Subscription commerce startup MeUndies launched last year with the idea of sending its customers a new pair of underwear every month. Now it wants to revolutionize the way e-commerce companies do customer support by enabling face-to-face video chat right on the company’s website.
To fund development of the new module, which the company hopes to have up later this year, it’s put up a campaign on Crowdhoster. The company is seeking a meager $30,000 to get the thing built and up and running and have its customers and potential customers getting live, face-to-face, customer support from a real human being rather than entering questions into a chat box.
So I know what you’re thinking… “They want me to do video chat while buying underwear? Isn’t that a little creepy?”
Well, yes, maybe a little. And hey, I thought the same thing. Which is why I asked MeUndies co-founder and CEO Jonathan Shokrian how he plans to keep video chat about underwear from being creepy.
First of all, he reminded me that — despite the name — MeUndies isn’t just about underwear these days. The company introduced T-shirts and socks earlier this year, so you can chat about those things, too. (The T-shirts are actually quite comfortable, btw. I’m wearing one now as I type this.) And he says that the face-to-face chat won’t be all that different from the customer service chat box that’s available today on any number of e-commerce sites, including MeUndies.
But Shokrian thinks that video chat will become an invaluable part of the e-commerce sales process in the future, and he wants MeUndies to be at the forefront of that trend. Even if his customers will inevitably be talking about their unmentionables.
The real point of the module will be to enable customers to see the products that they’re thinking of buying while talking to a real human being. Not in any sort of provocative, look-at-me-wearing-these-underthings type of way, but in a straightforward, this-is-what-they-look-like-while-not-being-worn type of way. That could, for instance, keep someone from making the mistake of ordering houndstooth trunks by showing them how god-ugly the product is beforehand.
MeUndies will, of course, have controls in place to ensure that no one goes all ChatRoulette on the thing. No doubt, the customer service reps are bound to see a thing or two during the initial stages, but Shokrian says that anyone who behaves inappropriately will be immediately blocked from using the module.
So why do these guys need a Crowdhoster campaign to get this thing built?
Well, Shokrian says the team wants to see if everyone else thinks it’s a good idea as well BEFORE it gets down to building it. That is, if the community wants it, hey, they’ll start working on it.
Shokrian didn’t say this, but it’s also kind of a good way to build buzz about the brand and gain new customers, especially as it’s giving away product in return for pledges. Who knows? Maybe some of those Crowdhoster kids will also become MeUndies devotees, even without the video module.