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SR 10 Fastest Growing Retail Companies 2016

Navigating the customers to the right fashion store at the right time: Shop Skipper


“Do not ask directions from the people around you. Ask directions from the person who called you.”  -Bo Sánchez

Shop Skipper was founded in 2015, it is a smart app devised to eliminate the search time associated with physical shopping a consumer faces. Today, when a consumer wants to shop in the city, they have to go store to store searching for their requirement. Worse, they are not even completely aware of all the options they have to shop from. Having surveyed 200 people in the city and taking inspiration from Zomato, they devised ShopSkipper – a fashion discovery platform to solve this problem.

The problem is solved in two ways – one is the discovery feature wherein various stores are shown under different categories where in users can see whats selling in stores around them and ratings and reviews of stores and the other is the “submit enquiry” feature where in users can simply upload a picture, write a sentence of what they are looking for, choose their budget and size and say “post”. Immediately all the sellers listed with Shop Skipper under that budget/category receive that enquiry and they can respond to the user with what is available in their store. Thus, a user cannot discover stores, but can also chat with them. It’s a merely discovery platform, user has to walk in to the store to purchase the product.

Headquartered in Chennai, the company recently won the HOT100 tech awards. The app aims to be an all in one city guide to offline shoppers- with their help, shoppers can see what’s selling in stores around them and also get chatting with them. They have over 250 stores in the city listed with them, from best designers and boutiques to retail brands and stand out stores.

Navigating to the right fashion store!.. Read how Shop Skipper does that

  • The company has integrated Instant Chat platform, which connects the consumers to the retailers directly and enables them to post a query with a pictures and get instant reply on the availability of the product. They are soon going to integrate image recognition platform which will instantly identify the products in their inventory and directly communicate with the consumer. The company is also going to have a lot of in app events to drive footfalls and sales.
  • This platform enables Brick and mortar stores to reach out to the untapped audience and consumers to know their city better.
  • Retailer is benefitted by pushing their off season products as well as new stock through their customized categories
  • Consumer on the other end gets a wide array of options to shop from their neighborhood.
  • Their discovery with enquiry feature, blogger tie ups, leading store sign ups and their complete first mover advantage is the basis of their sustainable growth.
  • Providing various benefits to users of the app such as ability to see/touch/try the merchandise, immediate availability of the product, certainty of the fit and suitability of the product, customer engagement to ensure complete satisfaction, thereby enabling higher walk-ins into the store.

Relishing the “First-mover” advantage and plotting the future
Since, the company is one of its kind, they have more advantage in the city. Does no app in the country provide a platform to directly communicate with offline sellers, there is no discovery portal in the city for designers and boutiques where in new stores can be discovered. They bring to light smaller and lesser known brands in the discovery feature, wherein also providing an enquiry feature to make brick and mortar stores more reachable to shoppers. With over 250 stores registered with them currently, a team of 5 bloggers, and 12 student ambassadors appointed in leading colleges and schools, they are hard to compete with in this field. Their chat feature has involved imparting a lot of training and education to all the sellers listed with them, which makes this feature almost impossible to replicate.

They forecast the store sign ups to grow by 10-15% every month, once advertising kicks in. On the user front, after successful beta version testing, on Jan 1st week, they have conducted first of its kind app based treasure hunt for the launch and have generated more than a 1000 downloads since then.

Working with the Big-shots of clothing industry
The leading brands from Madura Fashions such as Van Huesen & People, Other big brands like Avirate, Globus, Calonge, Venfeild, etc. To start up designers and boutiques which are not well known. Popular boutiques and designers include Amethyst, Vivek Karunakaran, Silk Route, Gabbana, and other well known names in the industry.

Meet the Master Duo

Kamakshi Maheshwari, Co-Founder
Having graduated from the prestigious London Business School, along with an undergraduate degree Bachelors of Commerce, she has also been a final contestant in the LBS incubator. Work experience consists of investment banking jobs, with Goldman Sachs and ARGA investment Management. She also conducted the prestigious Business Immersion Week held annually in LBS and represented the school in an exchange programme in Fudan University Shanghai. With a 96% in 12th, specialization in Finance and a 700 score in GMAT examination, Kamakshi always shown commendable skills in problem solving and critical analysis.

Prerna Jain, Co-Founder
Encapsulating on creativity and strategy to build a platform for lesser known brands, designers and boutiques, Shop Skipper’s Co-founder Prerna has badged a masters degree in fashion management from world famous London College of Fashion, along with a 2 years work experience in the field of fashion and media. She also launched a fashion label “Adoraa” under her name in early 2012. Her forte lies in selling ideas of distinguished designers and creating a platform for boutiques and budding startups.

“We help customers to find the best places to shop and get talking with them.”