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Shopcade is a trends-based social shopping site which allows users to share, discover and shop trends and products, earning rewards along the way.
It has just added a new feature which lets users shop from Twitter trending topics.
I've been asking Communications Director Roxanne Varza about Shopcade...
In one sentence, what is Shopcade?
Shopcade is an innovative, trend-based social shopping site where you can discover, shop and share great products and get rewarded for it. Both Business Insider and Search Engine Watch recently called us "Pinterest for Commerce".
What problems does Shopcade solve?
Today, when many users go to buy things online, they are bombarded by offers and product reviews from people they may not know or care about. It's likely they are looking for a great deal on a product but they also want to know what certain people think of the item they're about to buy - like their friends, celebrities or experts.
With Shopcade, we've made a fun and social way for people to share the products they love with one another.
Users can create a personal page with their favourite products from our 70m product data base (we have over 30,000 brands, including Adidas, Nike, Chanel, Dior, Apple, Urban Outfitters and more) and compete with friends to become the hottest trendsetter.
Through their actions within the application, they can earn rewards and unlock exclusive prizes from some of the world's best-loved brands.
When and why did you launch it?
Our CEO, Nathalie Gaveau, has a strong e-commerce background. She previously co-founded the French eBay competitor, PriceMinister, which was acquired by Rakuten in 2010.
She definitely witnessed the e-commerce space go through dramatic transformation over the last decade and naturally noticed the growing importance of social.
Shopping has always been a social activity but shopping online is more solitary and less fun than going to the mall with friends. Therefore, the Shopcade idea came from wanting to create a fun, social shopping environment online and the application went live in December 2011.
Who is your target audience?
When we launched the application in December, we didn't really have a specific target audience in mind. Our user base is currently split between the US (where we recently opened an office) and the UK, where we currently offer rewards and prizes (otherwise, anyone can access the application).
We have over 30% male users on the platform and they tend to be on average younger than our female users. Men are usually in their early to mid 20s while women tend to be slightly older.
One thing that we are seeing from all of our users is a truly unique way of engaging with the platform and different products. For example, some users create Shopcade pages dedicated entirely to one product category, like all pink products, Hello Kitty products, or even Moose-themed products (see image).
What are your immediate goals?
We've just started rolling out some new gamification and trend features. For example, we recently launched a Klout-like "Trendsetter Score" so that users can understand how influential they are on the platform.
We've also integrated missions, so users can now unlock rewards and prizes by completing certain tasks. Finally, we have a brand new feature that just went live - which lets users shop products relating to real-time trends on Twitter.
We'll continue to integrate additional social channels and build on these features to make the Shopcade experience even more fun and relevant for each user.
What were the biggest challenges involved in building Shopcade?
We've been truly fortunate because our users and community have been overwhelmingly positive, to the point that they want us to expand quickly into more countries.
One of the biggest challenges will probably be making sure we expand into new markets at the right time. It's easy to get excited with all the enthusiasm but we need to make sure we execute gracefully and time things right.
How will the company make money?
Currently, we make money through an affiliate and performance-based model. But soon, merchants will have the option to pay a monthly fee for customised and branded pages with more functionality and analysis.
Who is in the team and what does it look like?
Our team is currently about 20 people split between our London HQ and New York office. We have a very international team with employees from Italy, Romania, the US, the UK, France, Lithuania, Portugal, Korea and more.
We're also very lucky to be working with some truly fantastic investors, including Carrefour's Daniel Bernhard, Eidos Game's Ian Livingstone and the BBC's Lord John Birt. The CEO, Nathalie Gaveau, is also a well-known serial entrepreneur in France.
Where would you like to be in one, three and five year’s time?
It's difficult to say exactly where we'd like to be in the future because we are always open to possibilities!
But in the immediate future, we want to continue to grow as we have been (our user base increased dramatically in the last few months) and to be able to provide a fun and social way for people to discover the best products online.