A new startup is partnering with several brands to bring shopping sales associates right to customers' screens.
Getbee, founded by CEO Thea Myhrvold, is a shopping solution that brings a human sales associate right to the shopper's computer or mobile device.
The platform currently provides virtual appointments, live video consultations, assisted shopping, payments, and more to customers of brands like Dolce & Gabanna, Lancôme, and Dermalogica.
Myhrvold, who is from Dubai, told ZDNet that she is a serial entrepreneur who spent years developing apps before creating Getbee. She said interest in the platform exploded due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced millions to stay home and led to a tidal wave of online shopping.
"It's been very interesting to see how people use our software in many different ways across the world to connect to their customers. We are a B2B software, meaning we sell to brands or to businesses. So we are very similar to Shopify in the sense that they help the stores get online. So we help brands get online, but as a customer experience, you don't feel or see Getbee, you actually feel and see the brand," she explained.
"So as an end user, you can click, call, and actually speak to an advisor, or an expert, or an associate at a store or brand. The whole interaction is facilitated and empowered by our software... What's interesting is in the video call, it's branded. So instead of the Zoom or Teams logo, you see the logo of the brand."
The company raised $1.8 million in first round, pre-series A funding in October. The funding round featured a mix of technology investors including Altitude Capital, B & Y Venture Partners, and +VC.
The tool also allows customer associates to create carts for customers in real-time and help customers through payment options. Myhrvold noted that about 20% of all retail today is through e-commerce, meaning there is a major market to be tapped as more people focus solely on shopping online.
The segments they have seen the most interest in are luxury brands alongside companies in the beauty and cosmetics space.
Kristof Lukovich, head of digital and beauty at Chalhoub Group, said the company is constantly interested in finding innovative ways to delight their customers.
"This means testing new channels and finding the right partners in this important mission. It is all about the customer experience. It is a very exciting time to be in retail, and work on hybrid and omni-channel projects together with our luxury brands," Lukovich said of Getbee.
Many skincare companies want to pair customers with skin care specialists to talk through different skin needs or questions.
Experts can provide information on routines, how to use them, how to combine different creams or serums. Wellness companies and organizations in the nutrition space are also using the platform.
"We're very proud to be part of a change in helping these brands and businesses offer meaningful and flexible ways to work while also connecting them with their customers in a seamless and simple and accessible way," Myhrvold said.