Photo: Jens Herf of Shopstar, Magdel Kemp of KAMERS and Mike Scott of Nona Creative
Shopstar (Pty) Ltd, the locally-developed online shopping platform launched in 2013, originally focused on small and medium-size businesses and creatives to set up and manage their own mobile-friendly online stores. While many shops are now running successfully on Shopstar (combined turnover exceeded R30-mio last year), smaller brands still found it difficult to sell online and required additional marketing clout.
The potential for big marketplaces in the online space and the development of an endorsement model to promote small businesses under their wings has led Shopstar to team up with KAMERS – the biggest retail pop-up market in South Africa – and Nona Creative – a top SA digital product development and consultation studio.
“KAMERS has a wealth of experience in retail and in nurturing emerging brands to become successful and develop their potential. Nona Creative is one of the top digital product development studios in the country. By combining forces and signing them on, Shopstar is now able to expand, set up the business for a viable future and to develop the marketplace concept to its full potential locally and abroad,” says Jens Herf, CEO and founder of Shopstar.
“An online marketplace brings together individual shops under their specific and powerful brand. Similar to markets and magazines in the real world this gives smaller shops an extra distribution and marketing channel. In return, the digital marketplace earns a commission for every product endorsed and sold via their website.
“The marketplace can invite any brand and shop and their endorsements mean they have full control over the product mix. Distribution and stock control is managed by the individual shop, so the marketplace doesn’t have to worry about any additional time-consuming administration. A WIN-WIN for both sides.
“For the last few months we have been working on the endorsement tracking model to ensure that each sale gets tracked accurately. This was launched on June 30 and the first transactions have taken place,” says Herf.
KAMERS co-owner Magdel Kemp, now also Shopstar’s COO says: “We are very excited about the potential of working with Shopstar and Nona Creative. Our own new digital market has already grown from a small online shop to a massive marketplace with more than 40 stores and hundreds of beautiful, hand-picked products to choose from. It creates an extra income stream for KAMERS with no hassle at all.
“We are confident that magazines, bloggers, art galleries, neighbourhood markets and in fact any shop stocking several brands will now investigate the potential and will follow!”
Nona Creative co-founder Mike Scott says: “We immediately saw the potential in Shopstar and their concept and we were ready to take on projects in need of productizing. By combining our respective strengths and our national and international connections we are certain that the marketplace concept will take off and growth will escalate rapidly from here.”
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