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South African ecommerce builder Shopstar is celebrating its second birthday. Since launching in May 2013, the company has achieved a variety of impressive milestones.
Apart from being chosen as one of VC firm Knife Capital’s accelerated startups for Grindstone 2015, Shopstar today boasts over 2 600 clients, with a combined revenue of R10-million last year. These range from big creative brands to small design startups.
“At Shopstar our focus is not to just blindly develop technology. As our client base grows we are spending more and more time looking at how our merchants operate in the physical and virtual space,” explains CEO Jens Herf. “By taking this approach we are developing systems which assist our merchants on various levels and are helping them with the implementation of processes which structure and optimise their workflow.”
Other achievements of 2014 include receiving funding at the live investment event Sparkup Live 2014, chosen as one of the participating startups for Seedstars’ Get in the Ring event, three winners at the 2014 Tech4Africa IBM SmartCamp and one of the 25 finalists at the PwC Vision to Reality Awards. It was also recognised by the City of Cape Town as one of the supported World Capital of Design 2014 initiatives.
Herf says that the growth of ecommerce for smaller businesses is not so much about teaching people about shopping online, but rather building tools which will assist the shopper in a better buying experience. He explains: “By building technology to facilitate this we are providing smaller retailers with a product which assist them in embracing commerce online and offline more effectively.”
As suggested in a recent release, there’s yet a lot more to come from the company’s current product.
“We are launching a number of exciting new features in the next quarter. This year Shopstar will focus on the integration of social media to provide more credibility to the shopper and create traffic for stores,” explains Herf.
“This will allow Shopstar shops to build stronger digital communities and around their brands. It is an optimisation of the real world in the digital realm.”