Shoclef, a one-year-old San Francisco company, has launched a new mobile marketplace app that allows consumers to watch livestreams of personal shoppers in stores as they browse, display and demonstrate products for potential purchase, according to a Shoclef press release.
The app, now available for iOS and Android, gives consumers access to personal shopper livestreams from more than 150,000 cities worldwide. The consumer can interact live with the personal shopper they are watching via chat to ask questions, request demonstrations of products or to buy the products.
The app also allows users to switch between different profiles within the app, enabling them to act as a buyer, a seller, a personal shopper or a "player," the latter described by Shoclef as someone who can "sell or buy products and services, showcase their talents live and earn money, all in real-time through livestream."
The Shoclef app is a blend of social networking and personal shopper capabilities, spiced with a performance element. In a move that is reminiscent of YouTube, "players" can be paid via advertising revenue as they build their audiences.
Shoclef, which describes itself as a developer of "dynamic digital ecosystems that promote collaborative and participatory environments," appears to combine the benefits of a social network with a livestream. Its app allows an audience to watch and interact with someone live — with the assistance of hiring a personal shopper, thereby freeing consumers from visiting store themselves.
Making a personal shopper a star of their own show could signal a new direction for the personal shopping trend. It also potentially poses a competitive challenge to services like Stich Fix. Shoclef's app could potentially bolster such services with the personal shopper component.
In addition to allowing users to switch between profiles, the app also behaves like a traditional marketplace app by allowing users to shop sellers directly without going through the personal shopper livestream. Participants can also post questions and comments to others on the network, make phone or video calls to other users and communicate through both public and private posts.
Ultimately, marketplace apps that present new twists on social networking and personal shopping may push more consumers to use their phones as a portal for commerce. A recent study by Ypulse found that 88% of 13-35-year-olds shop on their phones, thereby priming Gen Z and millennials to embrace emerging means of social shopping.