How an electric nail filing equipment company made more than half a million dollars with a mobile app

Beauty and Cosmetics
Case Study


Nail Salon Equipment




To keep up with modern-day consumer behavior & to make user experience more convenient


A custom app that enabled merchants to have direct access to each user for open communication


A Mobile App that generated $600,000+ in revenue and 14,000+ app downloads

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About Kupa

It all started with two gentlemen from the dental industry. Robert Upshaw and Kito Ochi realized that the electric file used in the dental industry can be used to file acrylics in the young and growing nail industry during the early 1980s. Thus Kupa Inc. was born. The name Kupa is an acronym of their names – Kito, Upshaw, and Associates. From then until the early 2000s; Kupa grew over 200% and found themselves to be industry leaders in the nail salon industry; now selling all kinds of nail specific products. Going online in 2010 was a big decision for them and it paid off.

Total app downloads
Total app revenue
ROI with the mobile app
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App StorePlay Store
We have a very devoted distribution channel. With the growth of the internet and the change in consumer shopping behavior, we took our brand online a few years ago. The buying habits of professional nail technicians have also evolved. They were used to going into a brick and mortar store; walking in and purchasing products all in one location. As the times have changed, now they’re looking to shop more on the internet.
Elaine Watson
Elaine Watson
Elaine Watson


Going mobile in 2018 was the next logical step in order to further penetrate their target audience and keep them engaged. Elaine went on to say “We recognized that having a mobile app on your device was a much easier quicker way for people to get to the site, you know, just the evolution of apps has amplified and I think today’s shopper is just looking for simplification. I think it is really driving a lot of the way that retail and our shoppers behave – everybody wants quick, easy and fast. Convenience is key. So we saw that by adding the app as not only a solution for those issues but also communication. We’re able to use the app to notify our customers, existing customers – whoever has the app of special events and special sales, we’ll go facebook live, we’re able to notify them off”


They decided to see how it goes – not keeping many expectations but monitoring the performance of the app. The mobile app did 3 key things for them:

  • Increase revenue
  • Build and engage a strong community of Nail technicians
  • Build and engage a strong community of Nail technicians

Elaine adds“When we added the app, we already had quite a customer base who were visiting us on a regular basis – What has happened is that some of them who were logging into are now using their handheld device. They could be at the nail table and suddenly run out of an inventory - they can quickly grab their phone between customers, hit the app, order it, and get back to work. Ordering through any device (tablet or computer) on websites takes more time - or even ordering on your phone (mobile site) is complicated for that matter.“


In the first year itself; Kupa Inc generated $600,000+ in revenue without directing any marketing efforts towards their mobile app. Now, the app is not only used to drive revenue but also to communicate with their customers/audience and keep them engaged for longer. The brand has also crossed 14,000 app downloads with a steady daily increase.

Ever since the Kupa Inc app launched their revenue shows nothing but an upward monthly growth and will hit their first $1 million in no time.

“Invest your time wisely. Educating yourself on things like a mobile app, or things that are an easy way of increasing your profits is worth your time investing in research. You can go home and watch something on TV or you could spend 10-15 minutes getting to know the software. I say this especially if you’re an entrepreneur and your new to this. Something that was this easy to integrate into your Shopify store is worth a few hours of your time investing it and getting to know it so you can utilize all of the benefits it has to offer that could then increase your sales with very little effort. " – Elaine Watson, VP – Kupa Inc


Be in the tomorrow of mobile commerce, today.

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