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Slingshot launches online shopping service

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M-commerce start-up Slingshot has launched an online shopping platform allowing users to click or scan a product directly to their online retailer shopping basket from any marketing material.

Allowing brands to add the Slingshot icon or QR code to any online or offline marketing activity, the platform is able to send products directly to the baskets of major grocers Tesco, Sainsbury’s Waitrose and Ocado and has unveiled leading brands PepsiCo and Danone UK as customers.

Lucy Bellamy, Category Manager at Danone UK, explained that the platform was implemented in February this year and welcomed the deal.

She said: “Danone implemented Slingshot on its digital touch points to bring the shopper and the retailer closer together.

“In just one click, shoppers can add Danone products to their online shopping basket directly from our marketing activity.”

It has also been revealed that price comparison site mySupermarket.com has now signed up for the service and the site’s Project Manager Lior Gerson commented: “We are very excited to work with Slingshot to help promote savvy shopping through online branded content around the UK.”

A self-funded start up, Slingshot’s platform is also being trialled by brands including Kelloggs, John West and Innocent Drinks and Co-Founders Mitch Vidler and James King believe that the uniqueness of the offer is driving interest from such big names, particularly thanks to a social shopping element built into the service.

Vidler told Retail Gazette: “Slingshot is something that can take retailers and brands to where people are spending time and non-obtrusively allow them to shop their products.

“We are bringing retailers, consumers and brands together in a way that has never been seen before.

“Social is so important. Most brands that we work with are switching their efforts and spend into social in one form or another.

“If social is done properly it should cost a sizeable chunk of a marketing budget, far more than a brand site alone. What it does bring for this extra effort is increased engagement rates and more targeted messaging, with people who actually care about your brand.

“For example through Slingshot, conversion rates for products being added to baskets from social platforms are triple that of brand websites. Consumer behaviour is changing - brands and retailers need to evolve to keep up.”

Users have no need to sign up for the service though can access it with a single click before deciding which of their online baskets they wish to send their items to, offering a flexibility which the company hopes will entice new customers.

During its initial stages of development, Slingshot ‘slung’ over 10,000 items to consumers’ shopping baskets and, when asked what advice he would give to entrepreneurs looking to start an e-commerce business, Vidler said: “Do it.

“However, don’t start a business if your sole objective is to make money. Tech start-ups are nothing like “The Social Network”, they’re far more like “Withnail and I”.

“At the beginning it’s a lot of work for very little monetary reward, you need something more to motivate you than money. Don’t listen to people who tell you it’s the wrong time to start a business, you will get an amazing sense of achievement, make new friends you will keep for the rest of your life.

“And remember, it’s new businesses that create economic growth and make jobs.”

Published on Friday 14 September by Editorial Assistant

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