Online shopping has grown dramatically, year over year. And with that growth, new product discovery content has blossomed on the web and on mobile platforms. Pickie is one of the newer, more personalized mobile shopping options. An iOS application, Pickie is a mobile shopping magazine that leverages user interests and relevant web content to create personalized, shoppable catalogs sent directly to your iPad daily.
Pickie presents users with four types of content: New & Noteworthy, Editor’s Picks, Trending, and Your Social Network. New & Noteworthy content is comprised of recently mentioned products by trendsetters and influencers, completely based on the user’s interest. Editor’s Picks consist of the top products Pickie’s editors have chosen. Trending content is a mix of products that are trending on other web sources, like Etsy and department stores. Your Social Network is a feed of products shared by Facebook friends or “liked” pages, along with people and companies users follow on other social media, like Pinterest and Twitter.
Through the four content groups, users can search through a personalized catalog that includes product descriptions, prices, and the ability to purchase. Pickie is also in the process of including coupons and deals to help make the purchasing process more streamlined and user beneficial.
Tech Cocktail asked Sonia Sahney Nagar, cofounder and CEO of Pickie, about Pickie and her experience as a startup entrepreneur.
Tech Cocktail: What’s the hardest lesson you’ve had to learn so far?
Sonia Sahney Nagar: Hiring is hard. It’s important to build out your recruiting pipeline long before you need to hire. I’m always recruiting. Even though we don’t have immediate hiring needs, I make a point to try and get out there and get to know awesome people. As Pickie grows and we start hiring again, I’d much rather hire people I’ve had a chance to build a relationship with over time than have to come into hiring with a cold start.
Tech Cocktail: How do you keep your team motivated?
Sahney Nagar: Growth. We have a couple key metrics we track the business against, and we’re laser-focused on growing those metrics.
Tech Cocktail: What’s the best entrepreneurship book you’ve read and why?
Sahney Nagar: Venture Deals – it’s laden with advice on how to read and negotiate a term sheet. It’s a must-read for anyone who is raising funding for the first time.
Tech Cocktail: If you had an extra $1,000 to spend on marketing, what would you do?
Sahney Nagar: We work with some awesome bloggers. I’d run giveaway contests with our favorite bloggers.
Tech Cocktail: What trend are you excited about as a user or consumer?
Sahney Nagar: The combination of content and commerce. (Though I’m biased, Pickie is all about content + commerce).
Tech Cocktail: What do you wish someone had told you about startup life?
Sahney Nagar: Don’t believe everything you read in the news or on a blog. There’s a lot of hype out there, and it takes a few months to be able to discern fact from fiction. This is important because as a startup founder, you’re always trying to learn from others’ experiences to expedite your company’s growth. However, the signal-to-noise ratio can make it harder to distill down to what’s working and what’s not working.
Tech Cocktail: What personality trait has served you best as an entrepreneur?
Sahney Nagar: I really, really enjoy working. That gives me a ton of productive hours, so I can get a lot done in a day.
Tech Cocktail: If you weren’t doing this startup, what idea would you be working on?
Sahney Nagar: Something in pure eCommerce. Working at Amazon gave me lots of ideas.
Tech Cocktail: What’s the weirdest way someone has used your product?
Sahney Nagar: We have the ability for our users to chat with us as they are shopping in our app. The longest customer service chat we’ve ever had was 1 hour and 45 minutes…it was a woman who wanted help finding shoes for her wedding. She found the chat so valuable that she then expanded her search to include a variety of other accessories.
Tech Cocktail: What’s the most encouraging sign of success you’ve seen so far?
Sahney Nagar: We’re consistently ranked a top 10 app in the Catalogs category of the iPad app store. This week we briefly hit the #3 spot.
Tech Cocktail: What’s your crazy, long-term, huge vision?
Sahney Nagar: We want to be the world’s largest personalized marketplace.
Tech Cocktail: Why should I use your product, in 140 characters or fewer?
Sahney Nagar: We’ll merchandise your catalog based on your favorite brands and help you discover new products through your favorite blogs and magazines.
Pickie was a showcased startup at our Tech Cocktail New York mixer.