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Locally developed app SellSwipe going strong

Gone are the days of stressful shopping in Baton Rouge. David Facey is the CEO of SellSwipe, a new, locally owned social marketplace app that improves the interactions between local retailers and their customers. Available on the App Store, SellSwipe combines a social network with an online marketplace.

“Because many locally owned retailers don’t have websites or ecommerce capabilities, they don’t show up in search results on major search engines,” Facey said. “What makes shopping so great is the experience and the social side of it, so we want to bring the social back into shopping.”

With SellSwipe, users are able to find and sell items, as well as follow friends and family to keep up with the deals they are discovering within a 30-mile radius.

What kinds of retailers are featured on SellSwipe? Facey points out locality is most important.

“We know that consumers are looking for brands that are authentic, that provide value and are unique with quality items … we look for merchants that champion these ideas.”

At this point, they will consider the most searched for items. Clothing and apparel are searched for most, and then furniture and sporting goods, followed by health and beauty and novelty products.

SellSwipe’s inception came unexpectedly after a date gone wrong, Facey admited.

“The real story…” he smiles, “I was working in New York and I had a date that night and I wanted to buy her flowers. So, I went on my phone and searched for the nearest flower shop, and it said the nearest one was ten blocks away and closed in ten minutes. Mind you, I’m in New York—everything should be within a city block, right? In theory.” The nearest flower shop was actually downstairs, a few feet away from Facey, but it hadn’t shown up on his online search. “During the date, I was completely zoned out because of that weird experience. I couldn’t shake it—why hadn’t that shop shown up online?”

SellSwipe was created to fill this huge gap in the market. After some research on Google in 2015, Facey found that only 37% of online businesses have claimed an online listing, and of that percentage, only 60% of that information is correct. So, out of every 100 local businesses, only 22 of them have accurate information that consumers need. Another statistic says that 80% of small business owners say mobile marketing is the most important channel, but out of that, only 20% claim that they make use of it.

“We learned that the areas that these businesses struggled in were discovery, content creation, re-engagement and data analytics. Most businesses aren’t capturing data analytics, and even if they are, they don’t have the skillsets necessary to transform data into actual insights. We wanted to build a platform that solved these issues,” Facey said.

“So, going back to the story—the date didn’t go too well because of how distracted I was. The next day, I was swiping through Tinder and thinking how cool it would be if these were items. Combine Tinder and the roses—there’s SellSwipe.”

Facey credits businesswoman Loida Lewis, whom he met at a New York fundraising event, with his success.

“Once she got in my ear, I realized that I would rather be an owner than an employee. I talk to her often. If it wasn’t for her waking me up that day, I wouldn’t even have had those receptors to notice the imbalance in the market when I was searching for those flowers.”

You can download SellSwipe on the App Store and read more about it at sellswipe.com.

Photo by Sean Gasser

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