Ex-execs from Wish.com and Tik Tok are working together to bring the UK’s first live-streaming entertainment commerce app to market, providing a platform connecting independent retailers, merchants, emerging talent and creators to a growing community through mobile devices.
Launched in November 2020, OOOOO is an immersive social realm, where entertainment meets shopping via interactive, live- streamed shoppable shows housed across a network of digital channels dedicated to all passions and cultures, says the company.
Live-streaming commerce is a growing rapidly in China and continues to explode and evolve as a major revenue generator – estimated to reach $305 billion this year, by Forbes – with the technology driven concept swiftly taking off in the US.
Recognising the commercial potential for the UK’s retail and entertainment industries, co-founder, Sam Jones, previously MD at Wish.com, and China-based partner, Eric Zhang, a founding member of musical.ly, Senior Engineer at TikTok, have developed start-up tech company, OOOOO.
Determined to provide the UK audience with the immersive entertaining experience to rival that in China, the company is at pains to develop the best in world class technology and build an elite interactive, entertainment commerce platform for mobile devices.
Much like ‘Only Fans’, the model has been designed to directly connect OOOOO’s rapidly growing, engaged community to the source; providing a much-needed lucrative sales channel for manufacturers, wholesalers, brands and independent stores. The difference being it is an open forum, free to join and actively encourages organic growth of the community, offering enticing rewards and real-time dynamic discounts during lives.
Since launch in November 2020, OOOOO is swiftly gaining a cult following with over 200k downloads and has a growing reputation as a destination for savvy shopping, quality, and value, and a destination to discover new beauty trends and indie brands. The app has also reached no.1 in the UK shopping charts in, surpassing Amazon.
The most lucrative shows have seen live audiences of 10,000 viewers, selling £2500 worth of products in a single show, while a dedicated team of creators have collectively earned thousands of pounds in commission from simply broadcasting using a mobile phone.
Trailblazers in entertainment commerce for the UK
Taking an entertainment-first approach, the company is already implementing gamification technology on par with relatively new developments by the evolving major Chinese ecommerce players. This week, will see the exciting introduction of the innovative and exclusive in-app game ‘Melon Madness’, where players are rewarded with monetary prizes and vouchers to spend on product in the app. The aim being to increase community loyalty, user stickiness, increase entertainment and drive revenue.
Another recent development was integration of the cutting-edge integrated ‘tipping’ feature that enables viewers to virtually ‘gift’ a symbol representing a monetary value further bolster profits for hosts and performers.
Having initially launched with Cosmetics.tv, the company has centred focus on providing a much-needed lifeline to wholesale merchants in the UK, partnering with some of the biggest warehouses across the country to film live and direct from their actual premises. With unsurpassed amounts of surplus stock and fewer retailers to supply to, the platform empowers merchants with a channel to sell directly to the OOOOO community. The service also only charges 4% commission.
In just one month, a warehouse in Manchester has recently sold £150,000 in products during live shows filmed from the warehouse on a mobile phone.
Co-Founder Sam Jones explains: “We are targeting cultures, such as wine, food, toys, arts and handbags – where people have high levels of passion. Where there is a culture, there is a conversation. This is best suited to a platform where there is live chat, interaction, and a chance to watch live video. We have built an app that offers live commerce, enabling the transfer of capital from the audience to the merchant. However, this is not just a shopping platform – it should be entertainment first. Connecting people to the source is key to the premise of OOOOO, from warehouses, vineyards, toy factories, jewellery makers and people’s kitchens… all live.”
Building a community, creating opportunity
OOOOO’s mission to help people earn a living doing what they love and what makes the experience inimitable is the two-way real-time interaction. Live shows are hosted by personable content creators, empowering them to build a career and gain sales commission by upskilling its hosts with the necessary technology and resource.
Jones adds: “OOOOO is for real people to share real opinions on the real products they love, and we take pride in empowering them to build a brand and a business online, helping them to become retailers themselves.”
He continues: “We wanted to lend this same technology to boost the entertainment and arts industries by providing an interactive digital ‘venue’ for talent to share their
gift and earn a living doing what they love. Over on Busking.TV and Book.TV, emerging and established artists, authors, and masters of the spoken word connect with a highly engaged audience through live-streamed performances, and sell books, merch, and music in real-time.
Even more remarkable is the fact the company do not believe in buying ads. Sam Jones says: “We do not buy ads, rather invest efforts in driving organic growth and appeal of the OOOOO experience through building live entertainment into the shoppable shows.”
“This results in lucrative returns for users. Retailers benefit from unscripted, trusted reviews and access to a highly targeted, highly engaged sales channel with no need for ad spend on Facebook or Google, or influencer marketing fees.”