Last Friday I made an introduction to Mallzee’s social shopping concept in Girl with a Banjo. Today I am honoured to share with you the interview that Mallzee’s CEO & Founder Cally Russell agreed to give Girl with a Banjo last week.
Girl with a Banjo: Considering the fact that Mallzee is going to be at the same time a place to socialize and a shop itself, how will you measure the platform results, in terms of community size or sales volume?
Cally Russell: As a business we have to measure ourselves on sales volume, if we didn’t then sadly we wouldn’t be able to last too long in the market place. But, as a team and considering our passion we’ll also be measuring ourselves on how our users feel about the site, how they interact and most importantly how many of their friends they tell. We’re focused on making Mallzee the number one place you shop online and to do that we need to make something that people are really keen to tell their friends about.
Girl with a Banjo: Are you planning on designing your own Fashion line as Asos or Zalando did? If so, when?
Cally Russell: Wow, that sounds pretty cool. Sadly I think my designs would be pretty rubbish but I’m sure a couple of the girls in the team would love to do that. I think this is something that we might look at doing with young designers in the future but we’ll really need to grow a large user base before then. And obviously we wouldn’t want to take sales away from the great companies we have signed up.
Girl with a Banjo: Having a strong background in PR myself, I am very interested in getting to know more about what Mallzee will do in order to promote the platform. Could you give me a sneak peek? Are you planning on working with bloggers?
Cally Russell: Well my back ground is also in PR so I know the power that the blogger community has, they’re also great people to work with so we’ll definitely do something with them. We hope that they love Mallzee enough that they’ll be keen to use it and help us spread the word. We’re obviously going to be doing some offline stuff and have a kickass social media team promoting the site. We’ve also got a little secret weapon which will be announced in the New Year that’ll get lot’s of people excited.
Girl with a Banjo: Mallzee’s concept would completely fit with other industries besides Fashion. Are you planning on adding different products to Mallzee’s catalogue in the medium term (like Design, for instance)?
Cally Russell: It’s something that we’ll look at. We’ve got a great network in other industries and the connections to add other areas to the site but we don’t want to dilute our message. Maybe we’ll just launch other sites in the future…..
Girl with a Banjo: What about New Designers who haven’t found a retailer yet? Will Mallzee have a space for them too?
Cally Russell: We would love to work with these guys to help build their brands. It would be amazing to help launch a superstar. We’ve already identified a few guys in the UK that we’re speaking to but this isn’t likely to happen till the middle of next year once we’ve build more of a userbase.
Girl with a Banjo: Is Mallzee going to be translated into other languages? If not right now, are you planning on expanding Mallzee to non English-speaking countries any time?
Cally Russell: It will be yeah. We’re already seeing great interest in the site from around the world so I think it would be remiss to not translate the platform. But until then people will just have to use our English version.
Girl with a Banjo: Who would you define as your competitors? What will Mallzee’s market position be compared to its competitors’?
Cally Russell: There’s a few guys doing really cool things in the space. We like to focus on our own offering though and not really talk about our competitors. Online retail is a huge market and people will like different things. We think our ability to find cool products from your favourite stores, let you talk to your friends and earn Mallzee dollars as you shop will mean lot’s of people will want to shop with us no matter the competition. With such a huge market it’s also likely it’ll be a winner takes all situation.
I would like to personally thank Cally Russell for answering to all my questions and about this interesting project. Special thanks to Mhairi Finlayson (Mallzee’s Blogger Engagement and Marketing) too for helping me all the way.