60-second start-up: Shopow.com

0-5 seconds: Sum your business up in a sentence

Shopow.com is 'social shopping'; connecting users with friends to share deals, reviews and shopping advice.

5-10 seconds: What's the business model?

There are three sides to the Shopow business model:

1)    A shopping engine, aggregating products from 10,000 shops & monetised with CPS (cost per sale) payments after a user buys.

2)    S-Commerce, our free Toolkit for webmasters to socialise their e-commerce shop. The toolkit has a range of premium upgrades including moderation of review quality and inclusion of expert reviews.

3)    Power Partners, our range of revenue share tools for publisher webmasters to monetise their sites.

10-15 seconds: Who are your competitors?

We're competing with different businesses in various sectors of our business. I suppose Pricegrabber or Kelkoo are competitors in product search, whilst Kaboodle are the closest competitor in social shopping.

15-20 seconds: What's your USP?

The comprehensive nature of our social experience, ranging from short term sharing of deals and hot trends through to friends' reviews which will be forever attached to a product.

Our S-Commerce & Partner Toolkits are very unique too.

20-25 seconds: How have you funded it so far?

Angel investment has funded us to date.

25-30 seconds: What were you doing before?

I began work on Shopow straight out of University. Mike Harty, my co-founder, was on the same course at Leeds University. We knew this was too great an opportunity to shelve and went head long into setting up Shopow.

30-35 seconds: Where did the idea come from?

Shopow was born from poor experiences online. The shopping web was lacking a layer of personalisation. Whilst YouTube socialised video, Twitter did news, LinkedIn did business… there was no transparency or socialisation in shopping.

Mike had also had poor experiences selling through the traditional "price comparison" sites because of their business models; we feel our business is fairer and more comprehensive because of that.

35-40 seconds: What's the smartest thing you've done so far?

We took the risk, chose the right people to work with and continue to keep all hands on deck.

40-45 seconds: What's the stupidest?

Thinking we could launch within six months. Part of the learning curve is that innovative tech takes longer to get right, and rushed development just has to be re-done!

45-50 seconds: If your business was a biscuit, what would it be?

A Kit Kat, you can indulge yourself, and share it with friends! (Cheesy, but what do you expect?)

50-55 seconds: Which idea are you a bit jealous of?

Groupon, the group buying business model is immense and the growth has been phenomenal. But we like to think that we're building the other side of the social commerce movement to make it available on day to day shopping.

55-60 seconds: Where are you going to be in 12 months' time?

Positioned as the social shopping destination. We'd like to be powering social commerce on a few key retail sites, while spreading our wings to the USA and Mainland Europe.

Find out more about Shopow

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