This Bangalore-Based Startup Provides Omnichannel Solutions To Retailers
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The ongoing pandemic has severely disrupted retail chains across the world. Stringent lockdowns accompanied by mandatory social distancing norms to flatten the curve have led to shuttering of several stores making others understand the utmost need for technology.
As countries hobble back to revive their economy, brands that have leveraged omnichannel solutions to increase sales and deliver comprehensive customer experiences are getting back on their feet sooner than others.
Bengaluru-based startup Ace Turtle is one of the pioneers in the country to introduce the omnichannel strategy to retailers. Founded in 2013 by Nitin Chhabra and Berry Singh, the startup has now helped multiple international brands to boost their sales.
In an interaction with Entrepreneur India, Chhabra, the chief executive officer of Ace Turtle, explains the need for an omnichannel, and how his startup has helped brands.
Need For Omnichannel
Even before the coronavirus pandemic, there has been a paradigm shift in the customer’s way of purchasing a product. Wide range of options, single-day delivery, cheap discounts on e-commerce websites has proved to be a nightmare for retailers.
Having led the international business development team of a large retail, corporate company, Chhabra while interacting with retailers understood the way e-commerce was disrupting the market for brick and mortar businesses.
According to Chhabra, India has few organized retailers compared with unorganized retailers. Even within the organized retail sector, most of the brands rush to a few high street malls in the country. However, as availability of the space is limited in these primary retail destinations, brands have to shell out large sums at their stores. Apart from these, Chhabra said that even customers faced the deterrent heavy traffic which prevented them from moving to malls.
“So what we thought is that if we can optimize a brand’s distribution with the combination of online and offline, then that could be far more profitable. The idea was to bring all inventories under a single roof that will make it far more efficient for the brands to continue serving the customers,” Chhabra added.
Bringing Under One Roof
Ace Turtle uses Rubicon 3.0, an artificial intelligence (AI)-based proprietary tech platform to integrate online and offline retail channels. The startup provides tailor-made omnichannel technology solutions for its clients that allows them to have a single view of orders and inventory. This helps brands to streamline their online and offline sales.
Rubicon rides on four core modules—Distributed Order Management System (DOMS), Inventory Management System (IMS), Catalogue Management System (CMS), and Logistics Management System (LMS).
Once an order is placed through various channels such as websites, marketplaces, apps, retail stores, the details are sent to Rubicon. Through DOMS, the platform allocates the order to the most suitable point keeping in mind the availability of the product in inventory, the distance between inventory and the customer, serviceability of logistics, among others. If the order is not processed in a stipulated period, DOMS deallocates the order and places it with the next preferable fulfilment point.
IMS provides an eagle-eye view of inventory to manage inventory across channels. IMS updates inventory real-time once a product is sold or added.
CMS is used to create catalogues of all the products that are to be sold through various channels. This will include images of the products, videos that will help the customer to make a suitable decision.
LMS is used to allocate the product for delivery to any of the partnered last-mile logistics partners depending upon its serviceability and duration of delivery. Once the order is picked up, the platform sends a tracking id to its customers to track the product.
Ace Turtle also provides an application—endless aisle to employees present in retail stores. This application helps them to show the entire inventory and catalogue of a particular brand to a customer. “Since aisle in a store has limited space, providing a virtual catalogue to customers helps the brand to show more product at ease,” he added.
According to Chhabra the conversation rate, i.e., the number of people entering stores and buying a product, has increased from 3 per cent to 12 per cent.
COVID19 Impact And Future Plans
Chabbra believes that COVID-19 has expedited the adoption rate of omnichannel technology. “COVID-19 has helped us the way demonetization helped Paytm to grow,” added Chhabra.
“It was always on the roadmap of retailers because they knew its importance, but it was never implemented. However, COVID-19 has forced these retailers to adopt this technology,” Chhabra continued.
Ace Turtle in June saw higher numbers in terms of sales compared with pre-COVID era. The figures in terms of sales have gone up by 30 per cent compared with pre-COVID era. The platform now processes INR 75-80 crore of commerce per month.
Ace Turtle has recently signed up 18-20 brands to its existing 60 plus clients. These new clients will go live in July.
Chhabra, who currently employs over 100 employees, is not looking to expand their market and believes there is tremendous potential growth in the existing market. He thinks the company will grow three times by next year.Till now, Ace Turtle has raised Series A funding of $5 million from multiple investors including Vertex Venture and CapitaLand, a mall owner.