It’s that time of the year again when rooms are replete with splendid gifts and radiant smiles! You don’t just shop for your family and friends but decide to splurge a bit on yourself too. With so many online shopping portals and countless deals, picking up the right product seems to be an intricate task! That’s where Scandid comes in and becomes your shopping companion on the go by helping you find the best prices and coupons for things that you are looking to buy.
Founded by Madhur Khandelwal and Sushil Choudhari, it is an app available on Android, iPhone and the web and helps users to get the best deals by simply scanning the product box or searching the product name and instantly showing the prices and coupons from all online stores.
Madhur was a founding engineer at Thefind.com (which is one of the largest shopping search engines in the US) while Sushil was a cofounder at Dhingana (which is the #1 Bollywood music app in India). Both of them have worked earlier at Microsoft together. The two of them have a very good understanding of the ecommerce market and in general consumer internet and mobile space.
“We started looking at opportunities in the Indian market a couple of years ago. We observed that while consumers are getting a lot of choice when shopping online (with so many new ecommerce sites coming up literally every week), it’s getting more and more confusing for users to make their shopping decisions. Another point specific to India is the rise of Internet penetration on mobile devices making it truly a mobile first market. Connecting these dots, we came up with the idea of a mobile shopping companion and launched the first version of Scandid a couple of months back. We are very kicked with the response and motivated to build on this idea and solve more pain points that come at different stages and different modes of shopping.” added Madhur.
Scandid is the first and only barcode scanning based shopping app in the market that is multi-store and multi-category. However, some web based price aggregators that have been around for some time have mobile apps that have a text search feature similar to Scandid. It crawls 200+ online stores in India and maintains an up-to-date database of more than 5 million products along with their specifications, prices, applicable coupons etc. It also has a massive database of barcode to product mapping. Whenever a user scans some barcode using Scandid app or searches a product by its name, the app pulls up the best matches from its database and shows the latest prices and matches coupons for that product so that the user can be confident that he/she is getting the best possible deal.
Scandid has received tremendous positive feedback till date but things aren’t always easy for startups and like all startups they also faced their share of difficulties especially in getting the barcode database in place. They spent several months collecting barcode data from dozens of sources, cleaning the data and mapping it to their product database. Now that they have the app in place and initial traction with people using it, the next challenge lies in scaling it up in terms of usage and continue to add more products to their database.
Madhur believes the scope of such on the go shopping apps is enormous; “Ecommerce is growing, Smartphone penetration and Internet usage are growing exponentially. There is a lot of room for innovation that can make the shopping experience more fun as well money and time saving. Any app that solves a major problem can become huge.”
The team’s advice to budding entrepreneurs is to understand what the user wants and to keep evolving it as the user’s needs and market conditions change. You don’t always get it right in the first attempt, so perseverance is one of the most important qualities you need to have.