Among other challenges, an overabundance of everything is the biggest problem for the 21st century.
The advancements in mobile commerce and social media have inspired a new kind of shopping that is convenient, enjoyable and hassle-free. For the modern consumer, shopping is as much about finding products as it is about buying. The added layer of ‘discovery’ is based on the comprehension that though we may often know what we want to purchase, just as often we may not.
All this and more has led to the emergence of many online discovery platforms leveraging the opportunity of overabundance, and creating value by streamlining not just the purchasing aspect but discovery as well. These marketplaces help consumers find content that is broad enough to reach most yet can be tailored for personalized preference. While a majority of these startups cater to a niche market, there are a few ventures that take a more generalized approach and provide content discovery across a wide range of categories. One startup that belongs to the latter is HappyShappy.
What this startup is about
To get an idea of HappyShappy’s objective, you only need to look to its mission statement: to provide Indian consumers with millions of quality ideas and products via a rich browsing experience. Based in New Delhi, HappyShappy is a one-of-a-kind product discovery platform that provides its consumers with a wide variety of content across 20+ categories – fashion, beauty, gifts, jewellery, decor, food, event planning & more. This startup has bridged the gap between buyers who enjoy browsing for inspiring ideas or shopping unique products from across the country, and sellers searching for a marketplace that apart from offering repeat and relevant customers, helps build brand value.
Their flagship product – The HappyShappy app offers a vast feed featuring a well-curated roundup of content via its vast community of users and home-grown brands across the country. These work in tandem to bring ideas and products that are too incredible to forget – for the modern discerning consumer. The platform has more than 5,00,000 pins in its database, including clothing & apparel, fashion accessories, gifts & favours, home décor items, furniture, beauty merchandise, pet accessories, & more.
What makes this mobile-first platform successful
When browsing online, many consumers don’t know what they’re searching for until they see it, or don’t have the words to describe it via a traditional search. And so since the beginning, the startup has focused on serving consumers with something new they won’t find anywhere else. The HappyShappy app has a well-curated roundup of ideas & products that are aesthetically designed, unique in nature, incorporate elements of creativity and fall on the upper end of the quality spectrum.
“We look for things that inspire an idea, start a trend, serve a purpose, solve a problem, stun us with its beauty, are handmade with remarkable skill, use sustainable materials or make one wonder why hasn’t anyone thought of this before. With quality products collected from all over India and over 750 select vendors, we offer people an opportunity to shop for items they might have never heard of but will like when they discover it. These ideas & products are brought by Indians for Indians. With its thought, beauty & craftsmanship, our content epitomizes Indian innovation.” says Nitin Sood, Co-founder of HappyShappy.
But rounding up a collection of quality content from every corner is winning only half the battle. The other half is offering it in a way consumers find appealing. To solve shopping woes, the app has implemented the concept of a Universal Shopping Cart. It offers a seamless shopping experience where users can discover the most relevant & aesthetic products from multiple retail websites without leaving the app. This removes friction from mobile checkout, translates into fewer taps & scrolls, removes the problem of bookmarked pages, decreases the number of abandoned carts, improves customer retention and fixes numerous other shopping issues.
There’s also the social aspect of this platform. Just like in other social media communities, users connect with like-minded pinners so they can share ideas to inspire people. This, in turn, enables the rest of the community to discover new things, explore latest fads, share their styles, meet new individuals with similar interests and see what’s trending in their social circle.
The brains behind the startup
The company was founded in September 2016 by Nitin and Sana Hoda Sood, two dynamic individuals who together have a wealth of experience in social media, IT and business marketing industry.
Nitin, who looks after the technical facets, is a distinguished alumnus of The George Washington University. He has previously worked at many prestigious designations including Sr. Consultant at the Department of Labour, Govt. of US, and Enterprise Architect at The World Bank. Having spent years building robust systems for many organizations, he has accumulated a trove of technical knowledge and expertise with which he leads his Technology and Digital Marketing team.
While Sana, Co-founder & Creative Head of HappyShappy is a content strategist, businesswoman, an author of children’s books and an entrepreneur in her own right. She holds a Masters degree in Foreign Affairs and German from The George Washington University and has worked with PwC, Gategroup and a major US government consulting firm where she advised on international business development. With over a decade of experience in international risk management and growing businesses, she handles the Content Creation and Business Development & Community team.
The road ahead
The startup is now ready to move forward towards its product roadmap. The company is currently focusing on strengthening the technology platform, accelerate product AI development and tract talent for tech & marketing.
“HappyShappy is on an ambitious path to becoming a major player in the digital landscape. What we’ve created surpasses shoppable pages, Order Now buttons, or Buyable pins,” says Sana. We are a consumer-oriented company. Our newly revamped platform sees a complete overhaul of the frontend with a redesigned website, fresh product offerings, enhanced security, as well as an updated look and feel – all of which is aimed to assist our users. Our future plans include embracing regional languages and making it simpler & appealing for people from all age groups, the technologically-challenged and digital nomads.”
Whatever the future holds for HappyShappy, with more than 50,000 users, 3,00,000 monthly visitors and 23,000+ app downloads, it is clearly filling a demand for Indian users seeking quality products & creative ideas, beyond the traditional methods.