At Sprout Insights, we comb the web to bring you the most up-to-date and actionable resources on how to use social media to grow your business.

To that end, we’re pleased to present the Sprout Insights series Spotlight on Startups. We’ll find the most innovative, useful startup companies out there, get the inside track on what they’re doing, and tell you how you can leverage their products and services for your own business.

This week we’re pleased to cast the spotlight on ShopLocket — a simplified sales and e-commerce platform — based in Toronto, Canada.

What Is ShopLocket?

Touting itself as “the easiest way to sell any product online,” ShopLocket provides a secure, simple, yet professional e-commerce platform where anyone can sell just about anything in just a few clicks. You can quickly get started by creating a new account or logging in with your Facebook account. Once you’ve logged in, a click of the “New Product” button takes you to your own private dashboard on ShopLocket’s site.

Here you can set up virtual “display cases” for any products that you want to sell. ShopLocket has several templates to choose from — all you need to do is upload an image that represents your product or service, along with a description and your price. You specify whether your product is a physical object, digital download, or a combination of both. Click the “Publish” button, choose between Stripe or PayPal as the payment processing engine for the actual sales transactions, and your display case goes live on the ShopLocket site.

You can copy and paste a link to your display case on any of your social media networks or embed the display case itself on your blog (or anywhere you’d typically embed a YouTube video). When you make a sale, all the details of your transaction, including shipping information from your buyer (if required) shows up in your private and secure ShopLocket dashboard. The ShopLocket web application itself is free to use but both ShopLocket and your payment processor take a transaction fee on each sale. The balance is deposited to the account you have connected with your payment processor.

What Needs Does It Address?

ShopLocket co-Founder and CEO Katherine Hague says that “there are a lot of people out there who aren’t looking for a time-consuming process to sell online, and many of them already have a website or social network that they’re trying to sell their products on.” Hague says that for these people, “a lot of the existing storefront solutions or marketplaces don’t make sense.”

ShopLocket bridges the gap between complex, cumbersome, and expensive e-commerce storefront solutions and unprofessional, sometimes sketchy looking online classified websites. Instead, with ShopLocket, anyone can sell individual items, from any website or social network. Hague adds that “there’s no marketplace to get lost in and unlike many other solutions, there are no listing fees and no monthly fees — you only pay when you actually sell something.”

ShopLocket also has a number of robust back-end features like page view analytics, built-in social sharing buttons, optional shipping and tax configuration, inventory tracking, timed-deals, and more.

How You Can Leverage ShopLocket

“E-commerce has been around for a while now, and where social media has completely revolutionized the online experience for people, e-commerce hasn’t really changed along with it,” Ms. Hague says. For anyone looking to sell products online in an easy and professional way, ShopLocket “allows you to bring your products to where you already have an audience, like your social media platforms and your personal blog.” Hague also reiterates that there are no there are no upfront fees and no monthly fees, and that you only pay when you sell. “Most people are selling a product in ten minutes or less,” she says.

Although ShopLocket’s service is targeted toward individuals selling a relatively small number of items, if you’re in the payment processing space, or you have ideas about how ShopLocket could be incorporated into your business processes, then ShopLocket also wants to hear from you.

Feel free to create an account on ShopLocket on its website, or reach out on Twitter or Facebook.

Know of any other startups that would make a good feature on Spotlight on Startups? Contact us, or let us know in the comments below.

[Image credits: ShopLocket]