Explore Shoponlady — a website and an app that helps women shop anywhere in Kerala
When seven engineering college boys brainstormed over a tech-startup, their research found that almost 70 per cent of the world’s 150 million online shoppers were women. With this specific target audience in mind, the lads invented Shoponlady, a website and free Android app for women to discover the numerous boutiques, jewellery shops, parlours and spas across Kerala, area wise.
Shoponlady is now over two months old, with the website launched on Women’s Day gaining over 15,000 views, and the recently-floated app receiving 1,000 downloads. The team comprises CEO Antony Pathadan, Adithya Job, Ashiq Kallingal, Ashwin Chacko Philip, Kiran Kurias, Anto Varghese, and Rohith Krishnan, with three employees Sai Shyam, Ashi Rashid and Surya Narayanan, all in their early twenties and all graduates of Rajagiri Engineering College. Shoponlady is the first product of their co-founded company Addictive Innovations that is presently incubated at Infopark’s Start up Village.
Shoponlady’s most used feature is its ‘Near Me’ function, which lists available retail options in a particular location. All major cities in Kerala are represented with sub-locations included. So, for instance, Kochi’s M.G. Road has a section all to its own. “When we began this project, we realised that while online retailers such as Myntra and Jabong listed large chains, hardly anyone listed individual boutiques,” says Kiran. The boys thus tapped into their college network of students from across Kerala who informed them of their favourite individualised shopping centres. The team also combed social media and the Internet to uncover lesser known shops. The result is a listing of over 1,300 boutiques, 600 designer jewellery stores and 2,000 parlours and spas. “With malls and large branded shops the norm, we were quite surprised that there were this many boutiques,” says Sai. The product’s success has also been in unearthing several designers, especially homemakers, who only have an online presence and retail from their houses.
In its current version, Shoponlady provides a basic profile of each shop, its geographic location using Google maps, all contact details from FaceBook page and email to phone number and website, and a quick gallery of each outlet’s key products. Their USP is a rating and recommending system that provides an interactive platform for users. Each shop is rated based on the combined average of four parameters—range of the collection, value for money, service and an overall marking—and users can recommend to their friends places or products they loved. Since users sign into the platform through FaceBook, they view comments and suggestions that their friends have made; “so you know what you’re reading isn’t fudged,” says Sai. To encourage more user activity, the site currently awards users badges such as ‘Newbie’, ‘Fashionista’ and ‘It girl’, that can be shared on social media.
Future updates of Shoponlady will include product pricing, chats with designers, user-specific fashion advice and more. The team is currently working on app versions for iOS and Windows platforms, which will be released this July, followed by expansions to Bangalore and Chennai as well. “Thus far we’ve collected about 3,000 boutiques in Bangalore alone and the number’s growing. We’re now working on authenticating each of these,” says Kiran.
Many shop owners have also contacted the team to list their ventures and the team looks forward to more such enquiries, as well as investors to help them develop the product further. Says Kiran, “We want to create the most complete window shopping online portal possible.” Visit Shoponlady at www.shoponlady.com and find the Android app on the Playstore at www.tinyurl.com/shoponlady