With the proliferation of Apps, we see its impact in all kinds of consumer segments. We recently reviewed NowFloats Boost, which is an App targeted at SME to create their own websites in 13 minutes. As we see SME owners moving towards and embracing technology, more apps are coming into the market to serve their needs.
As a manufacturer, sending Catalogs on a periodic basis to keep them informed is necessary and often comes with a lot of cost. NextGenCatalogs, a product of WireddIn Interactive Pvt. Ltd aims to solve this problem by taking the catalog creation, sharing and responding to the queries mobile.
As a seller, one can download the app and start uploading their product catalog onto the app. Once the product catalog is created, all the buyers that have the app installed can instantly see the changes/additions to the product catalog. Also, the product catalog can be shared via a variety of social media applications. If a buyer has an inquiry on one of the products, the app allows a product centric chat. This happens in the context of product, and the seller has the opportunity to answer the queries and close the sale.
Sharing Catalogs, and being available to buyers at all times in a click are the core features of the app. It currently comes with a watermark, and the app developers provide an option to create a white labeled application. So far, the platform has managed to gather 197 users, including 24 sellers. A total of 619 products have been uploaded by these sellers within 2 months of launch. While the buyer account always remains free, sellers are charged Rs. 7000/yr after the initial free trial period.
For the stack being used for the app development, the main backend app is written in Django using MySQL as the primary database.The CMS and user facing frontend is written in HTML, using AngularJS for structuring the frontend (using MVC architecture). The app’s infrastructure is on AWS, and their primary web server is Nginx.
We’ve downloaded and tested the app, from a buyer’s point of view. The app is quite intuitive, and it lets me see the catalogs from all the sellers in my phone book. It comes with a neat menu, using mobile phone no. as the user id. One of the best features of the app is the walkthrough given to the buyer, with a fading blue hand explaining the steps he can do on the app. The product centric chat is modeled very similar to other mobile chat interfaces, and I did not face any difficulty to interact with the seller through chat.
Although the app is simple to use, it will definitely clutter my small screen – once I have tens of suppliers showcasing hundreds of products all the time to me. Also, as this app is targeted at SME, supporting vernacular should be one of the top priorities as the untapped market really lies in the non-english speaking segment. The entire framework of the app depends on how many buyers and sellers download and use the app on a regular basis.
The app is currently available for Android and the iOS App is in plans soon. If you are an SME struggling with product catalogs, we recommend giving the app a try.