You may have come across plenty of best deals and offers on online portals. Do you really believe that they are the best? Or you feel there is something fishy? A 24-year-old young and dynamic Shambhavi Sinha founded a Delhi-based ecommerce portal, ShopMate in June 2015 where all the shoppers can find amazing deals and variety of products with best offers.
What is Shopmate?
Clearly speaking, ShopMate is not just another price comparison site. It works on a different idea of EOI (Expression of Interest) which values to both sellers and buyers. If a buyer doesn’t feel comfortable with the price, they can just save EOI for that particular product. Now it’s time for ShopMate to do the magic.
They will negotiate the best price from the sellers within 4 hours and get back to the buyer. It avails best deals and discounts from the seller by showing the number of EOIs on a particular product. The more the EOIs, the lower will be the price. Buyers can choose the products or get the delivery. Initially, ShopMate was dealing only on tablets and smartphones. Today, it is dealing on computers and two wheelers too.
When she was studying in the University of Virginia, US, she came across a growing trend, i.e. O2O commerce or Online-to-Offline commerce. It means buyers research on a product, alternatives, price etc. online and then shop from the nearest store. She observed the popularity of O2O in the US and she chose to start her own business when she returned to India.
She founded an ecommerce portal, ShopMate, where buyers can find different types of products and get the best offers from the sellers nearby. However, ShopMate is not a price comparison tool. To gather discounts for the buyers, ShopMate just combines the EOIs for the specific product and raises an offer for bulk buy to the sellers. The sellers, then, bid for the business on real time.
When maximum numbers of people vote for a product with their EOI, ShopMate clubs them and sellers grab the bulk order with lowest price quote. To grab best deals, the power of bulk demand is the key. It saves buyers from haggling with the businesses for better deals. Even in case where there is not much EOI on a product, the company can still negotiate better price for the shoppers. It is up to the buyers to pick up the products or get delivery.
ShopMate – Passion behind the Success – Shambhavi Sinha
Founded with investment of Rs. 1 Cr. by her family and friends, ShopMate operates across the NCR region, including Noida, Delhi, Gurgaon, Ghaziabad, and Faridabad. Despite having a revolutionary idea, it was a big trouble for her to make it popular initially. For the startup, the challenge was to approaching local vendors to connect to this platform. Sinha, along with her team, needed to visit several stores, explain their plan, as well as the benefits for the sellers, if they partner with them.
Once the shop owners understood how this online portal could help them get more customers and footfalls to their stores, they started working on that idea. Gradually, the team started getting positive responses. Once sellers realized how this concept could improve their business, which was already taking a hit with competition from online retailers, they were ready to accept their proposal.
Currently, over 500 sellers are connected to ShopMate. They have now built a team which works on the concept and was passionate in transforming it into reality and it was a big task. Over time, they luckily found the right kind of sellers.
Initially, the revenue of the startup was around Rs. 47 Lakh and full-fledged operations initiated in December 2015. Currently, it has the team of 28 employees. Initially, the business was dealing in just tablets and mobiles. Now, they have added desktops and two-wheelers. Now, ShopMate is looking forward to add two new categories – cars and electronics, over the next few months to come.
The company is also planning to expand its operations in Lucknow, Agra, Chandigarh and Meerut. There are different e-commerce leaders who are just trying to enter the hyper-local segment. ShopMate is something that stands ahead and will hopefully continue its growth. It’s like a win-win for both sellers and the buyers.