NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- Livestreaming e-commerce is the new hot trend that is changing the way retailers sell now and it's leading to profitability for some business owners who had been struggling to survive.
"They can sort of take consumers inside their brand," said NTWRK president Moksha Fitzgibbons on the WCBS Small Business Spotlight, sponsored by BNB Bank.
He told Joe Connolly and Neil A. Carousso that his video app became a marketplace for retailers small and large to become what "Shark Tank" investor and FUBU founder Daymond John called a virtual "events space" on WCBS 880.
"NTWRK became, really emerged, as that place that consumers can go every day to be entertained, to be educated and get access to that highly desired product," Fitzgibbons said.
The startup doubled its sales from March to April and he expects growth of 600-700 percent year-over-year after seeing the value of connecting brands with willing buyers that purchase products on the NTWRK app as they watch and interact with owners and influencers live.
NTWRK was founded in 2018. Fitzgibbons joined the company in October 2019 after a couple stints at Complex Networks where he served as chief revenue officer before moving to Valence Media as CRO where he played an integral role in the merger of Media Rights Capital, Dick Clark Productions, The Hollywood Reporter and Billboard.
"Millennials have the most wealth of any generation before them, they aren't embracing more expensive responsibilities like home ownership and things of that nature, so they're spending on consumer products, and we're connecting with them in a medium that's endemic to them," said Fitzgibbons.
It's not only a pandemic pivot, but also a way to grow a retail business – an industry that’s been battered by the growing convenience of e-commerce, the health crisis and recession.
Fitzgibbons, who will lend his expertise to business owners of various industries on the WCBS BNB Bank Virtual Business Breakfast on Thursday, October 15, told Connolly and Carousso about how one Manhattan designer, Jeff Staple, has benefited from using NTWRK the past six months.
"What we offer him is an opportunity for him to reach a massive audience outside of New York City, which is his core, and introduce the brand to new consumers and ultimately drive new revenues for him," he said.
This speaks to customer behavior over the past decade that's been accelerated by the coronavirus pandemic and its related retail shutdowns. Fitzgibbons told WCBS 880 he saw engagement with younger customers, who are willing to spend, increase since March. He believes that could be credited to how customers have been trained subconsciously to buy necessities on e-commerce websites like Amazon for convenience rather than go to the store.
"The same will be true with NTWRK, although, we will be curated and have a point of view and sort of be that Barneys/Dover Street-type of experience for this demographic," he said.
Business owners are encouraged to make their own video content out of their home or store, but NTWRK also offers a video production team and a studio where they collaborate with social media influencers and celebrities to endorse products on a livestream that is watched by prospective customers whom the video app service finds for the retailer.