This week we caught up with entrepreneur Nathalie Gaveau of Shopcade. She discusses creating and selling her first business and recently launching Shopcade in Asia. She also advises women to quit talking about what projects they’re going to do and to get out and do them!
Tell us about Shopcade.
Shopcade is the world’s first social shopping app. Think Amazon and Facebook infused with fashion, or it is often referred to in the media as a “shoppable Instagram.”
Our community of users can browse through celebrity styles, create wish lists from what’s trending and shop their favourite looks all in one place, with the added bonus of exclusive deals from our huge network of partners.
It is very entertaining and we always keep our content fresh and new, always with our community of users in mind and what they want to see in regard to celebrity trends, general fashion trends and the newest and coolest brands.
Shopcade is web based and mobile – free to download on iOS and Android, but a word of warning, it is addictive.
What inspired you to start Shopcade?
The concept was born out of innovation – observing new buying and sharing behaviours and understanding how to position commerce around those behaviours.
On a basic level, it’s about the marriage of content and commerce. I saw a lot of sites that were e-commerce, but lacking content and lacking quality curation. There was no one site for e-commerce that was social and it wasn’t quite working on larger social media platforms.
What have been your biggest challenges being an entrepreneur?
The biggest challenge is to focus and to smartly do less. When you’re running your own tech company, there are always a million things that you could be doing and suggestions come in from everyone, everywhere. But you can’t do everything. It’s about addressing the business aspects that are in line with the users.
What have been your biggest challenges being a woman in an industry driven by men?
I am a female entrepreneur in a male driven industry, but it really doesn’t matter. The great thing about the web is that the industry doesn’t care what gender you are. It’s about content creation, transactions and data. The Internet is completely open to opportunity for anyone – young, old, male or female.
Fashion technology is a hot market right now. What sets Shopcade apart from the rest?
I envision Shopcade as the global social fashion app. It’s great to see what musicians, bloggers and fashion influencers are wearing – that kind of content is everywhere, but we’ve taken it up a notch and connected that content to e-commerce. Our community of nearly one million users can immediately purchase the looks they’re inspired by from the over 150,000 brands that we have on the site via our own e-commerce offering or through our vast affiliate network that includes everyone from Motel Rocks to Topshop to Liberty.
We’re also using our data at Shopcade to tailor the experience across a wide array of functions to make it more interesting for the community. Shopcade is also becoming a top marketing platform for brands.
What are some of your proudest accomplishments in your entrepreneurial journey so far?
My entrepreneurial journey is about proactiveness. I create opportunities by turning my thoughts into action and build international teams to deliver plans.
Creating the ‘eBay of France,’ PriceMinister, building it up and then selling it with my business partner Pierre Kosciusko-Morizet was incredible and put me on the map as not just a female tech entrepreneur, but one of the most successful tech entrepreneurs in all of Europe. At the time of creation, the dot-com bubble had just burst, so e-commerce wasn’t a popular topic. The difficult climate actually helped because it prevented us from making the mistakes of the others before us. It was at PriceMinister that I discovered my love for the web. It combines the creative and analytical – right brain and left brain.
When we sold PriceMinister in 2010, we were one of the biggest e-commerce exits in Europe. But there was no way that I was going to stop working. That’s where Shopcade comes in.
At Shopcade I’m building upon what I learned in the sector, but adapting to the new shopping environment: visual, mobile, personalized and social. Shopcade is also very international and we made it scalable from the start.
The greatest success at Shopcade so far has been the launch of our mobile app. This made a significant difference in active engaged users daily. Users are now logging in daily to check out what is trending, even when they’re not shopping. It’s also starting to become a content destination in its own right, which is really exciting. The launch of the mobile app has helped make us focus on simplicity more too and end user benefits.
We’ve also just launched in India – setting up a satellite Shopcade team there, and we will be launching in Tokyo later in the year.
What advice would you give to girls/women interested in joining tech or startups?
Women and girls that are interested in tech just need to start. The most important thing that I can advise is to stop talking about projects. If you have a project in mind, you should do it. Tech is still a fairly young industry and if you have good ideas and can realise them, people don’t really care if you are a woman. Both the tech industry and the web are very open, young and meritocratic, making them great environments for women.