To be on your favorite store’s email list, receive notifications about great deals, and deal with more clutter in your inbox – or not to be? It’s a dilemma we’ve all faced. But with the fast-approaching launch of Shopilly, a free shopping service built around a visual merchant-email inbox, the quandary will be an artifact of the past. Anirban Datta, Shopilly’s Founder and CEO, sat down with us to tell us about the genesis of the product, how it works, and its potential to transform the retail experience for both consumers and retailers in e-commerce and brick-and-mortar stores.
The High Low: How did the idea for Shopilly come to you?
Anirban Datta: Dealing with the daily clutter and total chaos of my Yahoo inbox became too overwhelming. There were just too many emails that I needed to shuffle through every single day. I realized the experience was totally broken, so I set out to fix it and started building Shopilly.
HL: In a few words, how would you define Shopilly?
AD: A visual shopping platform that gives consumers access to promotions and emails from their favorite retailers without clogging their personal inbox.
HL: How does it work?
AD: It’s very user-friendly. All you have to do is “like” your favorite stores on Shopilly, and all of their emails come through on your homepage feed. And the feed doesn’t look like a regular email inbox; it visually displays the promotional emails so it’s easier and more fun to look through them. We also give users an email address ([email protected]) that they can use any time they shop. So next time your favorite store—whether it’s an apparel retailer or furniture store—asks for your email address, you can give them your Shopilly ID and stay connected without worrying about getting overwhelmed by merchant emails in your personal inbox.
Shopilly aims to give your shopping life a “makeover.” It will be available on Mac & PC computers as well as iPads in September and iPhones in October.
HL: Why would someone want to use Shopilly?
AD: Shopilly lets you centralize your shopping information all in one place and access it whenever you want, wherever you want. You can “like” your favorite stores on Shopilly so you don’t have to register for emails with each individual retailer. You can set reminders so you don’t forget about a special sale. You can also save shopping lists, and all of your transactions and receipts in a purchase folder. Basically, Shopilly makes your life easier. It’s like having a personal shopping secretary that works 24/7.
HL: Does Shopilly have any other cool features you haven’t had the chance to mention yet?
AD: Glad you asked! We have a catalog of hundreds of stores that you can search through by retailer or product category. You can even search for deals by keywords. Shopilly is more than an organizational tool; it’s also a great way to discover new brands and trends.
HL: Why do you believe that Shopilly will be successful?
AD: We are offering a service that consumers want and need. Customers are inundated with email promotions and messages, most of which end up in the trash. Shopilly is collecting pertinent information from retailers that largely gets ignored and presenting it to consumers in a way that is easily digestible and accessible anytime they want it.
HL: Who are your competitors?
AD: We currently don’t have any competitors in the market. This is a totally new and innovative platform.
HL: How do you predict that Shopilly will change retail?
AD: Shopilly has the potential to fundamentally transform the way retailers communicate with their customers, partly by offering retailers access to their offline customers in the online space. We expect that customers who use Shopilly will no longer hesitate to offer retailers their email address, since they can just give them their Shopilly ID. We are also launching a mobile app through which retailers can contact their customers while they are shopping – in or near their stores. This is a huge benefit for the retailer community that currently does not exist. Retailers who take advantage of our service will be ahead of the curve in terms of learning more about who their customers really are and what they really want. They will be able to build much closer relationships with both their online and offline customers.
HL: So, when does the game-changing service launch?
AD: We are launching our Beta product to test it out in late August by invitation-only to friends and family. But keep an eye out for your exclusive invitation through The High Low.