Has the mobile tipping point arrived?

Twenty five percent of the world’s leading internet retailers saw 50% of their sales from mobile over the past year. This is a first for the industry and a significant tipping point, knocking desktop and tablet sales off the podium. According to leading digital advertising company Criteo, apps are delivering double the user retention power of websites, with m-store customers more likely to purchase in-app than on any other online retail platform.

The Digital Evolution Index developed by MasterCard rates South Africa as one of the fastest growing digital economies in Africa. Online and mobile shopping has taken off in recent years, with all major banks offering free or relatively low-cost online purchasing capabilities to their customers.

“People spend a lot of time browsing on their phones and in-app instant payment is the most convenient method of purchasing,” says Raymond Wynne, CEO of mobile tech company Chat Find. The company’s flagship app brings mobile commerce, invoicing, location-sensitive marketing and direct-to-business chat capabilities to business owners and freelancers.

Reflecting the maturity of the market, South African shoppers have high standards for their commerce tools. Online ticketing company Webtickets report a marked shift towards mobile transactions in 2016, also noting that their customers expect ease-of-use, consistency and security when doing so.

“South Africans have exposure to the tools used by mobile retail giants – we have come to expect quality products from local businesses too. Saturating our market with sub-par apps won’t work,” says Wynne.

Building quality commerce apps comes at a high price tag and a long process of review and improvement. The Criteo report highlights the importance of unified, consistent and relevant customer experiences that encourage discovery, simplify product browsing and optimise checkout.

The team at Chat Find have spent three years developing and testing their app in line with these and other industry insights. It is capable of servicing both hyperlocal markets and whole industries; “Whether connecting with shoppers at a farmer’s market or providers in a multinational shipping industry, the direct chat, invoicing and payment capabilities deliver the full convenience of mobile tech,” says Wynne.

The app went public in July and has seen rapid uptake across three South African cities, with London, Chicago and Dublin soon to follow. Realising the value of the product, Chat Find have built a white label version available for adoption by brands and corporates.

“Mobile commerce is the way forward. A necessary expense, but one that stands to deliver huge returns for those leading the pack,” says Wynne.

How to make it as a freelancer

In a struggling economic climate, more people find themselves carrying two or more job titles. Increasingly so, independent professionals are using mobile technology to create ecosystems of work they enjoy. Who says you can’t drive an Uber in the morning, design websites all afternoon and cater your own food company at night?

“Freelancing full or part-time is an appealing way to secure multiple income sources, but it’s not always easy to get established and make the money you want,” says Melina Lewis, Head of Business Development at mobile commerce and networking app Chat Find.

Once stigmatised as an inability to secure permanent employment, the word “freelancer” is starting to shed its negative connotations. The Old Mutual Savings and Investment Monitor survey for 2017 found that 37% of 943 working respondents reported having more than one job, with many branching out from their primary career with an unrelated offering.

Mobile commerce apps are embracing the trend, “Freelancers and businesses can now create their own mobile shopfronts, where they showcase their skills and services, and make themselves available for other users to contact and endorse,” says Lewis.

The Chat Find app, which is available for download on Android and IOS, offers business owners and freelancers invoicing, secure mobile payment and direct chat capabilities. It allows users to search for specific services, within broader categories as well as exact geographic locations.

In the process of getting local businesses and freelancers on board, Lewis and her team have gathered insight on how individuals can best market their services. See some of her tips below:

  • Get your name out there: A presence on sites like LinkedIn and industry specific portals is key. These platforms lend credibility and provide a wider online presence.
  • Grow social: Social media is a powerful platform for freelancers, offering the ability to target specific customer groups and build your brand creatively. That said, in order to be seen, posts need to be boosted for a fee. With this in mind, make sure to read up on how to get the most bang for your buck.
  • Go mobile: South Africans increasingly use their phones to search for services and contact providers. While websites are good repositories of your past projects, they can be cumbersome and difficult to navigate from your phone. Make sure your customers can view your profile on their phones and get in touch instantly. The easiest way to do this is to create a Chat Find profile – over and above putting your service offerings out there, you can invoice clients directly from the app as well as build new business relationships. All Chat Find posts can be automatically shared to Facebook – so it’s one post, that appears in two places.

Signing up and posting on Chat Find is free, there is no mark-up on payments or sales processed through the app.

New m-commerce solution for all businesses

A new app is offering businesses, large and small, a commercially viable mobile commerce platform. With South African mobile users consuming an average of around 2.4-hours of media per day through their handheld devices, mobile is a crucial space for business to connect and transact with customers.

“The South African market, in particular has been touted as ripe for m-commerce for a while, but until now there have been no options for businesses beyond developing their own expensive websites or apps, or selling products through online retailers,” says Chat Find CEO Raymond Wynne.

With the app, anybody with a product or service to sell, can create a free mobile shopfront – one guaranteed to tap into existing and new local customer networks. The geolocation technology in Chat Find populates users’ feeds with posts from businesses and service providers within a 24 kilometre radius of their current location; “For businesses, this translates to reaching the people most likely to purchase from you,” says Wynne.

Users are also able to search for what they are looking for – with results ordered by proximity and relevance, ensuring local businesses are prioritised. Going beyond just putting businesses on the map, Chat Find’s search tool picks up listed stock, services and promotions. For example, a user could search for “running shoes” and “head torch” together, bringing up any stores that offer one or both.

Market place studies have shown that while South Africans can be reluctant to purchase tangible products online, their purchasing decisions are made before stepping into a store. Almost a third of consumers in South Africa assess elements like stock availability, pricing, alternative options, specifications and customer reviews online before going in-store to purchase.

“With Chat Find, customers are alerted to deals and specials, but are then able to come in-store to see a product in real life before purchasing. Alternatively, they can buy it instantly on the app, request delivery or collect from the store,” says Wynne.

As with other social media platforms, the app allows direct chat – both in-app and to email. Unlike other platforms, such as Facebook, running promotions on the app is free. “Most sites now require spend in order for business pages to appear on their customers’ feeds. We saw the opportunity to develop something that had both business and consumer interests in mind. We created an appropriate space for promotion without irritating consumers, that functions like a community noticeboard on your mobile,” says Wynne.

“Chat Find is designed to promote and grow local economies by connecting customers with businesses in their communities, giving them the power of m-commerce,” says Wynne.

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Local business can now sell on mobile at no cost

With 2.3 billion smartphones in use today⁴, customers will tap, touch, swipe and click their phones 2,617 times a day⁵. Research also shows that people spend 90% of their mobile time using apps⁶.  It is therefore critical for businesses to be accessible to their customers through their mobile devices. Often this requires costly websites that are not truly responsive on mobile, and are difficult to manage by the business owner.

Chat Find is a secure, user-friendly app that is a mobile marketplace. Local traders and professionals are able to showcase products and services and promote deals for free. They can also sell directly to customers, issue customised invoices and get paid instantly via debit or credit card, or PayPal. This enables businesses to be commercially viable on mobile.

The geolocation technology in Chat Find gives customers the ability to search local communities for services and products, driving improved engagement with a trade local focus.  Secure, instant payments via debit or credit cards and PayPal are even supported within chats for greater convenience. 

Chat Find CEO Raymond Wynne explains that the app is unlike any other on the market, “Consumers are more mobile savvy than ever and practical convenience is key. That’s why we wanted to create a smartphone app that supports local business through free advertising and smart payments”.

Businesses are constantly looking for ways to engage their customers on mobile, beyond social media. Chat Find’s mobile marketplace creates a localized shopping experience from the screen of a mobile phone. The user experience is engaging, visual and supports instant mobile shopping for any size retailer.

Wynne adds that Chat Find connects a customer with local business networks in a way that’s never happened before.  “Chat Find provides simple chat functionality for instant communication with customers, while posts can be shared to Facebook or sent via email and SMS for effective promotion through one app”.

That’s free advertising and chats, mobile invoicing and instant payments – all on your phone!

M-Commerce and What It Means For The Consumer

M-Commerce and What It Means For The Consumer

The world is currently experiencing a seismic shift in technology with the consumer-driven movement towards mobile becoming more and more apparent. The constant flow of live information as well as the vital factor of accessibility means that mobile is the go-to platform for businesses, professionals and brands that are looking to stay with the market and grow.

More than half the world’s total sales came from online sales in 2016, and a majority of these were through mobile. BI Intelligence, Business Insider’s research service, has compiled data that predicts that 45% of ecommerce will be M-Commerce by 2020, creating a $284 billion industry. This is hugely exciting news for businesses, and Chat Find has taken note!

With M-Commerce (buying & selling on mobile), comes a whole new range of options for business. While it is a business channel that is new to many, it is the fastest growing way for a business to make sales and achieve sustainable commercial activity.

Chat Find has been growing and changing over the last few years, looking to build the perfect platform for business owners to grow their reach and build their business. This constant dynamism means Chat Find is on the precipice of industry trends, which has culminated in the latest update which allows professionals and businesses to set up a perfect M-Commerce platform at no cost.

We have been hard at work to create the most accessible M-Commerce platform possible, focusing on functionality, security and simplicity as our core pillars. Chat Find allows any business or professional to easily link a PayPal account and enable buying and selling within the Chat Find app. Using PayPal means you can make the safest, most secure payments possible, and pay and get paid internationally.

Chat Find offers the opportunity to create a free M-Commerce store, which can be set up by absolutely anyone. Businesses will no longer need to spend money on web-designers, mobile specialists or E-Commerce developers. Simply, set up a Chat Find profile and connect your PayPal to start selling your goods and services. We have made the sign-up and management very simple to make sure that small-to-medium sized businesses can keep up with the speed of the mobile market. Chat Find is looking to empower businesses to make more sales at no extra added cost.

People are browsing Chat Find all the time, looking for certain goods and services, but sometimes also just browsing to see what comes up in their news feeds. Chat Find uses a unique tag technology to make everything in the app searchable. By assigning tags to your posts, you can make your store or business inventory searchable. This means you will be able to build a detailed catalogue that people can explore. Whether you are selling clothing, artisanal food, vehicles or anything else, Chat Find has been built for all business types and models, ready to launch a new era of M-Commerce activity.

With 2017, will come the establishment of mobile as the most important tool in business. Chat Find hopes to lead the way in allowing businesses of all types and sizes to join the mix and open up another commercial stream using the most accessible M-Commerce platform available on the market.


Chat Find is Perfect for the Holiday Season

It seems another year has flown by and 2016 has been a very interesting year for our users across the world. This year has been a big year for global politics, emerging-economies and a massive year for the tech industry.


It is the tech industry and its progressive development that interests us most. This year has seen a seismic shift to taking functional technology to mobile including various types of payment platforms, life tools, wearables and services that encourage human connections to solve human problems. It is certainly an exciting time for everyone interested in tech. This being said, technology is just an applied extension of people and their needs, and it is the people that really matter.


With the holiday season upon us, many of our users will be taking some well-deserved time off to spend with family and friends, while others will be traveling the world looking for fresh experiences in countries new to them.

Luckily, whatever you are up to, Chat Find will be there to make things easier. Here are 5 ways to use Chat Find in the holiday season:


  1. Use Smart Search to find products and services in new places that you are visiting. Whether this means tracking down the nearest suitcase shop in New York, or finding a good burger in the heart of Cape Town, Smart Search allows you to explore new places and find exactly what you are looking for.
  1. Find seasonal Deals in your area and find gifts at great prices
  1. December is a month full of entertainment. You can check out restaurants and cafes near you and message them directly to confirm a booking for you and your friends.
  1. Keep your Followers up to date with the interesting things you are getting up to by posting in Stories daily!
  1. Check the “Around Me” tab wherever you are to find relevant events and activities that you could attend with your friends or family.


With 2016 drawing to a close, we just want to say thank you to all of our users and businesses who have contributed to the rapid growth of Chat Find this year. We will keep working to make sure that Chat Find can be the best platform available, and we are excited to see what 2017 holds. Happy festive season, and all the best going into the new year!

Smart Search: A New Way to Explore

The world around us is a diverse and interesting place, full of opportunity to explore and prospects to chase. Chat Find is essentially a microcosm of the world with businesses and people offering hundreds of different products, services and bites of information. To make sense of all of this, and to allow users to find exactly what they are looking for, we have launched the revolutionary Smart Search.

Smart Search brings intelligent search functionality that allows you to find anything and everything, with all results being shown relevant to your location. For the first time in an app, you are able to search for a combination of multiple keywords, meaning you can get extremely specific results.

Tags, Tags, Tags!

This is complimented by Chat Find’s unique tag technology, which allows everything to be searchable. Imagine being able to easily find the closest food truck in your city that sells both cheese-burgers and coffee, and is running a deal on both? With Smart Search this is a reality, and will allow you to use your mobile to find the most relevant interest points around you.

Big for Business!

As a business, you can now make posts about everything in your store or about your business offering. Adding detailed tags to these posts means that people will always be able to find your posts no matter how old the posts are. Keep this in mind, as posts will disappear from the feed after a week but can always be found on a profile or through search. They will also never disappear from the “Around Me” tab.

By adding tags to all of your product or service posts, you can create a catalogue for your business. Building this catalogue means you will have a shopping platform that you set up for free which is accessible to thousands of mobile users. The more you post, the more you will be found by people searching for your services.

Get Exploring

Smart Search will bring an unprecedented level of relevancy to your search. Finding particular products, services, businesses and professionals has never been more effective. Get exploring on Chat Find to locate exactly what you are looking for!

Why Chat Find Stories are great for your Business

Businesses, markets and industries have changed significantly over the annuals of time, but at the core there is one thing that has remained constant. This golden thread is that people do business with people. Businesses are not merely made up of bottom-lines, transactions and buying and selling. Businesses are much more than that. They are made of personalities, of hopes and dreams and friendships. We cannot have businesses without each other.

At Chat Find we understand that the stronger the connections people can make with each other, the more successful they will be in life. Businesses are no different and we have hoped to develop a great feature for our platform. With this in mind, we have developed Chat Find Stories.

The Stories feature allows you to post things about your business or personal life that could interest people. This could be something like a picture of your staff party, one of your loyal customers or even a picture of an award that your business has won. Posting about things other than Deals and Offers means you can build your brand by giving customers a glimpse of the people behind all the hard work.

Get posting your Stories and give people insights into your daily business activities, and the people behind them. People want to see who you are and what you are all about, so get posting and start making stronger connections with your customers.

Many businesses and individuals are already making daily Stories posts and building their brand equity, but more importantly, are making great human connections.