Coolhobo, a Shenzhen-based food VR commerce company, is stopping its subscription-based food boxes to focus on their VR platform.
The company, a fresh graduate of Chinaccelerator, originally launched with their subscription-based imported goods box, containing imported goods, varying the country every month. It helped the company generate 60,000 RMB (8,800 USD) in monthly revenue. According to the company, the 30% of our customers were repeat customers.
“We are building something bigger, and we cannot make everyone happy,” Loic Kobes, the founder and CEO of Coolhobo says. “We are small, and the market is big. We can experiment everything here in China.”
The pivot into VR commerce is risky, however. Alibaba, in partnership with HTC, is poised to bring its VR commerce Buy+ platform to consumers in the near future.
As we discovered from 2016’s failures, a startup should never try to outspend a tech giant. Loic is aware of the challenges and has a plan.
First, Coolhobo is focused on the higher income group. While Alibaba appeals to price sensitive customers, Coolhobo is targeting higher income consumer and high-end stores.
“VR commerce is a new concept. And we will bring experience and quality for high-end customers,” Loic says. The company is targeting two groups: tech savvy millennials and people who are looking for quality imported food.
The company is partnering with retailers, starting with Olé, headquartered in Shenzhen, to bring their VR experience to customers and will set up VR booths in the supermarkets to improve the shoppers’ experience and deliver an international lifestyle.
Their VR shopping assistant will provide voice recognition to guide the customer through the food journey. For example, video content about French wine will take the customer to the vineyard, helicopter, and a souvenir in a boutique restaurant showing how to serve the wine, combined with a story talking about the brands.
Second, the company focuses on the quality of the product. Currently, 40 high-quality imported food brands are exclusively working with Coolhobo.
Third, the company will provide a unique 360-degree video focusing on food content. The company will produce unique content and feature it on Chinese video platforms.
“Watching the food value chain before you consume, engages the customer and enhances the trust. For vendors, it’s an interesting channel. After seeing the VR video, the customer wants to share the story,” Loic remarked.
The beta version of Coolhobo’s VR commerce platform will be ready after Chinese New Year’s day. Users will be able to do VR shopping using their native app or on the website.