Shopperts aims to change the lives of women by encouraging homemakers to become successful entrepreneurs.
At a Glance
Founders: Sumit Mittal, Dipanjan Chakroborty
Year it was founded: 2016
Where it is based: Delhi
Sector: Online selling
The problem it solves: Supports both small vendors as well as women entrepreneurs to be successful.
Funding raised: Angel investment
Signup, share, and earn - with these three simple steps, Delhi- based Shopperts is helping homemakers become successful entrepreneurs.
Shopperts is an online reselling platform where a person - whom they term as a social seller - promotes products among their personal group of 200-500 people through Whatsapp and Facebook.
“Our motive is to furnish this social seller with good quality, friendly, and relevant products. Most of our social sellers are women who work from home. And we take pride in helping them earn from home,” says Shopperts co-founder Sumit Mittal.
Shopperts, which is derived from "Shopping with Experts", sources range of products for women including kurtis, sarees, salwar-kurtas, dress material, western wear, home decor items, and artificial jewellery, from various small vendors. These products are then sold by the 'social sellers'. With this, startup takes the reach of smaller brands to a larger audience and relevant consumers.
It mainly targets women entrepreneurs between the ages of 25 and 50, mostly homemakers, or those who have time to promote new products. The fundamental challenge that the social sellers face is that they don’t have access to good quality products that are relevant to their social circle. Shopperts focuses on each social seller with relevant products they can easily sell.
Shopperts was launched in 2016 by Sumit and Dipanjan Chakroborty - colleagues in IBM Delhi. In the initial phase, Shopperts’ team of 14 talked to social sellers and vendors and found their challenges, needs, profit margins, and their relationship with their social circles in order to develop and strengthen their base.
Shopperts is backed by serial entrepreneurs KP Chitrapura (Ex-VP and Business Head, Practo), Biplav Srivastava (Master Inventor- IBM research), Rajatish Mukherjee (CPO- Indeed) and Ullas Nambiar (VP Tech and head of Zenlabs, AVP- Data science at Myntra).
Small vendors and local brands, as well as the target audience, formed a segmented market before Shopperts stepped in. Order fulfilment was a problem for most, as getting payments, and returns proved difficult.
“The scenario is changing and all of them are dependent on Shopperts now,” adds Sumit.
Market opportunity and competition
Online re-selling has a huge market in India. According to market research firm Zinnov, the current number of social sellers are two million, and are growing at 40 percent CAGR, which is expected to touch 48 million by 2022.
Shopperts is based on Artificial Intelligence (AI) driven technology, and is used in promoting the relevant product to the right social seller.
A BTech graduate from IIT Kharagpur, Sumit, along with Dipanjan, has written many papers and has patents filed in the US around technology in sectors like mobile sensing, mobile analytics, and technology computing.
“Coming from a technological background and considering the need in this market, it is very significant to us. We try to distinguish ourselves with the kind of technology we are bringing in and in the friendship at play.”
Market competitors for Shopperts include Meesho and Shopify. Sumit says each social seller is a proxy of the demand of what their social circle is.
Though based and targeted towards residents in Delhi, Shopperts has registered social sellers from across the country with whom they interact through social media. The team believes that there is a huge diversity of population in Delhi.
“We found social sellers from various social circles and communities in Delhi. The city also has people with a variety of preferences too,” adds Sumit.
Currently, the team has thousands of social sellers working with them, which is growing on a daily basis.
“Most of our social sellers come to us via word-of-mouth, and in some cases, we reach out to them on social media platforms,” he says.
Three simple steps to become an entrepreneur
With Shopperts, it is easy to become an entrepreneur. All you need are apps like Facebook and Whatsapp on your phone. Log into Shopperts’ mobile application, register yourself, promote the products to your social circle, then receive orders through the app, or place orders and earn profits.
Currently, all its targets are achieved through its Android app. The final products are sent directly to the end consumers by Shopperts once the orders are placed.
Shopperts has received a round of funding from angel investors. The team is now planning to raise Series A round of funding. It aims to create one million micro-jobs by 2020 using Shopperts technology.
The founders did not disclose current revenue and sales, but aver they would monetise their idea through small commissions on sales. “Our expenses are around conducting ground operations like sourcing and fulfilment of good products, and development of technology. Our efficient team and processes keep the cash burn down,” says Sumit, as he signs off.