Around the world, people hawk their wares in colorful, noisy marketplaces and bazaars. But given how the internet is revolutionizing retail, the team behind Pokemall wondered: What if we could enable the value of e-commerce to unlock the potential of merchants in all sizes across fast-growing regions?
As soon as users register with the Pokemall mobile app, they get their own shop that they can use to buy and sell things. Sellers can display their wares in seconds, simply by snapping a photo of their product and sharing it with followers on the platform. Shoppers, in turn, can follow their favorite shops and browse through products in an Instagram-like feed.
But it’s the app’s chat feature that really brings the experience to life. “We have a very high focus on chats, since we see it as a core feature of the app,” said principal mobile engineer Samuel Wejéus. “That is how we drive users to make their purchases, more or less. It should be easy for them to talk to the buyer or seller and reach an agreement.”
The app targets mainly Asian markets, where mobile-first technologies are fast-growing. The team of four, which includes two ex-Googlers Anders Eriksson and Joseph Alsberg as well as Fredrik Stockman, is split between Stockholm and Seoul.
“We decided to use Sinch since it seemed to be so easy and free to start up with; it was very important that we could try it out,” said Samuel. “There were some good tutorials, which helped us get up to speed really quickly.”
The Pokemall team began integrating Sinch from the beginning because the in-app messaging feature is so central to the app. “It’s fast and fun. I had a blast working with it and implementing it,” added Samuel.
While the team had a few issues with push notifications synchronization between Sinch and the Android systems, they resolved them fairly quickly without support from the Sinch team.
Pokemall is currently in a closed beta phase and are working on the last details before they launch together with our beta testers. After launch they plan to focus on learning more about how buyers and sellers and how they want to use Pokemall by working in iterations with the goal of reaching the ultimate mobile-first buying experience.
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