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Sean Korb

New Chicago Start up Reppio is Championing Local Shopping Online

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Looking for a great dinner place in a new neighborhood? Yelp’s probably your best bet outside of your friends. Need a cool place to stay? Kayak, Airbnb, or Jetsetter can show you some great options. Want to find unique stuff and awesome places to shop in your neighborhood? Well, that’s been a time-consuming process, until now.

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Reppio.com just launched in Chicago to address the difficulties of local shopping – finding and following favorite local shops. Our mission is simple: bring the best of local shopping within reach of everyone. 

Reppio has been created to show both locals and tourists where they can find and shop the coolest small shops all over the Windy City from a single aggregated platform.  

The concept came about when Samir, Rich and I independently found ourselves heading to cookie cutter malls to buy whatever was there, just because we didn’t know any better.  The two times I visited Chicago (I’m originally from Boston), only shops I went into were on Michigan Ave. (the same stores you can find in Boston, NYC, or really in the malls of Anytown, USA). The third time however, I met a friend who introduced me to Chicago in a totally different light - new neighborhoods with the coolest boutiques; taking part of neighborhood festivals showcasing local designers' latest hand-made goods. 

We found that our most memorable possessions are items that you just can’t find anywhere else but at these local hidden gems. With Reppio, we want our users to stumble on that perfect item much more frequently.

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Reppio’s design, technology, and local expertise provide a unique experience in local shopping: tailored discovery while providing more flexibility than any shopping platform out there today.  We have a social feed that recommends stores and products from neighbors, friends, and followers; people can come on daily to find new items from our curators; or come on once a month and see currently trending items in Chicago.  Also, in the works - our guide which allows shoppers to explore by personal style within each city and neighborhood. 

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Comments

Adam Farooq

i just checked out your site and it looks really beautiful! I can't wait to see what you guys do with it in the upcoming months!

Alex Fedotov

Good luck with your 'social log-in'.
It's 2013, not 2010.

Richard Kim

You can sign up via email if you would like as well; however, experience is optimized with better shop/product recommendations using the social log-in.

Also, the comment about 2013 v. 2010 seems unjustified in our space. Wanelo, a social shopping site that has been going viral this year heavily promotes social log-in for similar purposes. Tinder, a viral dating app, that launched late half of 2012 actually enforces only social log-in to help better match users. JackThreads, a men's fashion site that's gone viral 2012/2013 heavily promotes social log-in as well. Storenvy, a competitor to Etsy but catered toward younger audience, now has 40,000 stores and 100,000+ uniques a month pushes social log-in via fb at various points of the site.

For Reppio, there is an actual benefit to the social log-in because we are working hard to ensure local product and store discovery happens with friends via online instead of through word of mouth.

Adam Marzi

While I disagree with Alex' troll-ish approach, I agree with him in principle. I will not use these sites that require some personal information, even if it's just email, to browse the site. I understand why it's beneficial to the business - after all, you can sell my email address and other personal information to your marketing partners - but I find it kind of obnoxious and I know I'll get inundated with junk mail if I get up the info. I've visited some of the sites mentioned in Richard's comments (JackThreads, Wanelo, Gilt, etc.) and was instantly turned off by the lack of visibility.

Just because others are doing it and are successful doesn't mean everyone should do it. Think about all of the people that you are turning away because of this social log-in feature. I am right in JackThread's target demographic, but I refuse to use the site because of the social log-in. If they would just let me browse the site, I'd probably buy something, Instead, I'll take my business elsewhere. Same goes for Reppio - interesting idea, but I'd rather stop into a few local stores personally then "sign up" for this website.

Having said that, best of luck with the launch.

Alex Fedotov

You will discover soon that those 'facebook friends' (whatever it might mean) are situated in remote localities and that's exactly why they are 'facebook friends'. You will have the data soon.
Local is TOTALLY 'perpendicular' to 'social', I can tell you.
As to the FORCED log-in/registrations - those times are over, the other (very greedy) guys have burned this bridge, you will have the evidence (data) soon.
P.S. I wouldn't suggest paying too much attention to the forged numbers circulating in the hype machine too.

Richard Kim

Thanks for your insights, Alex.

For us, targeting anyone outside of Chicago at this time is not our focus. I think it is important to understand how Reppio is expected to tackle the demand side of the equation (which is proprietary to us at this point). Since it's 2013 and not 2010, Reppio does not have to target "friends" outside of X in the various methods that we have to acquire and retain users.

Variations for the WALL especially in the e-commerce/ online retail space is still common, very popular and can be very very effective which in turn, helps maximize LTCV. I will assume that you have access to data based on aggregated industries but I am intrigued to see what online retail conversion specific data that you have that can help us better understand why everyone else in our industry that is currently succeeding could be wrong. If you do, I'd love to see it because it's appears to be deriving contradictory conclusions to data sets that we currently have access to.

I will elucidate with further case studies to prove this point in the space we play in. Fab.com is the world's fastest growing e-commerce site in history having recently raised $150m in series D; it definitely didn't start in 2010 (this is a fact, not some forged numbers). Fab has only taken down it's WALL as of last week after they hit 10m+ registered users (this is also a fact, not some forged numbers). Now, you may argue that it's different for a deep discount e-commerce retailer vis-a-vis other marketplace platforms. Then a prime example playing in the social online retail platform space beside Wanelo is Fancy. They continue to have variations to the WALL. You can go on to their twitter page to get a sense of how many millions of users in 2012/2013 were fine with going through a wall to experience the site (I believe 7m+ users were fine with it if you back into their math). If you still don't believe me, then you can go to Svpply, another social e-commerce site that was acquired by eBay in September 2012. They also have a variation to the WALL. Specifically in the local marketplace space that's becoming popular, you can go to Sidetour, a site that focuses on providing unique local activities and just recently raised series A. They also have a WALL.

I think what type of wall is acceptable in today's world varies on how you intend to acquire users on the demand side, age range your site is targeting, and what you offer as a product/service/overall value.

Alex Fedotov

Richard, I'm not attacking what you do. And you can do it the way you want. Moreover, I like what you are trying to accomplish.
As to the fairy tales I'm pretty immune to them, there's no need to repeat them.

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