June 23, 2021 3:17 

Siimon Reynolds, director of Accelerator which has since rebranded as DPR&Co, has joined e-commerce start-up BuyersCircle as chairman. 

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The announcement: 

Australian start-up BuyersCircle has appointed renowned Australian advertising entrepreneur Siimon Reynolds as its Chairman as it continues on its rapid growth, seeking to duplicate the success of the Chinese social e-commerce phenomenon Pinduoduo. 

The BuyersCircle platform allows small and micro businesses, home entrepreneurs and social media influencers to market and sell products and services through social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp, using ‘likes’ and ‘shares’ as a form of word-of-mouth advertising. 

BuyersCircle was established by former Alibaba executives Jackey Xu and Justin King. The platform brings together sellers (e-Tailers), suppliers and consumers. An e-Tailer is anyone who wants to sell products on social media platforms. A supplier is a business that has products to sell on the BuyersCircle platform and provides products to end customers through e-Tailers. 

BuyersCircle has already tapped into the Australian Chinese community’s love for social e-commerce via the popular WeChat platform, and has generated over AUD133 million in gross merchandise value in less than 12 months. Buyers Circle already boasts 14,000-plus e-Tailers and 650,000-plus users. 

Mr Reynolds said he was attracted to BuyersCircle because of the success of Pinduoduo in China. 

“The idea makes a lot of sense to me in a viral, digital, social world,” Mr Reynolds said. 

“It’s a no brainer that good deals will be spread socially and that’s what BuyersCircle is all about. Having seen the success of the (social e-commerce) model in China and Asia more generally, it seems logical that it is going to be adopted by western societies. Pinduoduo is an enormous success. 

“The essence of Pinduoduo is really what BuyersCircle is all about.” 

In the space of four years, Pinduoduo reached RMB one trillion (about AUD200 billion) in gross merchandise value. By the end of 2020, Pinduoduo had overtaken Alibaba to become China’s most popular e-commerce site, with close to 720 million active monthly users. The platform was established in September 2015. 

Mr Reynolds said his three key objectives as Chairman were to firstly help BuyersCircle tell its story “succinctly and well”. The second was to help mentor the company’s senior managers; the third was to introduce them to key people in Australia, be they investors, senior staff or suppliers. 

SpringCapital is in the final stages of a $5million capital raise for BuyersCircle. 

Mr Xu said the company had appointed Mr Reynolds as Chair because of his long and successful history establishing and growing businesses, his award-winning advertising, and more recently his work mentoring entrepreneurs in the United States. 

“Simon demonstrated from a very young age an ability to cut through to an audience and he shares our passion for social e-commerce, which will change the way businesses market to consumers,” Mr Xu said 

“Social E-Commerce allows us to connect with similar, likeminded people, staying within the trusted circle of our online community. We are then able to organically discover, buy, sell and share through a unique shopping experience within our favourite social platforms.” 

It is now turning its attention to the broader Australian market, launching a platform in mid-2021 that allows consumer to share great deals with their social media. 

“People love a good deal,” Mr Reynolds said. 

“With BuyersCircle it’s fun and it’s talkable and it’s helping your friends out and telling them something that’s good and reflects well on you. It’s something that has been happening for thousands of years, it’s part of human existence.” 

BuyersCircle was created because Mr Xu couldn’t find the products he wanted in his local supermarket. 

He then began to hunt these hard-to-find food items and set up a social ecommerce platform on WeChat for e-Tailers he knows to share his “finds” with friends within their social network. 

A win/win with great products at great prices. 

In 2020, over 30,000 lobsters (valued at more than $1.9 million), over 50,000 boxes of cherries (valued at more than $2.6million) and more than 200,000 kilograms of beef (valued at over $3.1 million) were sold to Australia-based consumers through the BuyersCircle platform. 

With a huge move to online shopping during COVID lockdowns and desire to connect with friends on social media, BuyersCircle provided a popular platform for mostly Australian Chinese consumers. 

Fresh seafood retailer, Zen Fang, who operates two outlets in Sydney’s north, is an early adopter of BuyersCircle and operates as an e-Tailer on the platform. 

“We started to provide home delivery service to our customers because of COVID19 and we decided to use BuyersCircle because it allows the customer to complete their purchase on their preferred social media platform,” Mr Fang said. 

“My customer database is growing every day; this is because my customers keep sharing my BuyersCircle deals with their friends and family. 

Australian organic skincare brand, Divine, utilises the BuyersCircle platform as a supplier of beauty products to e-Tailers. Managing director, Sunny Sun, said the company was constantly seeking to increase its brand awareness in the Australian market. 

“The beauty industry is very competitive, and we figured out that the best way to promote the Divine brand is through influencers,” Mr Sun said. 

“BuyersCircle’s social e-commerce platform is very powerful, not to mention they also have a large e-Tailers network to be the voice of my brand to promote our products to their own customer groups. 

“Being a BuyersCircle supplier is not like I have one more distribution partner, it actually means the Divine brand has more than 14,000 potential sellers. 

Source: WHMSPA media release 

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