The New Shoppable Social Platform Breaking Boundaries In Tech
The New Shoppable Social Platform Breaking Boundaries In Tech

The New Shoppable Social Platform Breaking Boundaries In Tech

WeShop is the new platform revolutionising the way we shop. With hundreds of retailers in one place and recommendations from the people you follow – it also makes shoppers company shareholders and you grow your savings every time you shop, share and recommend. Here, co-founder Richard Griffiths explains how it works, what makes it different, and why WeShop has the potential to change the world of online shopping for good.

Created in partnership with WeShop

Tell Us About Where The Idea For WeShop Came From?

I’ve long been interested in the idea of community ownership – something that allows the consumer to benefit from the money they create for big business. Seeing the amount of money generated by big tech, and especially in online retail, only making the shareholders richer (as opposed to the customers who had built the business) was so frustrating. Facebook, for example, was built by its community and Amazon was built by its customers – but they’ve never had any ownership of those businesses. I thought, there’s got to be a way to square things up a little bit. We wanted to create a platform that went further in redistributing the wealth and putting the money back where it belonged – in the pockets of customers. We knew we needed something with mass reach that everyone could use…

What Is WeShop & Why Is It Different?

WeShop is a social commerce platform – a place for people to shop and enjoy the community, but crucially they also earn shares and grow their savings – without spending any extra money. It’s the holy grail of shoppable network apps – something social networking companies like Meta (specifically Instagram) and TikTok have been trying to engineer for years. What makes WeShop different is it was designed and built to be a pure e-commerce play from the beginning – bringing together a community in a social environment to post and share recommendations that are instantly shoppable. On WeShop, the moment you post a photo or video of something you recommend, users can then click through to the retailer’s website and purchase it. It’s that simple.

And Explain The WeShares Initiative?

If WeShop was just going to be a social e-commerce platform, it would have cost hundreds of millions of pounds to launch it into what was already quite a crowded market. That’s why we introduced the social ownership layer – or WeShares. It was always the plan to give most of the company away to the community. Rest assured – this isn’t a gimmick. Every time a user buys something, recommends something which someone then buys or invites someone to the platform they'll earn shares in WeShop – a real, tangible piece of the business will now be in their hands. This isn’t just a standard rewards scheme to keep you coming back to the site.

So How Does WeShop Make Money In The Meantime?

WeShop is essentially an aggregator and works on affiliate programmes. So, if you download the app, you’ll see we have partnerships with roughly 500 UK retailers. If you buy something from ASOS or NET-A-PORTER, for example, via a WeShop link, we earn a commission. This commission is then held within the business, before we distribute shares based on the fact you’ve bought something via WeShop – so everybody wins. This in turn makes the business very valuable – which will then be reflected in the share price, and therefore makes your shareholding more valuable. It really is a virtuous circle.

On WeShop, the moment you post a photo or video of something you recommend, users can then click through to the retailer’s website and purchase it. IT'S THAT SIMPLE.

Are You Saying It Turns Affiliate Marketing Into More Of A Two-Way Street?

Yes – normally, you might see an influencer share an affiliate link for a product via Instagram, TikTok or YouTube, and it’s clear that if you buy the product using that link, they’ll make a commission on the purchase. Essentially, that’s how WeShop operates – only we go a step further to ensure the value of that cash commission is redistributed via WeShares so everyone can enjoy the spoils. It empowers the audience in a completely new way.

Who Is WeShop For?

Our main audience is 18-34-year-olds but in reality, it’s accessible to anyone who shops. The retailers on the platform are relevant to people from all walks of life, whatever they’re interested in. From the young girl looking to find a new outfit for festival season to the parents-to-be who don’t know what crib to buy, WeShop is for everyone, and there’s no reason why my mother wouldn’t do her Boots shopping via WeShop. If she did, she’d also get something back in terms of ownership of the business. True, she might not engage as much in the community-based aspect of the platform – but that’s a very powerful tool seeing as WeShop works almost entirely on referrals. 

Break Down How The App Works – How Do You Get Started?

The ideal way to access the app is via a referral code from someone who is already using the app. So for anyone reading this, you can simply use @SheerLuxe.

After you’ve downloaded the app, you then set up a profile just like any other social media platform and tell the platform what kinds of things you’re interested in. From there, you can start building a community. People on the platform help each other and make suggestions and recommendations, so it’s really interactive and social. 

Alternatively, if you just want to start shopping straight away, simply go to the ‘Shopping’ tab to see all the retailers that are available and click through to your favourite sites to make a purchase. If you have an existing account with, say, ASOS, the experience will be completely seamless. Then, if you spend £100, you’ll get 20% back in WeShop shares – so £20-worth of shares. You’ll have done nothing differently other than shop via the WeShop platform but now, you own a bit of the business. If you then recommend that purchase to someone else and they buy it via WeShop, you’ll get a further 10% back in shares – so another £10-worth of WeShares. 

In summary: for every purchase you make, you'll earn 20% of the value of your purchase in WeShares. Plus, every time someone purchases your recommended products, you'll earn 10% of the value of those products in WeShares. Finally, when you introduce a new member to the platform, you'll also get 1% of the value the new member spends. It’s win-win-win.

Can You Tell Us How & When Users Can Cash In on The Value Of Those Shares?

You can cash in your shares 12 months after your purchase has been verified. Once the purchase has been verified, the shares will drop into your Dashboard, and they will become available to sell 12 months later. That then rolls forward – which is quite a normal system for listed company stock. 

Does WeShop Plan To List On A Major Stock Exchange?

That is the plan – probably in the fourth quarter of this year, or the first quarter of 2023. Right now, we’re looking at the London Stock Exchange or the NASDAQ in the US. If you want to, you’ll be able to sell your shares once we list – we also plan to provide a seamless link to a UK stockbroker that can help you set up a free stockbroking account. It’s another way to empower our community – we’re quite literally helping them to build a stock portfolio, which they can choose to trade or grow. Many people would like to get more involved in this world but don’t know how, so we want to make it as easy as possible. I know some young mums, for example, who plan to put all their WeShop shares into a Junior ISA for their children. Can you imagine if you spent £100 on Amazon 20 years ago and got 20%-worth of shares back, what they’d be worth now? 

Is It Correct That People Can't Trade Or Sell Their Shares Before The IPO?

For now, WeShop is listed on JP Jenkins – the UK’s oldest trading platform. And for the time being, everyone is locked in – so they can’t sell their shares, the founders included. It means we can focus on building the community and the company’s value for the first 12 months. But we’re cautiously optimistic that those shares will see an uplift in value once they make their way onto a major stock exchange. We won’t be looking to raise new money at the IPO either – we’ll simply be looking for a valuation based on the fundamentals within the business, and what the analysts think about our growth prospects. It means those shareholdings won’t be diluted either. We’ll also limit the number of shares that ever get admitted to the market – so people don’t need to be worried about being consistently diluted as time rolls on.

In Summary, What Would You Say WeShop’s Mission Is?

What we’ve essentially done is taken the best bits of  social commerce as we know it today and made it so that our customers share in the wealth we are creating as a business. A lot of people have lost faith in big tech, and we want to turn that relationship around. Everything WeShop does is about being honest and transparent with its community and encouraging people to come together to grow a business. Think about it – it could be the biggest AGM you’ve ever seen. 

Visit We.Shop and download the app on Google Play here or Apple Store here using @Sheerluxe as your referral code to start using the platform today.


Fashion. Beauty. Culture. Life. Home
Delivered to your inbox, daily