Whether you want to buy a quirky handbag or relish some homemade authentic Korean steak or anything handmade by Korean artists then idus app is definitely worth a check. Launched in 2014 by Korean startup Backpackr Inc., idus is the largest online platform for selling and trading handmade goods in South Korea. The e-commerce platform has more than 19,000 homegrown artists, who sell their products that unique, personalized creations. If you are looking for something ‘handmade in Korea’ then do check idus.
‘Etsy’ of Korea
Idus is one of the most popular shopping apps in Korea and is known as the ‘Etsy’ of Asia. Rightfully so as the e-commerce site allows anyone who has any artistic inclination to sell their creations online to a wider audience. The app has been instrumental in promoting a lot of handicraft artisans, home-bakers, chefs, confectionary artists, soap-candle makers, etc. For buyers, it is getting stuff that is handmade, unique, and collection worthy.
The app’s navigation is simple for shoppers with more than 35 categories to check out like accessories, soaps, candles, fragrances, jewellery, bakery, kitchen, electronics, living, bags, etc. There are no fancy brands, but exclusive handmade items. The app also has a section for recommendations for the buyers. The platform also has sections like ‘today’s discovery’, ‘real-time purchases’, ‘real-time reviews’, that can show the most sort out items on idus.
The e-commerce shopper has to simply order any item of their choice and pay a shipping charge to get it delivered from the artist. If you want to be a regular shopper at idus, the app also offers a vip club pass, where the shipping cost is lesser. Considering the variety of items sold on idus, it sure has a loyal customer base. According to a survey by WiseApp, an app, and retail analysis company, idus is one of the top five preferred shopping apps for consumers under 30. It shows that idus is popular among the Gen Z and millennial generation.
Revenues for handicraft artists
While idus is buyers’ paradise, it has also helped several handicraft artists and sellers earn through an online platform. In order to be an artist and seller one has to submit their application and go through a screening process for their products to be displayed on the idus platform. As per an estimate the top 3% of all artist sellers earn more than 200 million won or $181,000 annually from idus. Moreover, idus platform has opened an employment avenue for many skilled people in Korea.
“At idus, we call sellers “artists”, and these are the people who make our platform special. We thought it would be interesting to position our artists as influencers since they have the ability to attract their own audience just like any other influencer. This campaign has proved that our artists are successful influencers and that they can represent the idus brand identity well”, said Jaehee Lee, Marketer, idus.
Backpackr Inc. CEO Kim Dong-hwan had got inspired to open idus after a visit to a flea market. Initially, the Korean startup was not able to get investors interested in the concept of handicraft platform, but eventually the app picked up. Idus got its funding from investors like East Gate Partners, Altos Ventures, Global Brain Corporation, IMM Investment and DAEKYO Investment. In 2018, Backpackr opened an offline store as well. However, the times of pandemic helped the online platform garner more revenue.
By December 2020, the idus app had got $10k worldwide and more than 100k downloads. Currently, idus is only serving domestic clients, but there is much interest in the app amongst overseas buyers and Korean diaspora. Consumers are hoping idus will launch an internatonal version so that people outside of Korea can also avail Korean handmade crafts easily.
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