A recent conversation with a friend suddenly set me thinking on how every social media website is a clone of the other. All have profiles, news feed and messenger as the main features. What next? Nothing. There’s simply no innovation happening here, and same is the case with the eCommerce websites. All of them have a landing page that’s full of bestsellers, discount slides blinking away, as if telling you buy the product right now, and an utterly confusing arrangement of products. Almost none of the eCommerce startups are addressing this pain point.
What is the first thing that you do when you buy a product? Read the details directly without looking at the product? No. The first thing that you do when you buy, or for that matter, think of buying a product, is see that product. Especially in case of apparel, footwear and accessories, the range of products that many leading eCommerce firms seem to be largely betting on. Yet, when you go to most websites you find poor quality images and improper arrangement. Startup Sweetcouch aims to address this issue, and more.
On the first instance, it appears like the Pinterest of window shopping. Sweetcouch is primarily a window shopping portal with an elegant showcase of products. While browsing through the products on display you can choose to either buy them right away or save them in your bucket list for some other day. This way you can make an online list of products that you wish to buy. The products on display are from various sellers who have showcased their products. Sweetcouch doesn’t have its own products on sale; it is just an eCommerce platform to showcase products of vendors.
Sweetcouch hasn’t tied up with any seller yet. It provides equal opportunity to all online shops (big or small), brands, independent sellers, artisans and local boutique shops to showcase their products. The sellers cannot influence the visibility of their product on Sweetcouch, and this is one of its most important features. Also, as a part of its interface, you have Shop Picker, a plug-in that sits in the browser’s bookmark bar. With this, you can save your picks from different shops at one place on Sweetcouch.
Sweetcouch is the brainchild of Rajesh Chokhani, who wishes to leverage his 20 years of experience in various countries to cater differently to the Indian audience. On the technical front he’s assisted by Deepak Garg and Manish Deora, whereas the ladies in the team, Jayshree Nayak and Meenakshi Soni assist with marketing and content development respectively.
Currently, under Rajesh’s command, Sweetcouch is witnessing possibly the highest click through rate, somewhere between 25-37%, on their ‘Buy Now’ button. Also, till date, Sweetcouch has already sent close to 15000 shoppers to various retailers. And all this comes even by purely relying on organic and word-of-mouth publicity.
From a retailer perspective, Rajesh says, Sweetcouch should be a really good position because it has been designed in a way that accentuates the product above anything else. Not on price or discounts. This, he says, is a win-win for current eCommerce players who are already operating on a very low margin. Sounds like a good thing for independent sellers, artisans, and small brands, but the Pinterest look puts me off. What do you think?