UAE-based business The Gaggler is a “shoppable encyclopaedia” for everything related to women’s fashion, beauty and wellbeing. From face masks, which have suddenly become a fashion statement, to self-caring products, The Gaggler offers a thoughtful take on everything.
The Gaggler’s journey has evolved considerably since its launch in January 2019 as a digital publishing platform that quickly turned into a shoppable app. At a time when ‘see now, buy now’ in the fashion and lifestyle world is no longer good to have, an online publishing-turned-shoppable-app seems to be ‘on-trend’. That is what The Gaggler is all about, facilitating the journey from discovery to acquisition.
“We launched The Gaggler in January 2019 as a digital publishing brand,” recounts co-founder, Monica Malhotra. “Back then, we used to curate content for women, men and children across multiple categories – ranging from fashion and beauty to travel, wellness and fitness, among others. But an urge to focus on quality over quantity saw us sharpening our focus on women across fashion, beauty and wellbeing categories. Our following grew by 200-300% when we implemented this change.”
The Gaggler’s shoppable platform makes way for product placement. “The key for us is to believe in the products – try and test them – before we write about them. Authenticity is essential in this process since what we put out there is being bought by our viewers and readers,” Malhotra elaborates. “While we are not a pure e-commerce platform, we are a vital connecting point, linking the products – mentioned in our articles and videos – to the retailers’ online platforms. What we have noticed is when there is storytelling around products, they resonate very well with the consumer – be that through a make-up tutorial/demonstration or a product review.”
But what is The Gaggler’s revenue model?
“It is not a standard revenue model,” Malhotra responds, discreetly. “Since we work with different sized retail businesses and brands, we have a customised approach towards revenue generation, evaluating on a case-by-case basis. A lot depends on what the brand seeks to achieve through our storytelling.”
Since 2019, change has been a constant element in The Gaggler’s business model. From curating digital content to producing video content, from doing Instagram Live videos to launching the recent ‘Goody Box’ feature. “The economic landscape has changed drastically in the past few months, but it has opened up newer opportunities – in our case, the attractively priced ‘Goody Box’ feature. On our part, we have tried to stay as nimble as possible to adjust and leverage new opportunities quickly,” Malhotra says.
“Our WhatsApp platform accepts orders for the Goody Box,” she continues. “The Goody Box has enabled The Gaggler to collaborate with other small and medium businesses, while creating a value offer for our audience. We have done a self-care Goody Box, which included seven hair and body care products from two brands – Australian brand Mor and Swedish brand Sachajuan. Besides, we offered a free beauty consultation to consumers who bought the Goody Box. In the future, we are keen to collaborate with home-grown brands and include their products in our Goody Box.”
More recently, owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, many small businesses have had to pivot to be able to stay in business. In the case of The Gaggler, its already tech-forward approach facilitated quick transformation. “We have benefitted from using technology pieces to engage with our audience, especially through social media and our website,” Malhotra confirms.
Staying with COVID-19, small businesses and start-ups – particularly – have had to readjust to navigate the crisis in the best way possible. As a self-funded start-up, The Gaggler is not immune to this.
“In our case, from publishing thoughtful content to recommending value-added product options that help consumers in their daily lives, we have had to adapt to the transformed environment and consumer needs quickly. From self-care products to recreating home space, we have focused on various aspects. Certain categories have seen a sharp decline, while new categories have emerged. At the same time, we have seen brands opting for new ways to talk about their products – i.e., leveraging our Instagram Live platform and so on,” Malhotra observes.
Going forward, what is the topmost priority for The Gaggler to ensure business continuity?
“It would be to continue doing what we have been doing over the past few months,” Malhotra opines. “Continue being there for our community in the most authentic and meaningful manner. We give priority to stay true to what we are doing and why, as the future unfolds for The Gaggler.”