This week we have an exciting Q&A session with Cally Russell, founder of Mallzee. Mallzee makes shopping online an experience – we want to move on from ‘click and buy’. One blogger recently called it “Pinterest meets every shopping website your ever use – with a personal shopper thrown in.” Our software basically let’s you create your own personal shopping mall. You pick the brands/stores you want to have in it and we go to all these stores and create product feeds that are entirely suited to your tastes. We aim to add an experience by getting you talking to your friends before you buy through Facebook integration and some other features we’ll announce soon.
Plus, in a bit of a twist we also pay you to shop. We hand back the commissions you generate in the sales process. You can then spend this money with our partners, withdraw it or donate it to a series of charities.
1) Where did the idea for Mallzee come from?
The idea from Mallzee came from the MVP we created (RecommendedBy.co.uk) We loved the concept in this but we quickly realised how rubbish shopping online is and that’s when we set out to create Mallzee and focused more on the ‘experience’ element of shopping online.
2) What have you done to gain traction to Mallzee, for both customers and brands?
Well we’ve already got over 200 brands on board with Mallzee including guys like Urban Outfitters, French Connection and a lot of big big names. We’ve engaged with the people that run their online preseences and they’ve been great in providing to support to us. In terms of customers we’ve been working hard in the last two months to give us a good base of users for when we launch. We’ve actually just past 1,250 prelaunch users at the minute in time. To get these guys signed up we’ve focused on working with bloggers and a solid social media campaign. In terms of this we still haven’t spent a penny.
3) Can any brand be found on Mallzee?
Pretty much. We’re looking at running month highlights for small brands as well so if you run a small label then get in touch.
4) What has been your biggest challenge so far at Mallzee?
Keeping all the plates spinning. We’re a really small team cause we haven’t raised any external investment yet and that mean’s we’ve got to do a lot more per person than we would like. So far we’ve been able to hold it all together but to achieve what we really want we know we need to add a few more hands to the team. We’re actively fund raising just now though and hopefully we can start bringing on more people in the next couple of months.
5) In the coming year, what would you like to achieve with Mallzee?
We’re aiming to get the site live in the next couple of months. In our mind we’re aiming for 100,000 users in our first year and I think we’ve made a good start on that. It seems like a big number but if you don’t aim big then theres no point in our mind. Oh, and raise some money to support the whole thing as well.
6) If you could give one piece of advice to someone thinking about starting a business, what would it be?
Just do it! Stop thinking about it and dive straight in. All the planning in the world wouldn’t make you ready for what’s about to happen so you might as well go for it. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes in the process either. It’s the only way you’ll learn and no matter what some people say everyone makes them – just make sure you learn from them in the process.
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