Your favourite spots, a click away

Humble beginning
Last Updated 22 August 2014, 06:42 IST

Wooplr, a local product discovery platform for fashion, decor and food, has taken online shopping to a whole new level.

 The site, launched in March last year by Arjun Zacharia, Praveen Rajaretnam, Ankit Sabharwal and Soumen Sarkar, promotes local stores through online recommendations. 

“Wooplr makes it easy to discover and share your favourite fashion, decor and food finds from stores and eateries around you. You can recommend your favourite shopping finds and dishes using photos and see what others have recommended wherever you are,” says Ankit, who was a freelance photographer.

Prior to this venture, Arjun Zacharia, Praveen Rajaretnam and Soumen Sarkar were the co-founders of auto404.org. Unlike most sites that post reviews, this one doesn’t have that option. “There are no reviews on Wooplr – only recommendations. It shows you what’s good nearby, wherever you are. It also helps you find products and dishes you love, from the people and stores that interest you, making the process a whole lot easier,” he adds. 

Arjun says, “Shoppers can find out about new and interesting products and stores by subscribing to tastemakers outside their social circle. And for businesses, especially SMBs, we provide an effective way to leverage their existing customers experiences and attract new ones and target them based on tastes. We want to build a credible online storefront.”

 They recently launched a new ‘hyperlocal’ feature on their Android app which allows users to locate the best places to shop and eat at places close to them. “The ‘Nearby’ feature on the app is a unique local discovery facility that shows Wooplr users what’s good nearby. The feature comes with a search option, which allows users to look up specific recommendations based on their choice, ultimately helping users decide what and where they will eat,” said Sowmen. 

“A user might be looking for those perfect heels, searching for stores that sell them in a two-km radius around them. A search on the Wooplr app will show them the best-heeled shoes recommended by shoppers as blips on map around them in an instant. The best bit is that with a click, they can find out more about the store, contact them or eventually purchase it through the app.

Another user might want to know where they can get ‘macarons’ in Koramangala. Once ‘Woop’ed, the results will show the user where they can get them, and if the first user feels like it, they can get them delivered at their doorstep,” says Arjun.  How do they get their funding? “We were initially bootstrapped for a few months. Then we raised a small friends and family round post our launch last year. We are currently in the process of securing funds from institutional investors,” says Ankit.

 Wooplr markets through both online and offline channels but mostly the former. “It’s zero-dollar marketing. We rely primarily on SEO, SMM, email, blog and social media. Apart from that, we have Wooplr Guides — which generates a lot of traffic for us as it's a curated list of the best recommendations from people city-wise,” sums up Praveen.  

(Published 20 August 2014, 13:09 IST)

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