Founded: May 2011
Shopcaster is North America’s largest platform connecting real world independent retailers with online shoppers. Consumers love Shopcaster because for the first time they are able to shop tens of thousands of products from hundreds of independent local retailers online. Retailers love Shopcaster for the free e-commerce store, the simple mobile app and the integrated 1 click logistics system. With operations in Toronto, Vancouver, and New York, Shopcaster is poised to revolutionize local commerce.
Q&A with Judy Sims, Co-Founder & CEO
Where did the inspiration for your company come from and how did you get started?
The inspiration for Shopcaster came from countless conversations with local retailers. They told us that they knew they needed a stronger web presence and to figure out a way to engage customers through social media. But most of them didn’t have the time, or even know where to start. We knew that if we could solve that problem, we’d have something valuable.
How is your company now different than your founding vision and what led to the change?
Shopcaster started as a way for retailers to display their products online quickly, easily and beautifully. But over time, we learned that our retailers also wanted to do e-commerce. They had yet to make the leap because the whole process of starting an online store seemed daunting. We decided to make e-commerce super easy for them and created an e-commerce system that they can run out of the palm of their hand.
What is the most important advice you’d give a first time entrepreneur?
Never stop talking to your customers, even when you think you know everything there is to know about them. Discover their biggest challenges and problems, and be the company that solves them.
Why/how did you become an entrepreneur?
After 13 years as a marketer/product development executive in the corporate world, I began to crave a true entrepreneurial experience, without the safety net (and red tape) of a large company. After one false start at another start-up, I found my Shopcaster co-founders and haven’t looked back.
“Do the one thing you think you cannot do. Fail at it. Try again. Do better the second time. The only people who never tumble are those who never mount the high wire. This is your moment. Own it.” – Oprah Winfrey
Favourite coffee shop in King West?
La Merceria at King & Portland. They’re also a Shopcaster client, check 'em out https://shopcaster.com/lamerceria