We live in an app-tastic world and shopping for our kids online is pretty normal. Check out our review of Hopscotch, a shopping app for parents looking for quality merchandise.
As a parent, you will probably agree with me when I say that it is unbelievably complicated to shop for your child (or anyone else’s, for that matter). And personally, I have found it even more confusing to buy things for boys rather than girls, especially when it comes to clothing and accessories. Girls seem to have plenty of choices, whereas for boys, you predominantly end up with similar looking clothes, perhaps in different colours.
Fortunately these days, we have an app for most things. From choosing almirahs to clothes that go in there, you barely have to move away from the comfort of your own home to purchase these. The challenge though is that with so many apps around, how do you differentiate between an app that is likely to benefit you and an app that is just trying to mirror the hundreds of others, already on the market. Fortunately, in this Hopscotch app review, you realise that here is one app that falls under the first category.
Hopscotch is a relatively young company, formed with the core aim to specialise in top International Brands for babies, kids and mothers. They claim to offer insider access to top brands from around the world and offer them to us at unbeatable prices. And if my experience of browsing through their app is anything to go by, that description seems to be spot on.
Here are a few things that I loved about the app.
1. Navigation and design
One of the big challenges with designing an app is the interface. Fortunately, the design, layout and the overall navigation through the app is pretty smooth and streamlined. Everyone (including parents who don’t consider themselves tech-savvy) will find it a breeze to use. The icons are all self-explanatory and you have all the options that you would need to narrow down your search to the exact item you’re looking for, right at your fingertips.
A big challenge we have with most apps are that they promise a ‘personalised experience’, but rarely deliver on that promise. The Hopscotch app is slightly different. One of the first things you are asked to do when you first use the app is add a few details about your kid. As you can see from the screenshots below, it is all to do with the way they open this conversation with you. Look at their opening sentence, for example.
It is their choice of words that makes you feel comfortable enough to add in the details of your kids. In fact, I would even say that it is almost as if the app is talking to you. And to me, that is a core essence of personalization. It is those little subtle phrases such as ‘We like nicknames too’, that really elevates Hopscotch’s interface from a mere app to a virtual personality that seems genuinely interested to know about your child.
3. The variety
Hopscotch delivers on the promise to bring International brands to your fingertips. As a tech-savvy parent, I shop online for a lot of items that my son needs. So it would be fair to say that one of the things that really puts me off, is the lack of variety when it comes to buying clothes, accessories and toys online. I’ve used a lot of e-tailers, but most of them seem to offer very similar items. However, Hopscotch has by far got the best variety of clothes and clothing accessories that I’ve seen in an online store, especially for boys. I did also ask a friend to try out the app to purchase something for her 6-year old daughter, and she seemed to agree too. Perhaps, it is all to do with the brands that Hopscotch has chosen to associate with. They have great collections to spruce up your kitchen and home too.
4. The buying process
Unlike many of the shopping apps available today, the buying and checkout process on Hopscotch is very straightforward. You pick what you like, choose the quantities (and other specifications) add it to the shopping cart and continue with your shopping or checkout. If you do choose to checkout, you can then add the delivery address, payment details and you’re done.
Of course, as they say, nothing is perfect. Except for the love we have for our kids, perhaps; though there are days when I question that too.
Here are a few things I think Hopscotch could improve
You’re probably wondering why I’m playing ‘Devil’s Advocate’ here. Especially since I’ve already mentioned how great the personalization feature is on the app. However, there is a minor glitch that I’ve spotted. In spite of being logged in to my profile and having my son’s details updated, the main page always starts with ‘New, Bestsellers and Sale’. None of these are customized for the parent of a three-year old boy. While I do appreciate that I may not always be using the app to purchase for my son, I would personally love to be offered items customized for my offspring first; or at least a tab that perhaps says, ‘Our recommendations for you’. Now that to me, is a perfect tailor made shopping experience.
2. Incorrect boutique suggestion
As you probably notice on the images above, I’ve used the filter to narrow it down to Boys – 3 years old. And since I’m logged in, it also offers a suggestion saying ‘Rishi’. However, while I am all for gender equality, suggesting ‘Shoes for Girls’ when my search is specifically for items for 3 year old boys, isn’t entirely helping my cause. I’ve tried this a number of times with different options and the filters aren’t as perfect as they probably should be. It could be a minor glitch in the app, but it does really affect the overall experience.
As part of my review, I asked a few other parents to take a quick look at the app and let me know their thoughts. Before I go on, I’d like to reiterate that personally, I have no issues with this particular feedback. However, the general consensus from the parents was that the colour of the logo and the interface could be something more neutral. Perhaps, it is just the mindset that is prevalent in our society, but 13 out of the 15 parents I showed the app to, mentioned that on first glance, it seemed to be an app that catered mainly to parents with girls. I suspect it has something to do with the pink/light fuchsia colour that the app employs. It isn’t a deal breaker, but I couldn’t help but wonder if that may stop someone from checking the app, under the assumption that it is for girls. Again, this is just a thought I wanted to pass back to the company.
So what do I think about the Hopscotch app?
In a market where both brands and e-tailers (or app-tailers) are trying their hardest to offer a unique combination of products at unbeatable value, I think the Hopscotch app does a pretty good job. The key differentiator is simply the variety of products on offer. However, as expected when it comes to top end brands, the cost of some of the products may be slightly higher than what their counterparts offer. The app itself is smooth and could do with minor tweaks, so that it offers a shopper (or a parent) a more streamlined and personal shopping experience.
If you haven’t tried seen it yet, you can download it here. Hopscotch is only available on iOS at the moment.