SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dote, the fast-growing social shopping app for Gen Z, is excited to announce the launch of Shopping Party. Shopping Party offers consumers a live interactive video shopping experience from their mobile phone - like Twitch for shopping. Dote has raised $23 million in total funding, having just completed their Series B led by Goodwater Capital. Lightspeed Venture Partners and Harrison Metal also participated.
Today kicks off a two-week Dote shopping extravaganza in which at least two Shopping Parties will occur every hour from 6 a.m. PST to 10 p.m. PST, totaling more than 400 parties. Shopping Parties will be exclusively hosted on the Dote platform by Dote Creators, which encompass a group of 450 social influencers, including Kalani Hiliker (5 million followers), Nia Sioux (5 million followers) and Ellie Thumann (1.5 million subscribers).
“Being able to be in conversation with my fans in real time while shopping on Dote is an amazing opportunity,” said YouTuber Ellie Thumann. “Not only is it going to be super fun, but it will help me build even stronger relationships with my community by being able to offer up an entirely fresh type of content.”
Shopping Party was built in response to Dote’s digitally native audience looking to recreate the real world experience of a trip to the mall with friends, yet reimagined for today’s mobile environment. Shopping Party is the first interactive live shopping experience for Gen Z. The closest experience is Twitch - the uber popular platform for watching and streaming video games boasting over 2 million unique streamers every month.
This simple, easy to use feature allows Dote Creators to livestream with their fans engaging with them in a new way that gives both an inside look into what inspires today’s fashion trendsetters, and allows them to be part of the style creation process. For brands, it’s an opportunity to partner with leading social influencers to reach consumers through engaging content and the ultimate shopping experience.
“Dote has built a brand and technology platform that changes the way future generations will shop,” said Eric Kim, co-founder and Managing Partner of Goodwater Capital. “Their customer-centric shopping platform uniquely blends innovative technologies such as live-streaming with relevant and fun social features, setting the standard for how all major brands and retailers will connect with Gen Z. We’re thrilled to partner with them to accelerate this transformation.”
“When we stopped going to malls with our friends and started shopping online, the experience became one skewed toward convenience and assortment. Along the way, we lost the social experience that shopping can be, which so many people have enjoyed throughout the history of commerce,” said Dote Founder and CEO Lauren Farleigh. “With Shopping Party, we've created a first-of-its-kind, immersive shopping experience that provides all the benefits of e-commerce, but in an engaging way you can enjoy with friends.”
A typical Shopping Party session will last about 15 minutes and creators have the option to leverage all of Dote’s current in-app offerings during a Shopping Party, including Giveaways, Shoppable Looks, and Polls.
The product was built with cutting-edge technology - leveraging Apple’s Replaykit2 - and is a big step forward from a one-way communication channel, like posting a photo. Shopping Party is the first-of-its kind live social and interactive shopping experience authentically connecting Gen Z to their favorite social stars and brands.
While shopping party hosts can shop from all 150 brands on the Dote platform during parties, retailers such as Urban Outfitters, Honeybum, Princess Polly and Dolls Kill were selected for the pilot “Sponsored Party” program, where they will be partnering with creators who will throw parties interacting exclusively with their brand’s products. For retailers, Shopping Party gives them a new audience who might not have considered their brand had they not seen their favorite creator shop it. It also allows product feedback to come to life - a video and voiceover of what consumers can currently only express through written words in a product review section.
Dote is a social app where you can connect, get inspired by and shop more than 150 of your favorite brands with 450 of today’s biggest social stars. Through a seamless shopping experience, giveaways, shoppable social posts and more, the company is building the ultimate shopping experience for Gen Z. Dote was founded in 2014 by CEO Lauren Farleigh and is headquartered in San Francisco. For more information, go to doteshopping.com or follow us at @doteshopping on Instagram and Twitter.