Before the COVID-19 crisis, e-commerce had never taken off in Hong Kong, with the exception of a few players that managed to engage specific segments of the population for specific sectors.
Retail in Asia had the pleasure to interview Juliette Gimenez, CEO and co-founder of GOXIP, a Hong Kong-based app that we could define an IG for shopping.
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RiA: What does Goxip stand for and how did it all begin?
Juliette: Everything started with a personal experience. I wanted to buy a specific pair of boots, I tried googling it but text search cannot describe the boot accurately enough to get it right. At that time, Google did not even have this function yet, so I thought there was room for development!
On top of that, I was also desperate to become more fashionable and trendy by following celebrity and influencer styles, so I wanted to create something that could also help others with the same needs.
The name Goxip came naturally when we featured a lot of celebrity-led fashion and beauty trends around the world in our online content and that is what people kept coming back for apart from our powerful image and text search engine.
RiA: Who is your customer profile?
Juliette: Everyone that loves shopping – SHOPPING IS GOXIP!!!
We have a unique combination of features on our web and mobile app platform, ranging from image search, discovering fashion & beauty trends, one-stop shopping, all the way to also shout outs on latest shopping campaigns and promo news, so really anyone can benefit and find their favourite feature and keep coming back.
You will be surprised that actually quite a lot of men shop on Goxip.
RiA: Why did you choose Hong Kong to launch it?
Juliette: My co-founder and I are both based in Hong Kong and definitely HK has its own strong advantages, such as Goxip being able to penetrate the fashion-tech arena as one the very first players.
With the city itself having tax-free shopping, you have lots of customers with high spending power plus being tech-savvy to shop online. It is also nonetheless one of Asia’s top cities to spread the word out about our platform on a regional level.
With the strong and ever-growing gross revenue as well as our PR and marketing efforts, we have had the honour to to be awarded best startup and best innovation and strategy in several startup competitions like the RISE conference, Asia’s E-commerce Awards etc., which really proves that HK was the right place to launch with strong potential to carry over the momentum for regional expansion.
RiA: How is it going given the fact that HK consumers seems to be more into offline retail?
Juliette: I like the wording “seems to be” which is exactly true in HK. In fact, we realized a lot of shoppers would go to offline retail stores to feel and touch products then shop online via our platform as our partners such as NET-A-PORTER and Farfetch etc. may be offering lower prices and offering express shipping.
On the other hand, we do not see e-commerce completely affecting the offline retail by a lot and it is very interesting how both streams are growing very strong year by year together. There are also a lot of times that exclusive items may only be offered online or shoppable online hence we do not see a strong relationship of increasing offline retails sales leading e-commerce sales to decrease in HK.
RiA: What are your bestsellers?
Juliette: There are different bestsellers in different periods and so hard to decide on just a few, especially fashion and beauty trends can go viral all of a sudden.
It is quite a tie I would say in broader perspective, with leather handbags, sneakers, cosmetics etc. Alexander McQueen exaggerated sole sneakers have been a real hit though!
RiA: How has the platform changed in throughout the years?
Juliette: It has been constantly evolving. As a fashion-tech startup, not only we strive to provide the best customer and user experience on our platform, we rely on a lot of data to strategize our roadmap shape up the best functionalities to offer.
We actively listen to customer feedback and stay up-to-date with latest technology.
Today’s version of Goxip is probably the 100+ revised look & feel haha and we are so proud of it because it has all from the amazing feedback we have received and strategizing around such feedback. We stick with a very strong proposition so we can focus on growing and refining such functionalities to reach a better version every now and then.
RiA: Is the visual recognition function working?
Juliette: Yes, and it is also the most popular one. You can easily snap a photo of your friend’s dress or jacket or uploading an influencer’s outfit look and our image search results which uses innovative image recognition technology will accurately display results (from our 6 million+ product database) that are 100% matching the product or very similar styles – you can even change the result sorting by price to make sure you are always getting the best deal!
RiA: In the mobile-first world we live in, is it your competitive asset to be born as app first?
Juliette: Yes and especially because one of our main functionality is image search so it was very natural that a mobile app was necessary to provide the best user experience.
Also mobile app enabled us to explore more opportunities to provide more value to our users by offering shopping tips and news via push notifications and in-app highlights etc.
RiA: As we have seen you have a magazine section, how is content important to your interaction with your consumers?
Juliette: Our magazine content is very unique as we tag the product shopping links within the editorial content to be more easiest way the readers can shop instantly after reading about the new fashion brand collection launch and saving their time to Google and browsing and searching for another 15 minutes.
It is about convenience which customers value the most nowadays and we strive to provide the most seamless, easiest and smart way to shop online!
RiA: Are all visits converted into actual purchase or do you get a lot of visitors browsing for research only?
Juliette: I think all e-commerce sites hope that all visits convert into actual sales haha but not attainable just yet. However, our conversion has always been positive with our partners as a lot of our content is data-driven and we generate content based on the most popular brands and products to increase conversion which also proved to be effective along the way.
We also test & learn best strategies for launching new functions, writing new content in new areas, and taking risks to try new things, just like any strategic startup platform!
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RiA: Any expansion plans?
Juliette: Definitely! For Goxip, we are growing the team itself and also expanding our presence regionally. We have launched our tailored Thai site with localized content and also established a new local Thai offline in Bangkok last year to grow the SEA market and it is going very well as e-commerce is also very strong in such countries. We also have a new influencer platform rewardSnap that we are strategically launching in Asia market rapidly, with recruitment of fashion, beauty and lifestyle influencers around the whole Asia!