To tap the opportunities in Indian retail and e-commerce businesses, Pune-based retail startup is building its “one-stop shop” platform that enables mid-to-large retailers/brands to drive higher sales both via offline and online channels. The tech company is also in the process of making simple products for small sellers across the country at an affordable price.
ShoppinPal eyes large pie of the online and retail business with the help of its in-house software automation and a group of professionals who not only list products at all the top e-commerce websites, but also takes care of your promotion, accounts and customer service.
Currently, ShoppinPal's 80% business comes from outside India and now the company is ramping up its India unit.
"With customers overseas, our offering is primarily product-based which makes it extremely simple for us to deploy the offering anywhere in the world without any support staff in that region. This is partly due to the tech savvyness of customers overseas, and to some degree attributable to the maturity of the ecosystem which makes self-service for the customer a reality. However, we are seeing a rapid change in the Indian market on these fronts, so it should be possible to replace bulk of the service offerings via product and automation within two-three years,” said Sriram Subramanian, CEO and co-founder, Sriram Subramanian.
Majority of its customers (whether it is retailer or brand or manufacturer) pay a monthly recurring fee for a package deal (product/software services, tech support and cloud hosted infrastructure). There’s also a per-transaction fee in case they are selling on marketplaces through it. For overseas market, the company has an open-source revenue model whereby one or more customers fund the development of an open-source product, followed by a monthly support, development and hosting fee.
The company has recently raised $1.07 million in its first equity round of funding, led by Plug and Play Tech Center and Steelhead Ventures. ShoppinPal will use the funds to get more retailers on board, product development and brand building in India.
But the road ahead for the company is not so easy. The main challenge in the Indian market is the need to provide services in areas like digital cataloge creation and listing with marketplaces, inventory management, and warehousing. It competes with Unicommerce, Browntape Technologies, SellerworkX and Vinculum.
Sriram brings over 10 years of product management, engineering operations, and software development experience. and was a lead product manager for PayPal. Before PayPal, he was a senior R&D engineer at Hewlett-Packard, where he came through the acquisition of Trustgenix, an eight-people enterprise security startup in Silicon Valley.
According to Morgan Stanley Research, India's ecommerce market will grow from $102 billion to $119 billion by end of 2020. It expects Internet penetration to increase from 32% in 2015 to 59% in 2020, translating to a near-doubling of the Internet user base. It estimates India will have almost 320 million online shoppers by 2020 compared with 50 million in 2015.