We saw how quickly brick and mortar businesses had to switch to online retail during China's lockdown and realized we should help our friends and communities prepare for the inevitable. We've all been entrepreneurs and owned local businesses for years so this is a cause that's close to our hearts and something we believe is valuable to local merchants all over the world.

  • Consumers are searching on their phones for the products they want to buy, but local retailers aren’t appearing in those searches
  • Many businesses still don't have a website or their website is not mobile optimized and they are losing business as a result.

What it does

We empower merchants with an interactive, social marketplace that is fun and easy. It unlocks the potential that was previously confined to their physical space and opens their storefront to a broader and more global community (step 2).

  • integrated chat and payment functionality
  • ability to upload videos and pictures and tag products directly, eliminating need for website and also social media page
  • enable delivery options such as “click and pick up” and "90 minute local delivery"
  • live video shop button where customers can video in and the sales clerk helps them find what they are looking for leading to a much more personalized and interactive experience. Customer can check out immediately and get their product without having to go into the physical store.
  • access to our shipping options which makes it cheaper for them to sell beyond their community as well.

How we built it

We talked to businesses of all kinds to figure out what they need and how we can make their life easier. We've been working on this and revamping it for a few months with our test group and took many lessons from China e-commerce but tailored it to a global audience.

Challenges we ran into

Before COVID-19, businesses would tell us they were too busy and didn't want yet another "thing to do". However, once everything started locking down, we started getting emails from many of the people we'd talked to previously asking if they could join the platform because they realized it takes 3-5 apps to do what we put into Bricky. Our challenge right now is we need build faster so we can help all of these businesses sooner.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

We've been able to help our beta businesses transition to online really effectively and stay afloat these last few months. These merchants gave us great feedback and helped us build a product many people want and that's something we're really grateful for.

What we learned

Make it as simple as possible to the user and you'll do alright.

What's next for Bricky - Mobile Marketplace for Brick & Mortar Merchants

We believe the future is not just about online or offline but about maintaining an offline presence and still being able to sell online…locally and globally. We'd like to make our scale our product globally and help as many businesses as we can.

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