Create Online stores by sharing product photos on WhatsApp

Project Chiringo!

Project page⚙️ Building in public👷🚧 Happy to have you here! 🙌

The concept💡

Creating an online store sucks! 🤢🤮Wouldn't it be cool to do it by just sending photos of your products on WhatsApp? 😉That is precisely what I am going to build! 🛠

The prototype 🛠

After some design + coding, I got something usable! ⚙️🔧It works like a charm!🤘Do you have WhatsApp? Then you can try it live! 🎮

First users! 🤳

Ok, seeing the concept work for the first time was exciting...But "exciting" won't put food on the table! 🤔Time to get people to try... And to pay for it! 💳

Wait... Who are my customers? 🤔

On one hand, I see Aha! moments in users' faces...On the other hand, they seem a bit lost on what to do with the catalog once ready... Link bio? A WhatsApp Business Catalog? Forward them? Promote them?Wait... It might be good to re-think who the customers are! :)

We need a dashboard!🎮

I'm excited about the last turn of the project...No code users, e-commerce, and web developers make much more sense as customers than business owners themselves!But they need a way to sign-up for the service and manage their customers' stores! :)

Why donation?🎮

I'm excited about the last turn of the project...No code users, e-commerce, and web developers make much more sense as customers than business owners themselves!But they need a way to sign-up for the service and manage their customers' stores! :)

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The concept💡

So... What is Chiringo?Chiringo will be a tool that turns any photo you send into a buyable product you can post anywhere you want! 🤳>👕>📦>💵In other words: it'll turn selling online into something trivial for everyone!The word comes from Spanish: montar tu Chiringo is slang to informally say you are getting in business!

Why? Where does the idea come from?

I have many friends who sell products over social apps, which is still a pretty primitive process still today... 😔It is curious how the Internet has turned lots of things into easy and immediate, but to get going in (e)commerce keeps being a big deal... 🥵️Easy. Immediate. That's how things should be, commerce too!Yeah, I've seen marketing from Wix, Shopify, and so on... Bullshit! 💩 If it is that straightforward, why do all those platforms have a community of expensive experts around them? 🤔This is not the first time I have tried to build this concept: ShopWindow was the first try... But it ended up being a simplified version of Shopify with nice social media integrations... Boring! 😒However, I learned to what extent things can be automated and abstracted for the business owner: payments, hosting, and procedures like domain name registration... 🤓And something kept coming to my head: how eeeeveryone is on social media... My mom is an 80-year-old allergic to technology 👵, and she sends me photos and panda bear emojis 🐼 on WhatsApp...Additionally, social profiles are slowly replacing the typical Internet frontpages... Things like LinkTree prove something simpler perfectly does the job!Wouldn't it be cool if people could create their stores/catalogs by just sending photos through WhatsApp?💡This concept☝️is precisely what I would like to explore!

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The prototype 🛠

So... It works!!! 😍An image is worth a thousand words... So a video must be like... Well, you can do the math if you feel like it...🤣Check it in action below 👇

The first test was an exciting moment!!!

I tested the parts separately, but not the whole thing end-to-end yet! The moment of the truth! 🤞I sought the contact of the WhatsApp number... Took a silly photo... Set a 3-4 word caption... Send it... Waited for 2-3 seconds (which felt infinite 😁)... And got a link back, as expected!!! 🤘Opened the editor by tapping the link, and everything looked good!I just set the price and shared the link with myself to complete a test purchase... Damnnnnn! All worked as expected!!! 🤩Total time of product creation: around 10 seconds... I guess it would take someone unfamiliar with the process around 30 seconds!!! 😲In other words, this gives billions of people the capability of commerce online! 🤯

Can I try live?

Yes, you can!No need to install anything or to create an account...Chiringo is just a WhatsApp contact... If you have WhatsApp installed, you are good to go!

Steps to test, in a nutshell:

  1. Send a photo of an object with a caption to get back a product editor

  2. Set the price, and you are all set! Touch the share icon in green to post the product anywhere!

  3. (Optional) Decorate the product if you want!

  4. Payouts are sent to the seller's bank account (just like Amazon does)

  5. Sales notifications are sent to the seller's email

Test it live here 👉

This literally enables anyone able to send a photo over WhatsApp to sell anything online! 🤩

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First users! 🤳

So... It works, cool! But cool, won't put food on the table! Unless this generates money, this ain't nothing but a hobby! 💵If I learned anything from past adventures, it is that you get your first customers talking with people directly...So, who do I think my customers are? 🤔Intuitively, I think of small business owners to start: I assume they want to sell online; they are on WhatsApp the whole f*cking day, so they should be happy with this... Right?

Figuring out how to spark prospects' interest 🤔

Coming up with the right first demo was mentally challenging... 🤯I needed to forget all I knew about the project, the industry, the technology... And think about what would catch any business owner's interest enough to take out their credit card and subscribe! 💳It has to be something catchy, quick, and exciting! 🎩🪄🐇I decided to double down on what excited me when I first tested the prototype: posting products to sell online as easy as posting a selfie! 🤳>👕>📦But let them do it themselves instead so that they can feel the magic! 😉

Nice business... Are you ALREADY selling on WhatsApp? 😁

This☝️headline is more or less what I use to jump into the "moment of truth"...Of course, I first listen to people about their business, how familiar they are with selling online, how tech-savvy they are... In short: I gauge people's interest and adjust the speech to their particular knowledge/situation... 👀👂

The Numbers

  • x12 People asked

  • x10 Accounts created (click below👇to see some of them live)

  • x3 Paying customers

  • x5 Users reaching out to ask questions during the subsequent days

  • x3 Products purchased to one of the customers!!!

Some of the first customers stores

Insights 🤓

  • I see a WOW factor in people's faces I never saw before. It feels fun to them to use the tool. A game ingredient is always good! 🤩

  • It blows users' minds when I tell them their product just got available for purchase worldwide! 😲

  • After some days, I checked the catalogs, and I saw how people were adding products by themselves!!! I felt sooooo pumped!!!🤘

  • The AI-generated descriptions look good to everyone, and the only question I got about them was: I can edit it later should I want to, right? 🤖

  • I got questions on the WhatsApp number I shared with them for customer support. The questions they ask indicate to me some level of intention in using the tool to get to make actual sales! 🤓

  • Some good feedback about the current version, including missing features that make sense and, more importantly, are not about modifying the core concept of the service, just interesting additions to it! 🛠

Let's see how things evolve from here, and meanwhile, I'll start addressing some of the feedback, which requires more design/marketing than technical work...

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Wait! Who are the customers? 🤔

Customers create their catalogs, they get sales and money flow to their bank accounts, so the tool works 🤘

But some of the users seem to be a bit confused as to what to do with the links to the products and the catalogs... 🤷

The key seems to be age: it feels that people < 35 years old connect the dots more easily and feel more confident using it. More than being technically savvy, it is about them being used to share and to play with the whole social app game 🤳

So, when it comes to the usual customers, it seems easier to tackle the initial push to get customers with younger people and non-classical businesses. People who know what the link-bio is are used to sharing stuff daily and still don't have or cannot afford an online store.

Additionally, even with this ☝️ narrowed-down target audience, it would be in order to create some materials to help them get started and provide some suggestions of things I've seen working well.

At the same time, while helping them to get started, I realized Chiringo is a textbook example of a nocode tool 🕹 I will keep creating accounts acting as a web developer and exploring if Chiringo needs something else to be considered a fully-fledged no-code tool. I'm excited to explore this ☝️ possibility!

I checked with some creators of nocode tools for which Chiringo would be a great complement, and the feedback has been really positive. I will probably test some integrations, showcase them to their communities, and see what reactions I get! 👀

Last but not least, I think it is time to finally create the social profiles, given the target audience is pretty active on those channels! 🔊

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Salvo en excepciones, los dueños de negocios no crean sus tiendas y sitios webContratan a otra gente que crea sus tiendas y sitios webCreo que Chiringo! es una herramienta para esa otra gente!Pero necesitan una manera de contratar la herramienta y utilizarla!Yo actuaré como beta tester: la intención es que sea ridículamente fácil poner las tiendas en marcha y yo soy un desarrollador!

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