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How to buy without being ‘sold’

As times have changed, with greater digital media and online shopping now the norm, so too has the relationship between the salesperson and the shopper. Once upon a time, salespeople walked door to door, showing you how products worked and why they were worth your time.

Over time, visits from friendly neighbourhood salespeople were replaced with print advertorials and TV infomercials – the connection between salesperson and customer was gradually lost. Before long, the most common form of advertising was through the almighty Internet and its plethora of entertaining, helpful, dubious and downright despicable content. Star ratings and written reviews fall somewhere on that scale…

 

How can we trust others online?

It appears that salespeople are no longer needed; consumers are only too happy to scour the Internet for information on the products they are after, devouring reviews that are almost as likely to have been placed there by the business itself – 5 Stars YAY 😍 (or a competitor – 0 Stars GRR 🤬) as much as a real customer. In fact, it was estimated last year that Australians spent $900 million on ecommerce transactions based on fake reviews!

As consumers are taking it upon themselves to search out the answers they are after, the role of a salesperson is fast becoming about ‘closing the deal’ and getting paid in commissions.

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Changing preferences: every customer is different

It’s likely that whilst looking for big-ticket purchases in the past, you have experienced salespeople pushing you towards their current promotions, something they have in stock at present, or – of course – more expensive options. 

Did you feel that their advice was tailored to your exact requirements? Or was it more focused on pushing their own sales agenda? True salespeople (and they’re out there… not so rare as a unicorn, more like a dugong) never push; they listen, earn trust and advise. 

But if you’re done waiting to meet a friendly dugong down the local shops to help you choose your next E-Bike or Surfski, we’d like to put forward a suggestion of our own – chatting to a previous buyer who actually uses the same product you’re contemplating purchasing!

Someone who is literally incentivised to listen and share real, first-hand experiences with specific products. Nothing else.

 

Where LOOKB4 comes in

We’re all about trust in ecommerce. We’re building a community-driven shopping site that makes it as easy for you to book a free video call with a real current product user as it is to read the product description or hit ‘buy now’. With us, you can do all three.

But the important thing to note is that the current product user – or ‘Advocate’ – who advises you along the way doesn’t get any extra reward if you do hit the big buy button.

So why are they there? To meet people? They don’t even get to know your surname. Much less any of your contact info. We do reward them for taking the call with you and contributing to our community (e.g. by uploading product descriptions or their own product shots), but that’s about it. Their only interest is in giving you unbiased, unfiltered, honest experiences they have had when using the product you’re interested in. 

We’re aware that we can’t replace salespeople, and we’re not looking to do so. We love the professional salesperson experience. We just think that in this age of questionable online advice, another source of trustworthy product information needed unlocking – LOOKB4 is about to tap a wellspring of honest stories from well-intentioned people with no sales agenda all over the world. And you can ask them all your questions – free! 

 

Join us for the ride!

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Look out – LOOKB4 is launching soon!

LOOKB4 is changing the way people shop for bigger-ticket items, like Stand Up Paddle Boards, E-Bikes and Surfskis. And that’s just the beginning…

We love these products and the lifestyles they represent, we know there are a bunch of people globally who feel the same way, and we want to unlock their collective product experience as a new source of trusted information in online shopping.

The LOOKB4 mission: enabling peer-to-peer product reviews on demand

We’re making it easy for shoppers (or ‘Lookers’) eyeing exciting purchases to book free video calls with real owners (or ‘Advocates’) of specific products for honest chats about their experiences.

Advocates aren’t salespeople, just fellow shoppers who have offered to help others with big buying decisions. We like to say: “Don’t buy until you’ve heard from someone who isn’t selling.

We think LOOKB4 will help folks shop with greater confidence and make much happier purchases, especially when shopping online for higher-value products. 

Why do people want this?

If you’re going to spend hundreds if not thousands of dollars getting into a new sport for a healthier lifestyle, or a new mode of transport for a more sustainable commute, you probably want to be sure you’re buying the right product for you.

No one wants to regret a major purchase, and they only come along every so often…

When solving this problem, we figured there’s no better source of information than someone who has been using the exact product you’re looking at, and no medium more efficient or trustworthy than a quick 1:1 video call. 

What makes it efficient?

A 1:1 video call means you can have your specific questions answered quickly, without needing to trawl through hundreds of conflicting online reviews and long unboxing videos that may or may not contain the info you need.

Being an online platform, you can also access our service anywhere without needing to deal with inconvenient physical shops and fundamentally biased salespeople. If you decide to buy, you can also do that via LOOKB4!

What makes it trustworthy?

Advocates on LOOKB4 aren’t paid or rewarded in any way for ‘making a sale’ – they have no incentive to pressure or even nudge you in a particular direction. They are rewarded for taking calls and being generally awesome people, but you can trust that they are only sharing their honest experiences and opinions: the good, the bad and the ugly.

We also operate on a first name (only) basis and your contact information is never shared with an Advocate. Your privacy and security are paramount – after all, our whole mission is to increase your confidence when shopping for higher-value items!

Even from our first market research survey, it was clear that people wanted a new source of impartial product advice:

 

 

Join us as a Looker

We’re launching with over 100 product listings across several categories, so it’s worth having a browse and booking free Advocate calls for any products you may be interested in discussing further. 

If a specific product you’re after isn’t currently available, you can always submit a product request and receive a notification as soon as we have a few Advocates ready to talk about it with you. 

As we’re starting out, it may take time to be matched with an Advocate in any case, so please bear with us and keep us posted if you think something may have gone wrong. Being in the authenticity business, we’re eager to hear all your feedback on our service for better or worse. We’re continuously improving our own platform based on our community’s needs.

Join us as an Advocate

When browsing our initial categories and products, you might come across some that you already own. We would love for you to then register as an Advocate willing to take video calls with Lookers. 

You too can submit a product request, if you own something you believe could be popular among our Lookers. We will notify you once that listing becomes available and you can start to earn additional rewards for your helpful contributions to our platform and community.

You can of course be a Looker and an Advocate at the same time for different products! We’re simply building a shopping community where purchases are built on trusted conversations between real people.

Follow the journey

If you’re interested in LOOKB4 as a Looker, Advocate, retailer, or anything else, please keep in touch with us via social media and you can always drop us a line: letschat@lookb4.com 

We always look forward to answering any questions you may have and taking on any ideas for the future of LOOKB4.

Happy chatting!

Mandy

Head of Community @ LOOKB4