There isn’t a moment on the internet when you aren’t sold something. In this post-pandemic age, users are bombarded with thousands of ads of clothing, jewellery, or that occasionally pleasing pink curtain and bedsheet.
In this everyday advertising avalanche, it can become tedious to keep track of something that you find unique. Often times, in my own pursuit for novelty, I have found myself opening the website of a brand that I haven’t heard of, saving a few things but never pushing myself to the checkout button. Users like me are probably the core-target for apps like Downtown Club.
Founded by IIM-A alum Jaydeep Biniwale and Abhishek Doshi in June 2021, the app has over 50,000 downloads and a 3.5 rating, according to its listing on Google PlayStore.
In essence, Downtown Club is built to give users the feeling of window shopping, replete with several new-age digital brands and promises to connect you with labels that even your next-door social media stalker won’t find.
The working of this window-shopping store
Once downloaded, Downtown Club asks users questions to gauge their preferences. It offers a range of things to choose from shirts, sarees, and candied fruits to dining chairs, essential oils.
After choosing a few of these options, the app presents a few pictures around your choices to complete the quiz. Throughout the process, it uses quirky phrases. For instance, the tab says use my superpower instead of done once the quiz is completed.
Credit: YourStory Design
Its colour palette consisting of yellow, a distinct shade of dark green, pastel yellow and grey really makes for an overall lively appeal.
It also makes going through the homepage feel like browsing through a magazine rather than a boring digital marketplace. Downtown Club also makes it a point to make its use case of being a window-shopping app very clear on multiple levels. It first comes through on the Playstore page, and then is iterated during login and finally when you click on the app’s logo on the top-left corner of the home page.
The interactive bit begins when you click on one of the categories. The app directs you to a new page where the products are presented. Once you click on something you like, it presents you with a complete description about the product, its brand and even offers suggestions across lifestyle categories like clothes, home décor and more.
Credit: YourStory Design
Some of the featured categories have interesting names like Gardener’s Paradise, Picasso Plaza, Coffee Commune, Dress District, and Sculptures Park.
Downtown Club does not take care of the buying and last-mile delivery, as it only partners with brands. So, once a user clicks on ‘Shop Now’, the app will redirect them to the brand’s website. There’s also an option to make wishlists by tapping the heart icon, and curate them under different lists. To keep these lists you’ll have to create an account with Downtown Club and login, however, this doesn’t limit you from window shopping with the app.
One of the best things about Downtown Club is its user interface and user experience. Everything from the colour palette to the images of objects carry a vintage feel.
There is also a tendency to feel like the app is endless. That being said, you will encounter a learning curve with the interface. For instance, to go back to the homepage, one has to click on the icon in the bottom right corner. This is different from other shopping apps, where to jump to the homepage you could simply tap the app’s icon.
Downtown Club does present interesting collections in some categories like home décor and jewellery, but not so much in others. Like in tea and nail colour, the app featured some prominent players like Goa-based tea seller Tea Trunk and Debelle, which felt like it took away from the claim of being able to bump into completely unique brands.
If anything, Downtown Club is worth the try, particularly for its snazzy interface.
Edited by Akanksha Sarma