative and determination
- Hiring and staffing – ability to select and recruit great talent, and ensure a diverse but complementary range of buyers
- Developing people – strong ability to identify the strengths and weaknesses in others, understand how to nurture and coach them to deliver their best
- Building team spirit – create a strong bond of camaraderie and support between buyers so that they support each other and can easily resolve any potential conflicts
- Interpersonal skills – ability to connect quickly and empathetically with others, particularly through digital media and with strong ability to connect with others from different cultures
- Customer focus – build a customer-first culture among buyers and ensuring that shoppers have a consistently great experience
- Drive for results – closely manage all the local levers to optimise business results and KPIs
- Performance management – constantly guiding buyers to maximise sales, optimising the network content, bespoke sales and store check-ins
- Communication skills – outstanding ability to communicate clearly and quickly, particularly through chat, leaving no room for ambiguity or misinterpretation
- Planning, organizing and coordinating – managing the overall network health
- Action oriented – quick to seize new opportunities and solve issues
- Dealing with ambiguity – capable at dealing with unknown situations and challenges
- Passion for great fashion and design
- Ideally 2-5 years’ experience in sales, marketing, communications or HR, at a world class tech company or start-up
- Experience in peer-to-peer, platform or community-driven businesses
- People management, including recruiting, hiring and developing staff
- Managing and developing an online community
- Responsibility for commercial performance
- Pioneering new projects, initiatives or businesses
- Experience working directly with product teams, feedback back user requirements for product improvements
- Experience working with international teams across different cultures and time zones
- Understanding of CRM strategy, management and digital tool sets
- Undergraduate degree preferred
Much of this work can be done remotely, but the role needs to be close to Manhattan as it will require regular trips to downtown and out-of-town shopping malls each week.
Salary + bonus + potential for equity in 2023