The nature of shopping today is slowly changing. Technology and social media have been the biggest enablers in this change. Before we buy a product offline, we either try to reach out to our friends or check the online price. Similarly, wouldn’t it be great if we could check the prices online before buying it offline and also find out if there are any offers. Now you could as Bangalore based startup StallMart tries to solve this problem. StallMart is a social marketplace which provides a virtual platform to buyers and sellers. Buyers or the customers can check out the products and any deals associated to it. Similarly, sellers i.e. the local retailers or the brick mortar shops can also set up online shops and drive customers from online to offline.
StallMart, with a fresh presence majorly in Bangalore, has integrated with Facebook for your login along with an email login process. The startup uses Facebook but not sure if they have integrated it well since I had to manually fill some of the details.
StallMart for a buyer
When you log in as a buyer, the home page or the “Buzz in – India” is a visual gallery of products and shops that have been listed on the platform. The tab is like a feed of activities that are being performed on the platform.
If you click on any product then you can like it, recommend it, explore the details of the product such as price, discount, etc. and the shop that has it listed too. Additionally, you can follow the shop, raise an inquiry or provide a feedback about the product and if interested in buying then you can explore the options such as home delivery or address of the shop. The below screen grab provides a look of a listed product.
If you click on a shop then you can follow it, recommend it and know more about the shop. The other details that you can find are the various products that the shop has listed on the platform. You can check out the products individually and raise an inquiry too. The below screen grabs the look of a listed shop.
The home screen also provides a tab – “My News Board” which is an activity feed of the user. The tab highlights all the activities performed by the user in a visual format. The below screen grab provides a look of my activities on the platform.
StallMart for a seller
StallMart for now is offering local retailers to create shops for free on the platform. So as a seller you can create your shop online after filling in the required details. Once that is done, you can add products to your shop and list it on the platform. For more details on other benefits you can click on the support solutions document.
In addition to this, the platform allows you to discover products or shop and build your profile on the system. Discovering or searching of products or shops happen on filters like location. The marketplace right now has listed its products under three major categories – 1) Clothing & Accessories, 2) Furniture and 3) Jewelry. The feature is not that useful right now but will only grow with time as and when sellers join the platform.
The marketplace also provides buyers to build their profile by adding friends on the platform, liking products and following shops on the platform.
Is it a social market place?
Considering the product is newly developed it has areas to cover up before it could call itself a social market place. The concept is interesting but the biggest challenges that it would face are: a) getting the offline stores to move online, and b) monitoring the platform with respect to the content being uploaded on it. Apart from that the product should integrate some of the common social features such as – 1) Giving the option to share the products on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, 2) Showing relevant products to the user depending on its interests, and 3) Creating an effective social media presence for the startup too.
Nevertheless, since it is a new born startup and is incorporating features like coupons, product bargaining as reported by Next Big What, it could be interesting to see how it grows and how well it is supported by the investors at a time when Flipkart has also decided to be a marketplace.