#Asia A virtual shopping buddy just raised $1m. An ex-Huawei prez bought into the idea


shopping, window shopping, food, millenial

An app to ace window shopping. Photo credit: drafthouse.com

Shopsup, an app that lets users find retail stores around them, has just raised US$1 million in seed funding.

Yang Shu, a former Huawei president and CEO of Taojinjia, and Anand Sankeshwar of transportation company VRL Logistics are its mentors and investors.

With a promise of getting “high on shopping,” Shopsup targets millennials who still like to buy things from brick and mortar stores.

Indian millennials want to be rewarded for their window shopping.

Despite a boom in ecommerce, India’s retail market is expected to hit US$1.3 trillion by 2020, registering a compound growth rate of 16.7 percent since 2015. That clearly shows offline shopping is still not passé in the world’s second biggest smartphone market.

Bangalore-based Shopsup says it wants to bridge the gap between online and offline shopping by becoming a virtual shopping companion to millennials. It offers exclusive offers and discounts from their favorite brands and stores, and instant gratification via rewards that they collect through walk-ins and purchases in-store – and even recommending what, when, and where to shop.

Not blind to the huge window shopping trend among the upwardly mobile, Shopsup also promises rewards – dubbed “shots” – for simply walking in at some partner stores.

Steering shoppers

Shopsup screengrab

A Shopsup screengrab.

The rewards can be instantly redeemed for usables like free movie tickets, cab rides, spas, or gift vouchers. ShopsUp has partnered with Uber to help young buyers with their shopping runs.

“Indian millennials want to be rewarded for their window shopping as well as actual shopping behavior, and marketers want to capture these moments as and when they happen,” said said Suhas Gopinath, co-founder and CEO at ShopsUp. “[The] use of analytics allows us to partner with top brands and local boutiques and provide them with customized solutions.”

Shopsup counts Adidas, Pepe Jeans, and Van Heusen among its partners.

“We believe that the right offers delivered in the right context and right place can drive business for both organized as well as local retail establishments.”

Shopsup is currently a free Android app with an iOS version coming soon. The plan is to use the smartphone to help brand and retail partners with data on a consumer’s decision-making habits and choices by telling them where they shop, or how many times they visit a store.

It also incentivizes the shopper to buy more offline – helping them right from finding a store through the actual purchase, while helping shops increase product engagement, unit sales, and returns on investment.

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