Dubizzle, one of the leading classifieds websites in the region, has announced that it has invested $1 million in a new mobile-only fashion marketplace app ‘Shedd’, created by two former employees.
A first of its kind in the UAE, Shedd provides an online marketplace for good-quality second-hand fashion items, as well as new items from small businesses and independent designers, and is set to completely transform the way UAE fashion-lovers buy and sell in their communities. Now available to download for free from the Apple AppStore, Shedd will also soon be available on Android phones.
Shedd allows users to post items for sale quickly, easily and for free; with potential buyers able to filter items by social media friends or users near them, chat with other users via the app and like and comment on items. Similar to Instagram, users are encouraged to use hashtags when posting their goods, to categorize and sort all items posted; with page ranking determined by the quality and rarity of the item, as well as the quality of the photo, description and hashtags used.
Shedd was incubated within dubizzle by a team led by co-founders Tariq Zabian and Alex Hutley who previously held the positions of GM Emerging Markets and Marketing Director respectively at dubizzle. Alex and Tariq reveal the inspiration behind the app: “The fashion industry is
growing massively in the region, especially in the UAE – the UAE is one of the world’s top three developing countries for retail development - and although this growth has seen many new local and international brands revelling in success, the second-hand entrepreneur and hobbyist sector has been massively under-serviced."
The company further added, “The growth of the fashion industry, when combined with the rise of online shopping in the UAE and the increasing use of social media channels as a first port of call for those searching for fashion goods to purchase, highlighted a need to create a one-stop online marketplace providing a similar user experience to Instagram, through which aspiring designers, entrepreneurs and hobbyists can showcase their talents. However, unlike Instagram, users of Shedd can complete the transaction – whether buying or selling - via the same app.”
Prior to developing the app, Shedd conducted a survey on the fashion and spending habits of UAE women, with the finding and insights gained from the results ultimately identifying a huge gap in the e-commerce market, leading to the creation of the app.
Alex and Tariq commented: “We believe everyone loves shopping irresponsibly - buying the things they love and aspire to - but hate the guilt of frivolous purchases. One of the key findings from our survey was that the average woman’s wardrobe is made up of 60% items she has either never worn, or has only worn once or twice. From this
insight, we saw an opportunity to build a simple product, which harnesses modern technology, coupled with exceptional service, to help solve the eternal problem of what to wear."
Commenting on the new development, General Manager of
dubizzle Barry Judge said: “Shedd is set to completely transform the way in which consumers in the UAE buy and sell fashion goods, much like dubizzle entirely transformed the way in which people bought and sold their second-hand goods – from their cars to their homes – when it launched ten years ago. Alex and Tariq identified a huge gap in the UAE’s fashion e-commerce market and responded by creating an engaging, social media-inspired fashion platform which we anticipate will be excitedly adopted by all UAE fashion consumers. Hence, we have
invested a substantial amount of money in the app – our first investment in our ten years of trading."
Source: The National