VibPop, all your beauty needs at your fingertips
There’s a new beauty e-commerce platform in the world of online shopping and they’re looking to meet all your beauty needs and more. VibPop is a collaborative product created by Josephine Achieng’, Scholastica Shimechero and Benter Gondi.
We spoke to Josephine and asked her a couple of questions about VibPop and all the nitty-gritty’s of setting up an e-commerce platform.
VibPop is an e-commerce platform that is in control of the quality of products that it delivers to its clients
In summary, tell us what makes VibPop different from all the other e-commerce platforms?
VibPop is probably the only e-commerce platform in Kenya that is directly in control of the quality of products that it delivers to its clients. We ship directly from the USA through one of our directors based in there and keep stock as opposed to most, if not all, e-commerce platforms and even major stores who run on a drop-shipping model.
Is there a reason behind the name VibPop?
Yes. The name VibPop is centred around the problem we are trying to solve and comes from two words, ‘vib’* short for vibrant and ‘pop’ meaning stand out. This is how we are standing out from the crowd with our model of business.
What gave birth to VibPop?
The idea vibPop came to one of the directors after she visited Germany. She had a friend do her make-up from a beauty shop at the airport. The experience was fabulous, seamless and interestingly very comfortable. While she was travelling back, she thought about doing this back in Kenya and played with the idea of an online beauty shop. The beauty segment online is still not as crowded and also less time-intensive. Its something all three of us can do while still working at our day jobs.
Femininity was a big factor; but we also wanted to make the website functional, practical and user-friendly.
As we understand it, VibPop is a team effort, what’s your collaborative process like?
Yes. VibPop is a collaborative effort among us as the three directors. We all live in different places with different abilities and talents. However, we came together and put in the work which makes VibPop what it is. God has favoured us in this venture and put us in different places, which is a big advantage to us. Two of us are in Kenya, in different counties, and we sort the beauty needs from within, market and sell. Our third partner is in the US to source and courier our products to Kenya.
What influenced the overall aesthetic of the website?
When we were thinking about the website, femininity was a big factor; but we also wanted to make the website functional, practical and user-friendly. We went a step further and also made sure that all our products have a description to help our customers make an informed decision.
We also have a unique feature that makes sure you’re not charged for an item that is out of stock.
What’s been the most interesting challenge you’ve experienced while putting this together?
The most interesting challenge for us has been integrating “Lipa na Mpesa” which we thought would be a walk in the park. There was a lot of back and forth with Safaricom because they needed to be 100% sure we were not fraudsters. This was finalized in two months and it’s also an advantage and an assurance, that we are genuine. Integrating the other forms of payment – Paypal, Visa – we did at the touch of a button.
If I were a beauty product, I would be a foundation
Where are you getting your products?
All our products are from the USA and are sourced and shipped directly; apart from a few which we buy locally from wholesalers who buy directly from the main distributors.
How are you making sure that people’s data is secure on your website?
Our website is secured with an SSL Certificate which ensures encrypted communication between the user’s browser and our Website. We are also secured by Themes Security, which scans and validates all traffic and requests to and from our website.
What’s your favourite item on the website and why?
My favourite item on our website is the human hair wigs. They ensure I do not go through a bad hair day, they’re very practical, they come in different styles and they’re fashionable.
If you were a beauty product, what would you be and why?
If I were a beauty product, I would be a foundation, I would be extremely essential to anyone doing their makeup. It all starts with the foundation.