Spotlight: Shopswell Hopes to Make Online Shopping More Social

Spotlight: Shopswell Hopes to Turn Online Shopping Into Social Shopping

When it comes to online shopping, consumers aren’t always likely to see the best products and information. Sometimes, it’s more about which companies pay for visibility than it is about creating a great user experience. That’s where Shopswell comes in.

The team aims to improve online shopping through a social platform where shoppers can interact and discover new products. Read more about the business below in this week’s Small Business Spotlight.

What the Business Does

Provides a social platform for shoppers.

Mark How, co-founder of Shopswell told Small Business Trends, “Shopswell is the leading online destination where people can have fun discovering, curating and sharing products they love. The platform provides an avenue for members to browse through, or create their own shoppable lists on anything from the best throw pillows to brighten up a living room, to the coolest tech gadgets hitting the market. Shopswell is improving the way members shop by fostering a trusting community where shoppers can follow each other, comment and post personal product reviews to help other members find the best item to meet their needs.”

Business Niche

Rewarding helpful community members.

How says, “Despite being a small startup, we allocate $10,000 every month to reward the most helpful members of the community for answering questions, creating fabulous content and helping Shopswell grow.”

Shopswell Business Niche: Social Shopping

How the Business Got Started

Because of a frustration with the current state of online shopping.

How explains, “We couldn’t think of a single company that was exclusively focused on helping people find the best product for their needs, from the best place to buy it from. Our team is comprised of community builders, and we’re social by nature, so we immediately thought about what could happen, if we built a modern shopping platform. The platform would enable consumers to share authentic information, experiences, and passion for products, life and shopping. Thus, Shopswell was created.”

Biggest Win

Assembling a great team.

How says, “Pulling this team of women, men, founders and investors together to work seamlessly was unquestionably our biggest win. Truly exceptional, resilient, compatible personalities, and every one of us have years of success in extremely different directions and yet all aligned on the idea that if we built something that turned out to be truly helpful it would be worthwhile.”

Lesson Learned

Learn from mistakes and move on.

How says, “We all try to learn quickly as a team and adjust on the fly rather than talking about do-overs. There are just so many variables at play in a given moment, and major decisions are being made by smart people with their best intention/judgement at the time, and in the conditions of the day. This goes for staff and our venture investor partners too. At a deep spiritual level we’ve all had to get good at forgiving the universe for the stuff that just happened, and moving on with what we know now.”

How They’d Spend an Extra $100,000

Thanking the team.

How explains, “We volunteered to take a pay cut in July to extend our runway, and validate our assumptions. No one has complained, not even for a minute, but this has to be hard on their families. I’m grateful, and would love to show them that.”

Shopswell Social Shopping

Team Gift

Star Wars stuff.

How says, “I’m a total Star Wars geek – so we all got Star Wars figures at Christmas.”

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Find out more about the Small Biz Spotlight program

Images: Shopswell [Top Image: Left to right:(Tim Erdmann) (GK Parish-Philp, co-founder) (Jordan Greenhall, co-founder) (Sondra Drahos, co-founder and director of social media) (Tina Gammon, social media manager) (Mark How, co-founder) (Michael Ferguson, software engineer); Second Image: From left to right: (Sondra Drahos, co-founder and director of Social Media) (Mark How, co-founder) (Jordan Greenhall, co-founder) (Tim Erdmann, designer)(GK Parish-Philp, co-founder) (Tina Gammon, social media manager)(Michael Ferguson, software engineer); Third Image: Left to right: (GK Parish-Philp, co-founder) (Mark How, co-founder) (Jordan Greenhall, co-founder) (Tina Gammon, social media manager) (Michael Ferguson, software engineer) (Sondra Drahos, co-founder and director of social media) (Tim Erdmann)]

Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 12 years. Annie covers feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. She has a bachelor’s degree from Columbia College Chicago in Journalism and Marketing Communications.