Online & Digital

World’s first community-owned e-commerce platform launches

The UK tech firm has pledged to give away shares in the company every time a customer purchases goods through any of the retailers on its platform

WeShop, a new service that claims to be the world’s first community-owned e-commerce platform, has launched as the “first shoppable social network” that allows customers to purchase everyday items whilst owning a stake in the platform.

The UK tech firm has pledged to give away shares in the company every time a customer purchases goods through any of the retailers on its platform.

Retailers and brands currently available on the platform include Asos, Net-A-Porter, Etsy, The Body Shop, Holland and Barrett, B&Q, Made.com, PC World, Carphone Warehouse, Nike and New Balance 

WeShop said its “disruptive” business model will aim to “share the wealth built up in the company with the shoppers who have created it with their very own everyday purchases”.

It has pledged to hand over 90% of the company to its users, and initially, for every purchase, 20% of the price is given back to customers in shares in WeShop. 

WeShop chairman, Richard Griffiths, said: “The way we shop has changed dramatically in the last ten years thanks to rapid advances in technology. While we’ve seen the dramatic growth of online shopping platforms – and their profits – none of them are designed to benefit the people who keep them going, the shoppers. 

“That’s why WeShop was born, building a totally shoppable social network that is owned by the community. And to show we are serious, we’re giving away 90% of WeShop to the people who use it. We think that the potential of WeShop is gigantic and will have a massive impact on the world of ecommerce and online retail.” 

He added: “Imagine if Amazon had done this when they started, the wealth created by Amazon would have been shared amongst the people who made it successful, its users. Indeed, the world might look very different now, and that’s what we’re trying to achieve, a better, fairer and more democratised shopping experience for everyone.”

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