A couple of years ago, Aaron Wadler became an online shopper and recognized the iPad's potential to change computing. He discovered that online retailers “weren't doing anything exciting” on the iPad, however, despite the rise of tablet adoption among consumers.
“A lot of them had broken sites, and it really seemed like a mess,” says Wadler. “It got me thinking – if the really big guys can't get this figured out, it's going to be a huge problem for everyone else down.”
Thus, he started ShopPad, an e-commerce plug-in that instantly turns an online store into a rich, tablet-optimized experience, last year. Now used by over 10,000 online merchants, ShopPad takes advantage of all the things that make tablets unique. The plug-in recognizes gestures such as touching and swiping, is designed for speed so customers can check out faster, and automatically displays products as high-definition “retina” images.
The best part is, retailers never have to write a single line of code. According to Wadler, “It's all a WYSIWYG interface. We go in through the store's API and we mirror and sync to our servers their categories, product, and store information.”
ShopPad integrates with Shopify and Magento and the basic plan is free. Options such as adding a logo, customizing fonts and colors, and having an unlimited number of content pages are available in ShopPad's paid plans, which start at $6 per month.
Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, ShopPad currently has four employees who are working on bringing the technology to smartphones and in-store. The startup announced $500,000 in seed funding recently. Participants in the round include Scott Rafer, co-founder of Mashery and CEO of Lookery, MyBlogLog, and Lumatic; Peter Horan, president of Answers.com; Arik Keller, director of product at PayPal; Allen Morgan, board member at Fab.com; and more.