Entrepreneurs / Products / Retail / Startups

Product Search Live seeks to revamp the home shopping experience

Peter Groverman, Martin Bispels and Rudy Ellis are working together on a livestreamed show that will feature entrepreneurs and products with unique stories.

Local founders are bringing shopping to a livestream near you. (Photo by Pexels user George Milton, via a Creative Commons license)
Product Search Live is not your mom’s shopping network.

Peter Groverman, the executive behind Grovara, Better For You Media and Stretch Gallery, is at it again with his latest endeavor. He’s still on Grovara’s board, but back when Groverman was still CEO of the international wholesale ecommerce marketplace, he said he was consistently being asked for marketing support by the brands they worked with. His following projects embodied more of that product marketing side that Grovara wasn’t purposed for.

Enter: Product Search Live, a livestreamed shopping experience where founders will demonstrate their products live online. Viewers can then purchase the products through the livestream.

Groverman partnered with Martin Bispels, who spent many years at the West Chester-based shopping network QVC, and Rudy Ellis, CEO of cloud computing company Switchboard Live. (Ellis is also president and CEO of the board of that other PSL, Philly Startup Leaders.)

“I really saw the opportunity to marry what Peter brings to the table as far as production value and storytelling of these brands, with the ability to actually sell and present these products live in a kind of QVC-like format,” said Bispels, who is executive producer of Product Search Live.

For his part, Ellis said his company developed a feature called “viral stream share” which sends out a link. When viewers click the link, they can connect their social media to the stream. That ensures that when Product Search Live goes live, they see it easily. The company is also working with its featured brands and partnered influencers to stream through their social channels, as well.

“Our goal is really to amplify the reach for this content that’s being produced, making sure that it’s reaching the right audience, and then being able to direct them to where they can learn more, buy more, subscribe more, whatever’s necessary to really support that much more,” Ellis said.

Bispels said the products that are chosen to be featured in this format are usually “a smart solution to a common problem, innovative technology, or product features that aren’t widely available.” It’s important that the product can be demonstrated live to show that it really works, he said, and the team is also looking for brands with interesting entrepreneurial stories. Interested company leaders can apply on the Product Search Live website.

Product Search Live’s first show will be streaming on Thursday, Feb. 23 from 7 to 9 p.m. At the moment, the company plans to host monthly shows, and hopes to livestream more frequently as time goes on.

Product Search Live has sponsors and brands featured on the show have to pay upfront to be featured. They also have a revenue share with Product Search Live. Bispels said he thinks their terms are more fair than other big retailers and networks though. “We all win when we sell products,” he said.

Bispels said Product Search Live is unique from traditional shopping networks because it’s geared for younger audience in the way the content is distributed. He said the show also focuses on storytelling about the product and the entrepreneurs featured.

“It’s an honest representation of a product and story, because it’s live and we’re going to tell that story in an honest way,” he said.

Sarah Huffman is a 2022-2023 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The Groundtruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. This position is supported by the Lenfest Institute for Journalism.

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