AlleyWatch the largest organization focused on NYC Tech, in partnership with Marketing Architects celebrates the work of these individuals that serve as a catalyst for nextgen commerce innovation within the NYC Tech ecosystem.
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Global retail sales are being driven by the insatiable appetite of Chinese customers. In major shopping destinations from Rodeo Drive to 5th Avenue, retailers are staffed with sales representatives that can speak Mandarin and Cantonese to cater to this burgeoning demand. Providing access to merchandise to this customer base is the focal point of a growing number of retailers and brands that include not only the luxury houses but also growing emergent brands.
Bridging borders and leveraging technology is Liyia Wu, the Founder and CEO of Shopshops, an interactive live streaming shopping platform that connects Chinese consumers with American brands and boutiques. Shopshops hosts events that livestream from retail locations where consumers in China can ask questions about the product, ask to see different items in the store, and even ask to have the items tried on by the hosts. All this happens in real-time giving consumers the option to purchase with a few clicks. Think of it as a modern-day streaming version of QVC that's a highly-engaging and authentic consumer experience. Each broadcast has tens of thousands of viewers that are lining up to get access to the latest coveted fashion items that Wu and her team have carefully curated.
Wu, a native of Beijing and educated at Parsons, has built an expertise in cross-border consumer behavior. She founded the first department store in Beijing that carried US designers exclusively in 2008. Later, she launched her own fashion line as well. The Chinese have long employed the concept of "daigou", which translates to "buying on behalf" - a popular way of Chinese consumers to obtain items that are purchased by someone else overseas. Recognizing the technology could make this process more efficient, Wu launched Shopshops in 2015.
Last year, the company did over 2000 interactive streaming events and each event on the average earns the boutique or retailer anywhere from $8000 per event with ShopShops taking a commission of anywhere from 15%-25% per sale. There is no upfront cost for the retailer and events are hosted outside of normal business hours to ensure their no disruption to the boutique's normal operations.
Cross-border e-e-commerce sales originating from China accounted for more than $100B in 2017 and Alibaba has extremely active in the space. Investors have taken notice, also. Shopshops has raised a total of $20.1M in funding and is backed by prominent investors that include GGV Capital, Founder Collective, Union Square Ventures, Forerunner Ventures, Third Kind Venture Capital, and TCG Capital.
What do you do when TV should be accelerating your online business, but it’s barely taking you past the starting line? Find out how DTC brand Touch of Modern worked with Marketing Architects to drive growth across their business by utilizing the television channel.