Women love shopping. Not just that, women love shopping socially. Online shopping might have been preferred by some, but most of the population in India still consult their friends circle and spend 3-4 hours on shopping clothes and accessories. Wooplr is trying their bit, as a social discovery platform for shopaholics and foodies to bring out undiscovered places on their platform. And many people like to research for products on Flipkart and eBay before purchasing them offline (call it the new way of shopping). Wooplr tends to merge this online-offline shopping behavior for the Gen-Y.
Is it a Pinterest rip-off?
On the first look, you might call it a Pinterest rip-off. But Wooplr offers you more than that. The design though ‘inspired’ by Pinterest is more about your personalized experiences rather than pinning the images on the web. It is a broadcasting medium for users to post what they are and what they like. The platform can work as a recommendation engine for other users to know what are the places to explore in certain cities in India.
How does it work?
You can login to the site using a Facebook signup and the sign-in feature is pretty smooth. Signing in to the app, I found out that I’ve already started following 44 users, who were not my friends nor did I know them. This could have been done by the Wooplr guys to make you explore the platform through their eyes but for me it was weird. Instead a suggestion box would have sufficed at the first step. The application could also have exploited my likes and the open graph feature on Facebook and recommended people to follow with similar taste.
This could make it easier for users to be accustomed to the site and show them the things they would want to see on the website (If I am a techno geek liking a lot of tech related pages on Facebook, Wooplr can explore the possibility of showing me people to follow related to that category). You can add your own recommendations by clicking on the ‘New Recommendations’ button and upload your image from your mobile or PC along with the other necessary location details and tags.
You can love (recommend) a product on Wooplr according to your taste based on categories like Clothing, Accessories, Handbags and more. And then there is an option of viewing every category in the timeline along with what’s trending currently on the platform.
Clicking on a product lands you with a swift modal box detailing about the ‘Loves received’ along with Views and comments the photo has received. You can share something you have liked via the social sharing.
Wooplr on Android
Wooplr has caught on the mobile bug soon and has launched an application on Google Play to extend its user base to Android. The application does work apart from some minor lags while changing screens. There is no search feature on the application which can be a hiccup to find things easily for a first time user. The application has had around 500 downloads on Google Play.
How can it be better?
Wooplr has got a lot of potential to be a goldmine of data for brands and SMBs who would want to know what type of products consumers are talking about. They can exploit Wooplr to use it as their discovery platform to further increase footfalls in their stores. Wooplr can certainly extend their business model in to a recommendation engine which can work both ways (for the consumer and the SMBs). By giving an opportunity for brands to feature their own products along with price tags would be a nice way for SMBs and offline retail chains to gain more eyeballs across their stores.
Regarding the application itself, Wooplr as of now, features 7 major cities to choose from. However, I would also love the feature to further drill down in to a specific area of each city. For example, people from suburbs in Mumbai would love to know what’s trending in Bandra rather than what is going on in Colaba as far as street shopping is concerned. A more local flavor can come in handy. There is no search box on the home page of the website which makes it difficult to search for any specific piece of information you are looking at.
The website as of now is surely female-centric except for food category; I couldn’t relate much to any of the other categories. It would be great if Wooplr could also add some male-centric categories in the coming stages when the product goes out of beta phase. If you are a girl, you will love the visuals and appeal of Wooplr. And if you are a guy, do visit the website anyway because it is a good effort overall.
You can view the Wooplr story in detail here on their website incorporated neatly in a timeline format. Do let me know what you think of Wooplr and how do you plan to use it?