Social shopping app Dote launched Shopping Party last week, an interactive live video feature. Influencers, called Dote Creators, can broadcast to and chat with fans while browsing the app's 150 retail brands, according to a company release.
Urban Outfitters is one of several retailers offering sponsored parties as part of a pilot program. The platform kicked off with a two-week "shopping extravaganza" on April 9th, featuring over 400 shopping parties. Hosts can utilize current Dote features during the shopping experience, including giveaways and polls.
Dote has raised a total of $23 million in funding, with the most recent round led by Goodwater Capital, with participation from Lightspeed Venture Partners and Harrison Metal, per the release.
The interactive feature, described by Dote as "Twitch for shopping," has the potential to foster real-time feedback collection for retailers. "Shopping Party gives [retailers] a new audience who might not have considered their brand had they not seen their favorite creator shop it," Dote noted in its announcement. "It also allows product feedback to come to life," with on-the-spot video and voice alongside user comments.
Dote caters to Generation Z's digital natives with the help of superuser curators including influencers like YouTuber Kalani Hiliker and actress Nia Sioux. Founder and CEO Lauren Farleigh said in a statement that the platform is aimed at recreating the fun and discovery of going to the mall with friends, combining the convenience of shopping online with the social component of browsing with others.
Last year, Fashionista reported that Dote users tend to be women between 13 and 22. While previous research from Numerator shows that less than 10% (7.4%) of Gen Z spending is from e-commerce, that share is likely to grow as digital natives enter adulthood. Influencer marketing builds on Gen Z's desire to make personal connections via their smartphones. The added ability to interact during live broadcasts on Dote could encourage impulse purchases on the platform.