Shopholix - Aims at Enhancing the Experience of Shopping, Which Goes Beyond Just Purchase
The current version of mobile app brings you to the city of Mumbai - where you can discover malls, markets, stores, products, exhibitions, boutiques and much more.
(From Left to Right- Abhinav Midha, Hemant Upadhyay, Chinmay Bhatt)
Shopholix is committed to enhance your shopping experience by helping shoppers locate and explore stores according to their needs. The current version of mobile app brings you to the city of Mumbai - where you can discover malls, markets, stores, products, exhibitions, boutiques and much more. The next release would be focused on user personalization and third party integrations aiming at consolidating all shopping experience related services under one umbrella like transport, retail payments, loyalty points aggregation, product exchange etc. The company was founded by Hemant Upadhyay, Abhinav Midha and Chinmay Bhatt.
Team BWDisrupt interacts with Hemant Upadhyay, Co-founder, Shopholix and spoke to him
1. What is the concept behind Shopholix?
Technology is a strong enabler. It transforms inefficient ecosystems to an efficient one by enhancing the overall user experience. Offline shopping is a huge category and still has not been majorly impacted by technology and content. Consider this – top 20+ results of “shoes” or any other shopping related keyword, would give you results from e-commerce companies, with no presence of offline stores. That’s what drives Shopholix, we are filling that gap by being one stop shop for all offline shopping needs.
Shopholix enhances the brick & mortar shopping experience by connecting shoppers to the local stores. We aim to be shoppers’ partner for offline shopping by advising where to shop, what to shop for, when to shop & who to shop with.
Offline stores play a major role in categories like fashion and lifestyle, where look and feel is very critical. Considering that we cover shopping destinations including exclusive stores, multi-brand outlets, designers, boutiques as well exhibitions for lifestyle categories (apparel, footwear, bags & accessories, travel and personal care).
2. What are the different services available?
Local store marketing has been a challenge for offline retail. The key drivers of this challenge are lack of customer information and thus inability to engage exclusively. The existing channels for a store or a mall to be connected with their shoppers include texts, emails and flyers which are one way medium and not very engaging. In today’s digital world when the online channel knows almost everything about their shopper, the offline stores have no clue about the same.
With Shopholix stores can connect with shoppers based on their location, and preferences. With a sharp focus on fresh collection, retailers are utilizing Shopholix to engage their customers.
On the other hand malls are using Shopholix as a platform to digitally engage with their shopper for events, new store openings, and enhancing in-mall shopping experience.
3. What are the marketing strategies to reach out to the target customers?
Shopholix is a platform for retailer to enable their local store marketing. We have a strong retailer connect team which is working on on-boarding retailers and training on how to use the Shopholix retailer panel to engage existing customer and acquire new customers.
On-boarded retailers and malls work on shopper acquisition. Shopholix assists & facilitates the shopper acquisition for the retailer and malls by doing various digital and offline events and marketing promotions.
Shopholix is also working with retailers to on board their existing CRM customers to Shopholix so that they could be engaged at the next level using personalised content.
4. What is the number of app downloads?
5. What is your monetization model?
User analytics and smart communication. Retailers would be charged to get access to their user analytics, knowing their shopper, and thus rolling out personalised communication based on location and preferences.
Advertising would be another source of revenue from retailers who want to reach out to the new shoppers based on preference, location, search history, etc.
6. Who are your major customers?
Retailers, Brands and Malls
7. How has the customer behaviour changed over the last years and what factors have contributed to that change?
Traditionally, the shopping experience process was fed by offline methods, primarily discussion, reviews & suggestion from friends and family. This has changed or evolved in last decade or so. Now online shopping has created a huge base of internet users who search for products and information online. Their information gathering process or call it the research phase (refer image below) is fed by online searches primarily google and by browsing the huge catalogue of the e-commerce giants.
Consider this statistics published by Statistica Inc which draws a direct correlation of information availability online and conversion offline. As per the published data in United States in 2016 over 75% of offline purchases were influenced by online medium, the number was about 24% in 2004.
8. How are you reaching to the retailer community to work closely with you?
We have forged strong partnership with stores and malls on ground
· We are using a bottom- top approach & getting into partnering with Store Managers (responsible for the store P&L) whereas the others are using a top-bottom approach.
· Our strong operations focus has resulted in high level of retailer engagement and buy-in of the concept. The retailer community is working with us closely to bring shoppers on the app to follow their stores.
We have made significant progress because of this approach
· Around 2,000 local stores enrolled with Shopholix
· Retailers push through advertising at 200 plus stores
· Partnership with multiple malls as their “Discovery Partner”
· Customer acquisition drive by retailers (50 stores)
9. What are your expansion plans?
We plan to be in 10 cities within 2 years. From year 3, we will focus on:
• Expansion to global shopping destinations (Dubai, Bangkok, Singapore etc.)
• Driving transactions on Shopholix (through integration with payment solutions)
10. With Shopholix, what is your long term vision?
Enhancing offline shopping experience.
11. What are the technologies that you use in your app and what is that differentiates you?
The core of our technology is based on MEAN Stack and Mongo DB which is reliable for system scalability and versatility. Our seamless integration with various existing information and service providers ensuring all critical information under one roof is what helps us stand out.
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