There are various online comparison and search engines for different product genres and categories, but when it comes to finding offline fashion and apparels stores we resort to horizontal search engines and listing platforms. With motivation to bring comprehensive listing of fashion and apparel stores in Delhi (NCR), Shashank Agnihotri launched Zakoopi.
Zakoopi means ‘to shop’ and it is positioned as an online enabler for people to go offline shopping. It’s a discovery platform which helps people choose the best ‘non-branded’ stores to visit nearby or in a particular market.
The idea of Zakoopi struck Shashank when he was asked by a friend to help him in his wedding shopping. “During the wedding preparation I met a lot of people at various malls and markets of Delhi and realised there is a big demand for a structured fashion and apparel store discovery platform,” says Shashank.
Shashank is an alumnus of Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, Delhi, and previously worked as management consultant with Feedback Ventures.
On Zakoopi, users can see what various stores are selling, what ratings and reviews other users have given them, their price ranges, fabrics, styles, photographs and more. Anyone can access these details even before stepping into the market and without calling up people for ‘word of mouth’ recommendations.
The startup intends to transform the concept of ‘word of mouth’ by creating a structured platform for sharing and giving reviews of fashion stores. “We provide a ‘trust factor’ to people who are looking to explore new places to shop in the local markets of cities through its user generated rating and reviews,” adds Shashank.
Zakoopi helps stores getting discovered by users based on what they sell and how their existing customers rate them. “You might be a boutique specializing in Anarkali suits in one corner of South Delhi and not getting many foot-falls because of your location, but if customers have rated you highly and written good things about you on Zakoopi, the platform will help new users discover you,” adds Shashank.
Shashank was initially managing Zakoopi’s activities while still working but later he left his job to get into it full time. “That was when I roped in some of my MBA batchmates as working capital investors of Zakoopi,” reveals Shashank.
The public beta of Zakoopi was launched a few days back with a comprehensive listing of 800 stores across Delhi / NCR. “The same would increase to 1500 by end of July this year,” adds Shashank.
In terms of future plans, Zakoopi will launch on a mobile platform by the end of this month. “The store listings are also being supplemented by sample product photos and 100 such stores would be covered by July end,” says Shashank. In the short term, the company plans to stabilize the Delhi / NCR market and then expand to other cities.
“We want to establish ourselves as a comprehensive fashion and apparel store discovery platform with a strong shoppers community associated with it,” says Shashank.