“As Seen on TV!” home shopping can feel like a distant memory from bygone times, where overly enthusiastic reality show stars hawked Shake Weights on quiet nights before Netflix existed. With over 2.2 million adults pulling the plug on traditional satellite TV in 2017, it is no surprise teleshopping giants HSN and QVC have merged following a steady decline in sales as shoppers transit to smaller screens – their mobile phones.
The shift to mobile commerce is perceptible. Nearly 80% of smartphone users have made a purchase online using their mobile device in the last 6 months, according to research by OuterBox. A 2019 study by US mobile partnership platform Button also revealed that 42% of smartphone users plan to do more shopping from their mobile devices in the coming year. A third of annual e-commerce sales in the US totalling $111 billion came from mobile devices, based on a 2017 study by Internet Retailer.
This move to mobile by traditional teleshoppers inspired the founders of Doropu, Asia’s first price drop e-commerce app, to incorporate key features of British teleshopping channel Price Drop into an app-based platform. During their studies at the University of Liverpool, Doropu founders Engthurs Ang and Png Zhe Hao watched a little too much television and came across Price Drop, the first reverse auction channel in the world. On the channel, a certain number of units of a product were advertised at a specified price, and buyers could place orders by telephone. The price was decreased in steps until all units were sold – however, all purchasers paid the final, lowest price.
Similarly, Doropu’s innovative price drop mechanism gamifies the shopping experience and allows consumers to purchase a variety of products, from household necessities to electrical appliances, at significantly discounted prices as low as just S$0.01. As items are snapped up, prices will keep falling until the product is sold out – however, earlier buyers will receive a cash rebate for the difference between the price they purchased at and the final, lowest price.
Launched in February 2018 on iOS and Android, the first product for sale on Doropu was 5 pairs of movie tickets and since then, the app has sold over 35,000 products to date. With more than 180k downloads and 90k active users in Singapore and Malaysia, the hugely popular Doropu app sees an average of 12k unique visitors daily and is averaging a 30% growth in customer base every month. The company most recently raised a US$1.2 million seed funding round with angel investors in August 2018, with expansion plans into Australia, Indonesia and Thailand by 2021.