Platform Feature: HappyShappy

HappyShappy
Brand Saga

 About HappyShappy

HappyShappy is an idea and product discovery platform, as well as a universal shopping cart for the things you love anywhere on the internet. This startup brings together users who enjoy unique ideas and home grown products, and sellers who want a beautiful platform. 

The company was founded in September 2016 by Nitin Sood & Sana Hoda Sood. Nitin is the CEO of the company and Sana is the Creative Head of HappyShappy.

Whom do we cater to?

We cater to anyone with a smartphone — but primarily to women between 18 and above who love fashion, gifting, food, travel, decor, and celebrations. Anyone who wants great ideas and loves discovering the best of what India has to offer should definitely check out HappyShappy. We also cater heavily to home grown brands, bloggers, photographers, influencers and our favourite – shopaholics.

What do we offer to our consumers

HappyShappy aims to solve one of the biggest challenges in Indian e-commerce – an overabundance of everything. As a product discovery platform, we sit above all shopping websites and portals. We offer a quality filter using which the modern consumer can enjoy not just the purchasing aspect but the ‘discovery’ as well. We provide people with an opportunity to find items they might have never heard of but will love when they see it.

Our flagship product, the HappyShappy app offers a well-curated roundup of ideas & products via a vast community of users and 750 select vendors across the country. Implementing the concept of a Universal Shopping Cart, it offers a seamless shopping experience where users can discover the most relevant & aesthetic products from multiple retail websites without leaving the app. This removes friction from mobile checkout, translates into fewer taps & scrolls, removes the problem of bookmarked pages, decreases the number of abandoned carts, improves customer retention and fixes numerous other shopping issues.

What motivated us to start up?

Both Nitin and Sana had thriving careers in Washington DC. Nitin was with the World Bank, and Sana was with a multinational. Life was perfect on paper – the jobs, the home, the stability — and yet they wanted to do something more. And so after decades in the US, Nitin and Sana packed up their lives (and their kids) and shifted across the world to Delhi to launch HappyShappy. It was borne out of the desire to do something more, to do something out of the box as they knew it was now or never.

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What’s in the name?

Naming a startup is one of the most important aspects of your business. This name will be attached to the brand image for years to come. Sana and Nitin wanted the name to be a harbinger of positive emotions. The duo ran through many titles, but they all felt one dimensional and lacked the emotion they were going for, which was extreme positivity. And then in a single epiphany, HappyShappy came to their minds.

Why did we keep it? Because there’s no sad way to say it! The name stays in memory, generates curiosity or results in a range of expressions, from bewildered smiles to full-bellied laughs – which make for a fantastic first impression!

Our Team

HappyShappy platform feature

How do we see Social Media?

Social media has undoubtedly become an essential component of most of our lives — but we also see parts of it becoming a dangerous phenomenon if not managed properly. When used properly, it’s a great way to stay connected with people and be entertained — but if we let it consume us, it has been proven to increase anxiety and depression rates as well. For this reason, even though HappyShappy is a social media site, we don’t want our users worth on our platform to be measured by likes and filters.

HappyShappy is social media – but not the kind that is driven by FOMO – it’s the kind that is driven by the joy of doing things for yourself – the joy of discovering ideas for yourself and products for your friends and family. 

Currently, we are…

Our growth story is truly remarkable. Six months ago, we were a small group of fewer than ten individuals working out of Nitin and Sana’s basement. Today, we’ve doubled and are making leaps in our business every day. Doing something for the first time is always a challenge. As a team and as friends, we have grown immensely by the experience. It’s hard at times, yet strengthening in the long run.

As far as consumers go, our base keeps on expanding. Thanks to word-of-mouth marketing, thousands of users from all across the country have become a part of what we call the ‘HappyShappy family’. We often organize events which are offline versions of our online app experiences — users come to our office in Saket and are able to discover ideas (such as Delhi’s top mehendi artists), learn makeup tutorials (through live demonstrations from celebrity makeup artists), shop home grown brands (such as StalkBuyLove and Sugar Cosmetics) and much more. This has helped grow our consumer base and really drive consumer retention as well. 

Our biggest challenge was...

Our biggest challenge lies in the social aspect of our platform. The contemporary social media paradigm is designed on an instant-gratification model. Just within a few minutes of posting selfies or updating the status, a user expects some kind of ‘approval’ in the form of likes, comments or replies. The HappyShappy app, in contrast, is based on a self-happiness model. Convincing users that they don’t need any approval is where we struggle the most.

We want to dominate the world by…

Bringing the cream to the top! As the discovery layer that sits on top of e commerce sites, we’re aiming to curate the best, most unique ideas and products in India so that users can truly discover the best of what the country has to offer.

We want to share these across the globe by empowering the creators with an easy-to-manage platform where they can showcase their skills. Recently, we revamped our platform to become more flexible, integrative and user-friendly. Our plans include embracing regional and global languages and embracing customers from all age groups. This expansion will be possible via various social networks.

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We’re making moolah by…

We’ve got 5 different revenue streams, but hey hey, let’s not talk money just yet. We don’t charge our app users a thing, and nor are we charging the home grown brands on our platform anything either. Our focus, for now, is perfecting the product and driving engagement.

As with social media companies, chasing solely revenue too early as the primary metric is problematic, but our 5 streams are working out fine so far and we’ll be sure to update you on them when the time is right. 

Our What The **** Moment

The first offline event that we ever did was a makeup masterclass with a host of celebrity makeup artists from Delhi. We had planned the event to a T — but what we didn’t account for, being our first such event, were the egoes! The morning of the event itself, two of the 4 confirmed artists cancelled, refusing the share a stage with the other guests.

We went into a complete frenzy – thinking our first community event was doomed and our users would uninstall the app for sure. We decided to pull off an on the spot panel that Sana moderated off the cuff. It ended up being really spontaneous, fun, interactive.

Industry as we foresee

We think the role of the influencer will change dramatically in the coming years. We seem to be living in the boom era of bloggers right now and that bubble may burst soon. There are many many content creators who are doing a fantastic job in India, and others who are using shortcuts to create the facade of success.

As the smoke clears in the coming years on what the ROI is for brands on influencer marketing vs. other methods, we think the social media industry may become more democratized with your every-girl/guy becoming an influencer, rather than a select few being influencer based purely on their follower numbers (which are so easy to purchase these days).

Lastly, Are you hiring?

Yes, we’re always looking for talented people who can be a part of our endeavour and dream. If you are self-motivated, talented, energetic, looking for more than just a job, you can mail your resume at careers@happyshappy.com

Our current openings:-

  • Community
  • Partnerships
  • Android Developer
  • Digital Marketing
  • Internship for a duration of minimum 3 months

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