Orange County Innovative Startup Is Driving International Online Shoppers to U.S. Brick-and-Mortar Stores
NEWPORT BEACH, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--HelpJess, the world’s first live video shopping experience, is proud to announce its official launch after an extensive beta roll-out.
The innovative shopping tool brings together the informative experience of personal shopping with live video chat and the convenience of online shopping from a mobile device or home TV. Owned by parent company, open4sale USA, the HelpJess app is poised to provide all U.S. merchants a paradigm-shifting model for integrating their offline and online stores into one easy platform increasing all sales and decreasing online cart abandonment and returns.
HelpJess’ patented interactive video solution connects consumers with the live, face-to-face interaction of a brick-and-mortar retail store through an easy-to-use app. Shoppers can connect to in-store staff at retailers around the globe and make in-country or international purchases through the system’s easy payment interface.
The revolutionary technology-first approach aims to change the way consumers network with retailers through the physical, online and virtual settings. The service is free for shoppers and offers a wide array of retail options, including exclusive designer stores in Los Angeles, New York, Milan, Paris, Hong Kong and even the southeast hub of luxury shopping, Singapore. HelpJess has both U.S. and international patents and trademarks making it available to shoppers both foreign and domestic.
Australian inventor and entrepreneur, Simon La Barrie, started HelpJess as an experiment in changing the way consumers shop via retail and online. Named after his daughter and initially focusing on fashion, HelpJess has since expanded into the Australian wine market. With trending data showing that regular use of messenger apps has tripled since 2015 and as new capabilities have been developed in video chat, the service has grown to support a global clientele with new features including direct-to-store connection, browsing during chat, pre-order, live in-store video services, group shopping with friends worldwide and secure connection for purchases. With a deep bench of technology experience, former pro footballer La Barrie earned the Innovation Australia Award in 2008. Driven by his passion for technology, La Barrie foresees expansion into other retail markets in the future.
“There’s a lot of chatter around struggling brick-and-mortar stores,” said La Barrie. “We’ve got their backs by bridging a connection between in-store purchase and online reach and convenience.”
A current resident of San Clemente, Calif. and an avid supporter of local Orange County businesses, La Barrie has already connected eager shoppers from China with brands out of the Irvine Spectrum Center. He is also involved in collaborations with UC Irvine Campus’ International students and The Cove Applied Innovation to create local strategic partnerships to help scale the team and its product. Feedback from testing has been positive, with Chinese shoppers expressing enthusiasm about being able to see the live store and use their Alipay or Wepay QR codes for U.S. store purchases. Likewise, sales associates in brick-and-mortar locations are amazed at the ease of use of the technology.
“Our technology was born as a result of a dedicated cross-border team in the U.S., Singapore, China and Australia. Our wish was to innovate the online shopping industry and create a truly Online to Offline (O2O) omni channel experience. Being able to connect face-to-face, having that personal touch to close the sale and then being able to process payment easily with the shopper will significantly increase revenue for participating retailers,” continued La Barrie. “There is commonly a high rate of abandoned carts and returns for online shopping. Shoppers don’t get a complete sense of the product from the small thumbnail images available to them online. By bringing retailers directly into the homes of shoppers around the world and allowing consumers to see the product up close and personal through the video chat presentation, cart abandonment and return rates will be reduced, securing more consistent revenue for retailers.”
There are several retailers currently available on the HelpJess app, and La Barrie is currently in talks with several more larger retail chains to create strategic partnerships for this cross-border model. Current payment options include Apple iPay, Wells Fargo, American Express, Alipay and Wepay. The inclusion of Alipay and Wepay allows retailers to capture the booming ecommerce opportunity in China, which is currently 50 times the size of the U.S. market. China’s mobile payments reached over $5.5 trillion in 2017, and being able to make shopping and purchasing easy for that market sets retailers up for added success and revenue.
To learn more about shopping with HelpJess or to become a retailer: http://helpjess.com/.
About HelpJess: HelpJess is the world’s first live video shopping experience connecting shoppers with retailers around the globe through its patented interactive video solution. The innovative shopping tool brings together the informative experience of personal shopping, live video chat and the convenience of online shopping from home. Shoppers can connect to in-store staff with retailers around the globe and make purchases through the system’s easy payment setup. There’s no need to travel to Paris, Milan, New York or Singapore to shop in the world’s most exclusive retailers when you can connect right from your home computer, tablet or phone. For more information, visit http://www.helpjess.com/.
Leslie Licano, Beyond Fifteen Communications, Inc.
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