StorkUp case study: Supporting mothers of invention

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In early 2011, Fiona McDonald and Claire Gillespie (pictured, left and right) met through a mothers’ Facebook group. Discovering a shared entrepreneurial streak, they joined forces to collaborate on what is now StorkUp – a social shopping community for mums. They hope to revolutionise the way baby and children’s products are shopped for online.

StorkUp aims to make the process easier by engaging customers right at the start of the process – product discovery – and guiding them through to actual purchase.

Using the StorkUp bookmarklet, customers will be able to save products as they browse the web. Any goods, from any online store, can be added to StorkUp and saved in lists on their profile on the site.

These lists can then be used for any occasion, such as new baby, birthday and Christmas.List-building is central to the concept of StorkUp. Users can share lists with friends and family, who will be able to mark products as purchased, making the whole process easier for everybody.

Every product added to a list is also added to a crowd-sourced catalogue. Mums can then browse this for inspiration, and re-save products to their own lists.

StorkUp offers retailers a new way of reaching their target audience by facilitating trusted interactions between the two, focused on deals, offers and expert advice.

Any retailer can set up a StorkUp page free of charge. Whenever a product from that outlet is added to StorkUp, it automatically appears on the shop page.

McDonald and Gillespie say StorkUp isn’t just about products. They want it to become the world’s leading 
resource for parents, enabling them to benefit from a wealth of peer-sourced advice.

Users will be able to ask questions on any product or aspect of parenting, which will then be answered by other members of the site. This will work on a voting system, whereby users vote the best answers up and the least helpful answers down, to improve the overall quality of the information.

The past 12 months have been a whirlwind for McDonald and Gillespie. In May they were part of the first intake of entrepreneurs at Entrepreneurial Spark’s West Coast Hatchery in Dundonald, Ayrshire. A few months later, they secured a six-figure seed investment from Bauer Media Group. StorkUp officially launches to the public on 28 November at the 2012 Mother and Baby Awards in London.

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