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How artificial intelligence is changing the retail game in Indian market

Capillary Technologies is building AI-backed products to empower offline retailers.

Samreen Ahmad  |  Bengaluru 

Artificial Intelligence

In an e-commerce store, if you want to buy a black kurti, you do the search and use a few filters such as size, style and material to find the apparel of your choice. This data then gets stored by the company and is used to improve customer experience subsequently. However, offline stores are at a disadvantageous position as data never gets stored with them and, as a result, they end up depending on information provided by store staff and on their insight, which are not always so accurate.

Bengaluru-based is providing offline retailers the power to improve staff effectiveness and convert the customer queries into product sales through (AI) and machine learning. Harnessing the power of AI, the company is building a series of products for its in-store vision to empower retailers.

"We will be coming out with a product called by August for which we will be using machine learning algorithms to boost discovery and personalisation, whether over SMSs, emails or push notifications," said Aneesh Reddy, Cofounder and CEO,

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The technology looks at the past behaviour, when the person bought a product, when the individual responded to the campaign and then starts suggesting about the product and the time slot in which it needs to be marketed.

"We have been able to get a 30 per cent higher hit rate from these campaigns," said Ganesh Lakshminarayanan, Chief Operating Officer.

Textile manufacturer Arvind Lifestyle has already started using as a pilot and has seen twice the customer response rate as compared to traditional marketing. Capillary would expand the technology to about 40 brands, including Bata and VF Corporation, and will run about 60 marketing campaigns in July. However, it will be ready for commercial launch in August, said Reddy.

The Warbug Pincus and Sequoia Capital-backed company is also working on the store staff segment and will be coming up with a solution dubbed as store sense in the next quarter, giving a sense of what's happening at the retail store, to the brands. It will provide insights into each customer's behaviour pattern in a store based on their interactions with the store employees to understand their requirements, category preferences, and propensity to purchase. "It is like a personalised trainer for the staff. We are building each user's offline clickstream using computer vision and speech detection to provide personalised engagement and recommendations to each user in an offline world," explained Reddy.


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The company has already launched the first product for its in-store vision called the VisitorMetrix Plus earlier this year. It provides a detailed store visitor analytics, including the footfall trend, visitor demographics, visitor-fashion profiling to help brands optimise their store operations, to increase sales and conversion from each store. The technology is already being used by clients such as Wrangler, Lee and Shoppers Stop across 1,500 stores around the globe.

The company is also toying with the idea of facial recognition on the same lines as Chinese messaging app WeChat. In this new retail method, shoppers in China can create an account before they enter a store and link it to their WeChat account paying only with a face scan.

First Published: Mon, July 02 2018. 07:05 IST
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