Shopping, often referred to as retail therapy, is an active social behaviour seen in women. Given its inherent social nature, shopping has been explored in all its aspects to reflect the same behaviour in the socially-connected digital world. A dozen shopping apps are striving to recreate the joy of window shopping without having to step out of your home, or aiding easy discovery of the perfect saree you’ve been looking for since ages. Some let you discover, share it with your friends and family and also buy it when you feel like.
Here’s an Android app called ‘Shoponlady’ that lets you do most of the things in the shopping process, except buying for now. Founded by an all-male group of youngsters - Antony S Pathadan, Anto Varghese, Ashiq Kallingal, Ashwin Chacko, Rohith Krishnan, Kiran Kurias and Adithya Job, Shoponlady is the first product from their company, Addictive Innovations.
The app that claims to be a fashion GPS for women was launched on Women’s Day. It brings together boutiques, beauty parlours and jewellers from all over the southern state of Kerala. A user can search or discover these places and their products/services, find out which are the most loved or highly rated places in the state or be informed about special offers available nearby.
That sounded like an interesting concept and so I gave it a try, despite being located here in Maharashtra.
Getting on with Shoponlady
A virtual tour on the home page guided me on all the activities I can do on the app. You can either log in through your Facebook id or explore the app as a guest. There are quite a few things to do in the app, and you are also rewarded for them.
You can ‘Discover’ the shopping places in the three categories - boutiques, beauty parlours and jewellers, or you can use the ‘funnel’ icon to filter them by cities or sort them by ‘most loved’ or ‘most rated’. Since I did not know much about Kerala, I proceeded to discover some good places for jewellery. ‘Feeds’ displays your friends’ shopping interests.
Each of the fashion places listed have an ‘about us’, ‘rating’, ‘review’ and ‘gallery’ tab. A user can check out the gallery to get a feel of the products, read through the reviews added by other users or rate them if she has had experience at the place. Rating is an average of four parameters crucial to defining the shopping experience – Collection, Service, Worth of money and General.
You can click ‘Love’ if you want to make it your favourite fashion place or ‘Recommend’ if you want to recommend it to your friends. Check the map to find its exact location or click the ‘nearby’ icon to find fashion places near to you. This screenshot displays ‘Milan The Big Boutique’ at Kochi:
Now comes the gamification. You can earn points and badges for activities performed on the app. Your profile page shows the places you have loved, recommended and also your badges. There is also a ‘Leaderboard’ that lists the best performer in the app.
Should you ‘Shop On, Lady’?
The app shows potential in its concept and design. Gamification will surely boost user adoption, if it is accompanied by incentives like special discounts for the topper or instant surprise offers for her when she is at a particular shop. Coupled with the neat and appealing design on the user interface, Shoponlady makes for a useful app for women shoppers.
Starting off with Kerala and testing the model in the state, seems to be a good idea for a window shopping app such as this one. Hoping it moves to other Indian states too, while growing the number of users on the way. However, the app might need to include an email signup too, in addition to the Facebook login, as it might encourage users not wanting to sign up with their Facebook id.
Recently, we had reviewed ‘Glitstreet’ a Delhi based window shopping web app, that varies from Shoponlady as it is yet to come up with a mobile app, but the products listed at Glitstreet also show the price and availability; something Shoponlady could work on.
With apps for iOS and Windows Phone on the way, Shoponlady seems to be well on its way to solving a definitive shopping problem. Do give it a shot if you are in Kerala and share your experiences with us.