This post originally appeared on the Louisiana Technology Park blog.
A few years back when entrepreneur David Facey was preparing for a date in New York City, he opened up his smartphone and searched for a flower shop in the neighborhood. Google told him the nearest shop was 10 blocks away and closing in 10 minutes. As soon as he stepped outside, however, his eyes told him there was a florist directly across the street.
That disconnect set off a brainstorm that would ultimately lead to the formation of SellSwipe, Facey’s Baton Rouge-based social shopping app set to launch next year. The mobile app lets consumers find items for sale from people and businesses in their community, and also post their own items for sale.
Users can follow the purchases of friends and family and get recommendations on businesses and deals. The app also aims to give local businesses powerful engagement and analytics tools previously only available to large retailers.
Facey says that despite widespread consumer adoption of smartphones and online shopping, roughly three-quarters of local businesses still aren’t using e-commerce. “Think about all of the sales and potential customers they’re missing out on a daily basis,” he says. “It’s 2017, what’s the problem? It’s money and time. Small businesses just don’t have the resources they need to build an effective online presence.”
He says that even if small businesses are able to break through the online noise and capture a slice of consumer attention, they still often struggle to turn that attention into sales. They also have a hard time converting single purchases into repeat customers, and with collecting and analyzing customer data to drive better marketing decisions.
SellSwipe, which is based in the Louisiana Technology Park and took the top prize at the recent Baton Rouge Pitch Night, plans to tackle each of those pain points while simultaneously creating a more engaging and convenient shopping experience for consumers.