Helping consumers discover best online deals across stores, Shoppingwish and their newly launched Scandid barcode scanning app
It may seem that ecommerce price comparison segment is overcrowded, as we have seen plethora of startups evangelizing the space, and because venture capitals have also been pouring capital into the sector. However, Madhur Khandelwal, who co-founded Shoppingwish with Sushil Choudhari, feels that shopping market overall in India is huge and there is still a lot of room for innovation in this space. He points out that there are several players chasing this space, which in some ways is an indication of how lucrative and big this opportunity could be.
Story behind Shoppingwish
Ever since Khandelwal and Choudhari were roommates in US, they’ve been passionate about helping their friends find the best deal when shopping. “In India, online shopping is still in its early stages. People have questions regarding reliability of stores, warranty, delivery times, where to find coupons etc. At the same time offline retail is also booming in India. As a result people have plenty of choices when shopping,” says Khandelwal. The duo thought it would be cool to take their hobby to the next level and build a service that could be useful to many more people outside of their circle of friends. So they decided to take the plunge and start Shoppingwish.
Features and traction
Shoppingwish aims to be your personal shopping assistant. As a shopper today, you have lots of choices in terms of variety of products available, hundreds of stores – online as well as offline and plethora of deals available in the form of coupons, promotions, offers, etc. Shoppingwish wants help its users buy the right product at the right price. The company had recently launched – Scandid – a barcode scanning based shopping app available for Android enabled phones.
“We are the only player today that has a barcode scanning based shopping app available on Android. We think this is very powerful because now you can easily check online prices and coupons on the go and in fact use this information as a way of negotiating the best deal when shopping at local retailers as well,” says Khandelwal. It claims that both its app and website are backed by a comprehensive database of products, deals, coupons aggregated by crawling 200+ online shopping sites in India.
The startup aspires to become omni-channel platform with Scandid, “We have to be able to help users whichever mode of shopping they prefer – online or offline, stresses Khandelwal. Smartphone is always there with its owner and it offers rich capabilities that can be utilized to create experiences that are just not possible on any other medium, points out Khandelwal.
Khandelwal says Scandid has been witnessing good traction on its website since its launch. Though, he refrains to share any data points like number of visitors and trnasction it faciliates for affiliates. “Some of our affiliate partners tell us that we have one of the highest conversion rates from visits to transactions. “Not talking specific numbers because focus has been in building the product so far,” adds Khandelwal.
On challenges, building team and raising fund
The duo initially struggled to find the right product-market fit and building a team. To get there, the two worked on the product for a few months to refine the idea and figure out what value add they could provide in the market. When it was time to expand the team, the duo reached out to people referred by their friends and people in their alumni network. “After a few hiccups, we were lucky to find a team that is equally passionate about building Shoppingwish,” adds Khandelwal.
Raising fund is not challenging when the idea has legs and one could build a business out of it, outlines Kahndelwal. Shoppingwish raised an undisclosed amount of seed round funding early this year from prominent angels in Silicon Valley and New York.
In the near term, bringing Scandid on other mobile platforms and adding more categories would be priorities for Shoppingwish’s team. In the long term, it is looking to roll out more apps and features to help users with many other shopping decisions, such as how can you discover the best deals, how can you seek advice from your friends while shopping and more such interesting shopping scenarios.