This Inventory Management Platform is Helping Retailers go Omnichannel
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In today's digital world, all of us love to shop online but the charm of doing it offline is also something too adorable to give up - giving rise to the omnichannel route. But with the rise of the medium, the retail industry is now introduced to new challenges such as customer touch points, price points, inventory management, etc
It was through an interaction with CEOs of International brands, that Nitin Chhabra realized how the web is impacting retail and the wide gulf in between that and developing omnichannel capabilities for brands.
His entrepreneurial journey began with a curious incident where an International footwear brand started servicing orders in cities such as Guwahati and Jamshedpur on Myntra which may not have been viable to set up a physical store in. The geographical advantage that e-commerce lent and the accessibility to all enabled them to grasp the importance of such a channel.
The rise of e-commerce and the continued retail challenges, such as limited commercial real estate and scattered customers, warranted some serious consideration, led him to start Ace Turtle with Berry Singh to enable omnichannel capabilities for brands.
In conversation with Entrepreneur, Ace Turtle, Co-founder and CEO, Nitin Chhabra talks about the company purpose and why it's the best time to work in the inventory management space
The Problem and its Solution
Retailers have large inventories, several stores and yet there are a lot of mismatches that goes out. Inventory is available in silos and almost always not at the location that it is demanded in. Customers today are shopping agnostic of the channel and brands can see this but are still playing catch-up. That's when Ace Turtle comes to the retailer's rescue.
"They need an agile and smart platform that will help serve the needs of the customer and in turn help grow their brand and business. Ace Turtle, with its fully integrated omnichannel platform, has helped brands integrate all their sales channels to provide a single view of inventory and orders, enabling them to get orders from any channel (online and offline) and fulfil it from any stock point," he shared.
The platform not just helps the brand to improve their product availability and efficiencies but also, support retailers to optimize their inventory, leading to significant rise in sales.
First Mover Advantage
Asia Pacific (excluding China and Japan) and Middle East Regions, represent the growth hotspot in global online retail. With the online retail market in Southeast Asia growing at a CAGR of more than 30%, this is a great opportunity for players who are providing e-commerce enablement to brands. Moreover, by 2021, web impacted sales for India and Asia Pacific markets, is expected to be USD 200 billion and $USD 00 billion respectively.
He asserted, "As more consumers embrace technology, the more behavioural changes in customers will become evident. This change propels huge opportunity for brands and retailers to change their approach and adopt an omnichannel approach to deliver a unified and consistent experience to their customers. With offline retail players looking at online options and e-commerce players looking to build an offline presence, this trend will continue as customers expect omnichannel experiences and interactions with brands"
So, with this trending picking up, it is the best time for Ace Turtle. In fact, Chhabra claims to be by far the market leader in enabling omnichannel capabilities for brands as other players, both in the start-up and enterprise technology space, are trying to solve the part of the problem which Ace Turtle is solving right now.
He adds, "We are native to omnichannel retailing, unlike the competition, mostly fulfilment or logistics or CRM players looking to build an omnichannel technology platform. Having a significant first mover advantage in India and now in South East Asian markets, we already have more than 30 enterprises as customers onboard, while the closest competitors in the market have less than 3 customers."
The inventory management platform has recently expanded to South East Asia and is now eyeing the GCC market.
The company is yet to hit profitability but are likely to achieve it by 2020.
Elaborating on the plan of action to reach this goal, Chhabra said, "We had to invest quite heavily in getting the right talent. However, unlike a B2C player, we don't need to spend too much on marketing or other overhead costs. We expect to break even in the next two years."
Ace Turtle has risen Series A funding of USD 5 million from multiple investors including Vertex Venture and CapitaLand. The company now looking to raises series B, but the founder declined to comment on the same.
The start-up presently employees around 200 people and for the FY2017-18, the platform has done INR 260 crore of sales for partner brands.