The Shopping Doctor To Cure D2C Brands' Tech Maladies Is Here!
Gokwik offers full stack enablement solutions for providing complete technological support to e-commerce brands
Although e-commerce is one of India's fastest-growing segments today, it continues to be riddled with many issues, such as high 'cart abandonment', cumbersome shopping experiences, and orders being returned to the warehouse before delivery, among others.
"While I was working with the Bombay Shaving Company (as the CRO), I came across several of these pressing problems plaguing the full shopping funnel, which D2C brands were seeking solutions to," says Chirag Taneja, co-founder and CEO of Gokwik, a Gurugram-based company that was set up in November 2020 to build full stack enablement solutions for offering complete support to thriving e-commerce brands.
Gokwik aims to democratize the shopping experience and increase GMV (Gross Merchandise Volume) realization for e-commerce businesses. The company claims to believe in a 'merchant-first' philosophy and uses AI (Artificial Intelligence) and ML (Machine Learning) technologies to solve problems such as Return to Origin (RTO) and improve conversion rates.
According to Taneja, the Gokwik team has thus far overcome many challenges, ranging from starting a company during a global pandemic to solving a hard data-driven problem which begins with ensuring the availability of valid data. Further, building the correct blend of AI and ML algorithms to offer unique solutions to consumers' exact problems also proved to be a hard nut to crack. "With respect to fundraising, though, we have been lucky because people who heard the idea immediately wanted to invest. This is because they understood that this was a very unique space we were opening," says Taneja. In May this year, the company raised $35 million in a new funding round led by Think Investments and RTP Global and participated into by existing investors Sequoia Capital India and Matrix Partners India..
He notes that the Indian e-commerce industry is still in the early stage of growth, equalling less than 10 per cent of retail's market share. Which trends then does Taneja anticipate in the sector in the near future? "We will see various models emerge the way we have seen offline retail evolve from mom-and-pop stores to modern retail to exclusive brand outlets; we will notice a similar journey pan out in the case of value-based shopping: it started on Amazon, Flipkart et al and is gradually evolving to newer formats at the intersection of consumer journeys and better experiences," he opines.
Ask him what Gokwik's USP is and he will tell you it's an efficient combination of technology, user experience and personalization moulded into one model that is specific to a brand: "We are a data science-first company. As an e-commerce enabler, we aspire to unlock value from data, technology, and AI to improve conversion, reduce RTO risk, target the best customers and increase GMV." The company aims to register a five-fold growth in the current year and continue deepening its presence across the country.
In Taneja's estimation, now is the best time to build a business in India. "We have opportunities and talent and are much ahead in understanding how technology can solve various problem statements. I have travelled around and seen that we are much more evolved tech-wise than, say, the Middle East. The next 10 years are a golden period for tech SaaS companies."
His advice to young entrepreneurs is laden with similar lavish optimism and strewn with potent platitudes: Don't over-think about what will happen if your plans don't work out! Have a grand vision and place your bets boldly! Think of five to six ways of solving a problem at the source and create target streams! Treat the disease and not the symptom and you will definitely shine!