Goodbye Shopo!

I was going to do the customary Friday Shopping (FS) post today but I’ve instead decided to say a formal goodbye to Shopo, which has had a significant presence in many of the FS picks.

I’m not sure how many of you know that Shopo was acquired by Snapdeal earlier this month. I’m really happy for them as one of the founders is an alumnus. Of all the recent e-commerce retail startups, I really liked Shopo for its design, layout and staying true to what it sold. If you are selling colorful handicrafts and handloom, then let your design better reflect that. A drab, all-white design may be appropriate for a books/electronics site but if you are selling apparel/homeware, what is it that sets you apart from the hundred others.

This may sound like an ex-post analysis, but I’ve written to a few to make the user experience better if they really want to exit out of the game sooner than latter.

Whether it is Jabong, Myntra or LimeRoad, everything is so similar from pricing to the products you find (on a sidenote, I like the LimeRoad editorial). There was just one instance when Catwalk products on LimeRoad were sold at half the price than Jabong/Myntra.  Yes, I spend way too much time analysing what makes one site stand out from the other. For these bigger players it doesn’t matter as the online market place is huge and growing, so they get to have a fair size of the larger pie. But, if you are small player or in a niche market like Shopo was when it entered two years back, a good design, unique product line up, and online customer engagement can make or break it.

While I’m happy that it was a happy ending for Shopo, I’m gonna miss the color they brought to our lives. Guess the integration with snapdeal is still not over so it may be a while before the suppliers on Shopo start getting listed on snapdeal. snapdeal: if nothing else, I think you can design your pages better!

Happy Friday.