Imagine a customer in a shop. The shopper relies on a store-attendant to help find out exactly what she wants. Drawing on from what the attendant knows or could quickly deduce, she would locate the product and suggest. As time progressed, today’s customers are bombarded with information and options, especially in a place like a mall. It becomes difficult for the floor staff at many stores to replicate the personal touch that shoppers once depended on. Even in the online world, we are yet to crack a way to effectively help the buyer make a decision. And retail is moving towards online, but it is safe to assume that the brick-and-mortar stores are here to stay for a good time.
Three IIT Bombay alumni – Farooq Adam, Harsh Shah and Sreeraman MG – sensed an opportunity in bridging the gap between the ease and convenience of click retail with the touch-and-feel experience of brick retail. Thus was born Shopsense. Farooq and Harsh were also colleagues at Opera Solutions in Delhi, and Sreeraman joined them a bit later to take care of the design front. Shopsense has a range of products which can be used by brands to help customers. For instance, a shopper can browse through the entire range on a screen at a shop and ask for interaction with friends on social networks while making a decision.
A complete B2B play where retailers buy the Product-as-a-Service at a brand level to deploy at various stores, Shopsense has also raised a seed round. Kae Capital, a group of angels under Powai Lake Ventures (comprising of Abhishek Jain, Shishir Kapoor, Zishaan Hayath, Saurabh Saxena and Gagan Goya among others) and angel investor Jehaan Mehta have invested in Shopsense. Earlier this year Shopsense conducted the pilot for its technology at the Diesel store in Mumbai and more recently developed user experience and interface for Big Bazaar Direct.
“Shopsense sits at the intersection of technology and retail. We envision a future where digital technology is closely embedded into physical environments, be they sensors, displays, video cameras, touchscreens, mobiles or tablets. Retail environments are no different. Shopsense aims to be the Internet of Things for the retail environments; being the platform that supports all digital and physical interactions a consumer has, which in turn helps retailers curate a more engaging experience for the shopper,” says Farooq.