Innovative retail app makes shopping social

Innovative retail app makes shopping social

Depop, a UK based startup app launched in April last year has now accumulated over 200,000 downloads on smartphones. BQ took a look at the rise of the inovative app.

Described as “your little shop in your pocket”, the app is a fusion of the social network Instagram and the e-commerce site eBay. Taking the concept of creating your own profile and adding your own images, Depop allows its users to upload pictures of the items they are selling. Effectively, a free car boot sale on your phone, but one that filters out the rubbish you don’t want to see.

Similar to Instagram, the app allows you to comment and like the images people have posted within your chosen networks. The app developers however, took into consideration the key ingredient they thought the social network was missing.

As Instagram became a paradise for brands, boutiques and major chains to market their products, the Depop founder Simon Beckerman, had bigger ideas. What Simon had realised is that people were actively looking at images posted on Instagram that they wanted to buy and the process took so long to do so. Depop, simply used the same features of Instagram and incorporated a ‘Buy’ button. From here, Depop went viral.

Making it easy to purchase the items you saw in your news feed, users simply registered with their Facebook account and linked the account to PayPal, meaning each transaction was instantly processed. This meant within seconds, the app had your payment details, postal address and your hobbies and interests. The Italian founder soon moved to London to launch the application from the UK and who could blame him, with the UK dominating the European online market.


According to TechCrunch, the app has been responsible for 200,000 items being sold worldwide, at a value of around €5m. The app is also available for free on Android handsets as well as being free to download on the Apple Market.

In a statement on the company’s website, Simon Beckerman, founder and CEO of Depop, said: “The idea for Depop developed out of the simple fact that everyone has cupboards, rooms, even garages full of things they don’t want anymore and could sell to a new home. I didn’t want to create a faceless marketplace used by strangers, but a system that is social and fun. Just as they do with Twitter or Instagram, Depop gives friends a real time way to follow one another and chat about what they have are selling and buying.”

One thing is for sure, the Depop app is only going to get bigger with ever more people now taking to their mobile phone applications as opposed to their computers. Instagram was one of the first major social networks to be based purely on tablets and phones and it managed to climb above most of its competitors to become one of the most widely used social networks.

With networks such as Twitter, Google and Facebook actively buying out innovative apps to keep themselves top of the food chain, one wonders whether Depop will follow the suit of Instagram which sold out to Facebook for a whopping £1billion last year or whether it will continue to battle away independently.

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