‘Enterprise sales is not that hard in India,’ Shopsense cofounder on cracking the ‘Being Human’ deal
ShopSense is a solutions company selling to retailers to improve a consumer’s shopping experience. Founded by IIT Bombay alumni- Farooq Adam, Harsh Shah and Sreeraman MG- Shopsense has products that increase the in shop engagement with customers. Here is one of their products (Match) in action-
The company has some marque clients like Lee, Satya Paul, Anita Dongre, Flying Machine, Arrow and US Polo Association where the solution has been deployed but their biggest implementation has been with Salman Khan’s Being Human chain of stores. Already present in 12 Being Human stores, the Shopsense team is in the process of implementing it to all the 50 stores. How did they crack the deal?
Shopsense raised a seed round from Kae Capital and Powai Lake Ventures. Zishaan Hayath is one of the investors from Powai Lake who introduced Shopsense to a person from Being Human. Usually, such a meeting results in more follow ups but in this case, the deal was closed quickly. The Being Human management was keen on getting the solution deployed across all the stores. Talking about enterprise sales, Harsh says that it is not as hard as it is made out to be. He supports this by the following points:
- The Indian entrepreneurs are coming of age and the new generation (even in traditional sectors) are open to technology and believe in the power it wields
- Indian companies are also more forgiving compared to counterparts in the developed nations
Getting payments on time and long sales cycles are believed to be some of the perils of the industry but Shopsense follows a revenue model which takes care of it. They have paid pilots. “This ensures that only serious contenders sign up for a demo,” says Harsh. A paid pilot is basically the same subscription with an exit option after a month. This way, the retailer has an option to discontinue use after a month if not satisfied and the provider also doesn’t have to bear the loss of a trial.
Based out of Mumbai, Shopsense was started back in 2012 and is a team of close to 20 people right now. They have three main products as of now:
Match: An in-store engagement platform. Built on large capacitive touchscreens, using Match, customers can easily browse products, search/discover new ones, and share with friends for feedback via email or social networks.
React: Helps to engage and educate customers in store. Prop an item on React and it comes alive, describing the product. It is a great tool to empower customer representatives.
LemurTM: Lemur is a semantic search, discovery and recommendation engine. It seeds new products to cover depth and breadth of the product inventory. The recommendations are based on a user’s shopping journey and Lemur’s job is to help customers navigate across the depth and breadth of the product inventory.
The retail industry is huge and Shopsense has had an on the global audience from day one. Their implementations are in India alone for now but they have started getting a lot of interest from brands in the Middle East through Dubai and in London as well. “We were recently at the Retail Business Technology Expo in London where we received interest from a sex toy store to. The demands are also giving us an idea of the verticals in which we can exist,” says Harsh. Focusing on strengthening their current position, Shopsense is going strong but will need to raise a follow up round to increase the pace of development.
Related Reads: Know more about ShopSense as a workplace