27 February 2020
This article talks about a few of the apparel retail start-ups that have brought disruption to the industry.
Two 19-year-old students of Shri Ram College of Commerce, Delhi University – Sanyam Gupta and Shivendra Mishra – came up with the idea to transform the bricks-and-mortar shopping experience for the customers. Inspired by the concept of ‘dynamic pricing’ in online retailing, where product pricing is adjusted based on certain circumstances like real-time supply and demand, the duo discovered RealTell, a company that focuses on easing the task for bricks-and-mortar stores with focus on increased footfall and sales.
The solution RealTell retail focuses on creating different combinations of prices for different combinations of products. The customers entering the store will need to scan the tag of the garment after which they will receive different deals involving different combinations at good prices.
The start-up is backed by Ashish Mittal, Founder and Chief Mentor, TurningIdeas Ventures, who helped them identify the pain areas and work on the solution for the retailers. "The USP of our product is dynamic pricing as this is something that has not been introduced in offline retail. Online retail is something that works on this model of dynamic pricing and it is something that has proved to be successful for them," said Sanyam Gupta, Co-founder, RealTell.
Launched in January 2018 by Veer Mishra, Vivek Singh, Saurabh Shandilya and Saurabh Yadav, Veda Labs is an AI platform providing real-time store level insights allowing retailers to take informed decisions.Its technology based on AI and computer vision empowers retailers to understand footfall, age, gender and repeat count of each customer that walks into the store. With the use of CCTV camera footage, the company works on providing an entire overview of the customer journey with footfall analysis, thus granting wholesalers, enterprises and retailers personalised experience for every customer, enhancing in-store experience.
The technology’s deep neural network detects a customer and its advanced deep learning-driven tracking provides accurate footfall for any retail store. The real-time data insights can help the retailers with unique advantages over their competitors, allowing them to have better sales conversion per customer walk-in, marketing ROI on store walk-in, store heat maps, etc.
Moreover, the facial detection algorithms can identify each face in the store and present the exact age group and gender of each walk-in customer, thus allowing retailers to plan and give offers based on their preference increasing the personalised experience for their customers. The better understanding of the type of customers based on gender and age will allow the retailers to plan inventory precisely, ultimately increasing the sales. The technology assures an accuracy of 98.5 per cent to predict the face comparison through data set as per their website.
Founded by former Myntra executives Anshuman Agarwal, Rajul Jain and former Trilogy executive Romil Jain, INCREFF is backed by Binny Bansal, Co-founder, Flipkart and 021 Capital, both of which aim to help the brands and retailers improve inventory turns by 2-3X.
IRIS by INCREFF is an intelligent merchandising, planning, buying, distribution platform that results in 4-6 inventory turns. It has four modules including smart assortment plan, ideal buy plan, optimal store allocation and actionable business insights. The smart assortment plan identifies the products that have higher and consistent sell-through at lower discount rates, and predicts demand at the right granularity by creating product cluster based on 22 attributes. It then predicts the right depth of each cluster at each store with true size-set ratio for each cluster across all sales points. Moreover, it identifies the right number of options for each product cluster across all sales points. The software is also capable of suggesting buying plan to maintain the right amount of inventory. It incorporates current inventory across all stores/warehouses and pipeline inventory creating a transparency across different channels. Furthermore, it continuously monitors the KPIs in real time and reduces the time to market changes.
Another solution by the company is ASSURE, a web-based omnichannel fulfilment platform that creates a transparency of inventory between both online and offline channels. It assists in an integrated real-time inventory and order syncing across all channels in less than 20 seconds, and also provides a warehouse management system, order management system and inventory management system, exposing single view of inventory, across multiple warehouses to all sales channels (online, EBOs, marketplaces) and fulfils orders of all channels.
Founded in 2018 by Ankit Jain, Anurag Bhatt and Sharad Lahoti, the Bengaluru-based B2B tech start-up aims to help online and offline retailers to take better decisions for merchandising and inventory management.The company provides AI-driven merchandising and fulfillment solutionsincluding IntelliHawk, IntelliSort and IntelliFil.
IntelliHawk allows retailers to forecast demand based on past and current sales data. It automatically calculates the uplift due to seasonality, festival and external events. The system can also forecast the demand based on the SKU level once the store has collected the week’s data. The solution promises to reduce 60 per cent in stock-outs, increase revenue by 5 per cent and decrease merchandiser’s time by 70 per cent.
IntelliSort helps stores to plan a better assortment that is decided and arranged according to the demand in the market. The software makes the task easy for the retailers as it divides the products based on similarity mapping where identical products are clustered together based on product attribute. It also forecasts the demand based on recursive calculation between width optimisation and corresponding changes in estimated demand. The solution promises to reduce 60 per cent in stock-outs, increase revenue by 5 per cent and decrease merchandiser’s time by 70 per cent.
IntelliFil is a solution for fulfillment in stores with dynamic availability. This is done by taking into consideration both the online and offline demands at each store and warehouse. It fulfills order from the stores or warehouse where the products are least likely to sell, thus avoiding any excess inventory.
The Mumbai-based TryNDBuy Fashion is solving one of the major pain areas for the online retailers, which is trying clothes before buying. Started in 2017 by Nitin Vats, the company provides a patented software which can be easily installed in the fashion retailers app.
The software works as a selfie-based module. It creates a digital trial room where the customers are allowed to try clothes on their virtual avatar. The technology, encapsulated with AI, also recommends them the best possible option, thus acting as a virtual stylist.The software is super easy and exciting to use; the customers are required to enter their body measurements based on which it creates a digital avatar, which allows the customers to understand the length, fit and fall of the garment, assuring them of how the garment will look on their body type.
Moreover, the software also allows the retailers to convert the catalogue images of e-commerce portal into 3D clothes automatically, thus giving retailer the option to display more variety and option of garments. “We have developed a 3D engine which uses lot of AI and deep learning and computer vision for making realistic 3D clothes and 3D realistic model instantly. It is capable of even generating realistic video of a person with dress and look like almost real video,” explained Nitin.
Virtu, based in Gurugram, India, is a company that is leveraging the use of AR and AI to help retailers engage their customers in the stores. Founded by Jaideep Sundriyal, the company encapsulates both the technologies in a device that aims to associate things with strong interactive visuals.These technologies allow retailers to provide enhanced customer engagements, interactive advertisements, increased footfall, targeted footfall, customer report and insights. The interaction and engagement further allows a direct channel into the mind of the customers. It gives a detailed user report based on the customer’s behaviour and insights.
These smart mirrors also act as an interactive advertising screen where retailers can advertise for different products. These mirrors are then converted into trial mirrors allowing customers to shop for different products.
“Virtu’s Vivid is an AR-based 3D gesture-enabled interactive virtual trial room for fashion brands. This product is doing great in terms of brand engagement and visual merchandising for various fashion brands,” said Jaideep.