Hoping to transform the world of online shopping a Billingshurst businessman is appealing for small Horsham district firms’ help in piloting his service for free.
Andy Soloman, chief executive officer of Yomdel, expects his company to transform the online shopping environment, as a real-time live chat support facility on websites that helps people through their shopping by answering questions - acting as virtual shop assistants.
They are looking for small retail websites in the area, that have site traffic of between five and 50,000 unique visitors a month, and sell relatively high value orders, to pilot Yomdel free of charge.
“Yomdel is set to transform the shopping environment. It’s where there will be real people standing by to help visitors, and get them through their shopping,” Mr Soloman said.
“We want to level the playing field for the small businesses.
“We want the small businesses to be able to market themselves as effectively as their big-boy competitors.”
While they are primarily looking at retail, he thought that their solution would also be ideal for estate agents, where leads are vitally important, and called it the bridge between the digital experience and the human touch.
Human operators, with expert knowledge of each business, would be on call around the clock.
He pointed at new research that suggests people are moving away from email towards text-based communication, and feels they can ride on the back of that trend.
“First growth, then we aim to be a multimillion pound business, not just in the UK but globally as well,” he added.
“There’s no doubt at all. It will work. It’s an unmet need.”
The venture is backed by significant investment, with well-known local business figure Tim Breden, of Kate’s Cakes, acting as Yomdel’s commercial director.
Mr Soloman worked for Reuters for a decade, and was stationed in the Pakistani city of Karachi during the 9/11 attacks, after working as a foreign correspondent in Vietnam and Singapore.
He broke the story of the Taliban’s surrender a day early, and interviewed now Afghan president Hamid Karzai, when he was in Pakistan, surrounded by US special forces.
He, his wife, and two children, have lived in Billingshurst for the past seven years.
He added: “The aim is to make Yomdel a mark of value and a mark of quality that people can trust.”
To register an interest email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Andy on 07928 542917.