Introducing crowd-powered ecommerce

In a time of crowdsourcing and online communities, now’s the time for brands to let their advocates speak on their behalf. TokyWoky is helping businesses to realise this.

For many ecommerce brands, the thought of allowing their customers to speak freely to one another is enough to send them into panic mode. But, what if they thought of it as having a volunteer team of product experts on-hand to answer the questions of other customers? Sound more tempting?

Well, one business offering this is TokyWoky – the world’s first community chat solution. The innovative tool plugs into websites and creates a shared space for communication, where customers have a chance to not only support one another but to take part in the growth of the brand too.

TokyWoky now works with over seventy leading brands in ten different sectors across Europe and the United Sates, including world beauty leader – L’Oréal Paris. We spoke to founder and CEO, Quentin Lebeau, about how he gained the trust of multiple business leaders and about TokyWoky’s journey to global success.

Can you give us an elevator pitch for TokyWoky?

TokyWoky is a chat module that we put on ecommerce websites. It allows visitors to ask each other questions in real-time and advise each other directly.

What are the benefits of TokyWoky?

One, more questions can be answered because there will always be someone there to communicate with.

Two, by analysing what is being said, our clients receive information about what their customers like about their website and what they think could be improved, all in real-time and without using complicated analytic tools.

Three, our clients can spot the customers that spend hours a day answering the questions of others and so, are able to build a community of ambassadors from these people.

Would you ever advise your clients on how to manage their ambassadors?

We constantly remind our clients to build relationships with their ambassadors; they’re invaluable. At TokyWoky, we don’t offer financial rewards to these people because what defines an ambassador is the fact that they like the brand enough to not expect payment in exchange for helping. What we do use is social recognition. Ambassadors appreciate direct access to brands’ websites and interactions with brand teams to discuss improvements.

Do you work with smaller businesses as well? How do you sell TokyWoky to them?

We do have limitations regarding the size of the website that we’re working with. Usually the bigger the traffic of your website, the bigger the chance of getting your customers talking. But, we do work with smaller businesses. When selling our idea to them, I’m completely honest. They can’t expect to create a 10,000-ambassador community like we’re seeing with leading ecommerce websites in the US. I tell them, if they feel like they don’t know what their customers like/don’t like with their website, they want to know more about this and they want to identify their super-users, a very good step is creating a communicative space.

You now have a partnership with Microsoft, does having recognition from a big brand create interest elsewhere?

Partnerships, in general, are a great support. Microsoft have certainly helped with our credibility. Being a young company and telling brands to let their customers talk freely on their websites instils a sense of fear. So, having a respectable company like Microsoft, who believe in our concept, eliminates this feeling and proves that we’re a risk worth taking.

What’s next for TokyWoky?

We’re analysing all the questions and answers featured on our client’s websites and we’re noticing that a lot of them are recurring. So, what we’re starting to do with Microsoft is develop AI technology that can automatically identify a recurring question and answer it based on previously given answers. We’re also hoping to go beyond chat and see how brands can engage with their customers to prompt innovation and get them to create content.

What advice do you have for businesses that would like to create an online community?

Add a TokyWoky to your website or, at least allow your customers to talk to one another. This is the easiest way to spot the people who are talking a lot on your website and who will become your ambassadors. And, if you don’t have an ecommerce website, start analysing and paying close attention to your social platforms; start a conversation with frequent users and create a community.

If you’re a start-up hoping to transform your industry and reach success, check out more of our articles for insightful advice here.