The term “omni channel” has become a buzzword over the past three years. It is nothing but a brick-and-mortar retailer connecting the physical world with the digital. Though major retail conglomerates like Aditya Birla, Shoppers Stop, and Arvind Retail have invested in omni-channel strategies, over eight million retailers in India are yet to experience any digital retail. However, startups like Wooplr have helped consumers find their favourite fashion in stores closest to them.
Cisco and Shopper’s stop have partnered to deliver digital experiences that fulfil purchases through an offline store too. Similarly, a Delhi-based startup has begun to create a crowdsourced platform to discover fashion.
Orangepick is an omni-channel and crowdsourced fashion discovery app which aims to become a search as well as a suggestion engine for fashion. Their objective is to help people discover the latest fashion, as per their style preferences across both online and offline channels, by providing them access to actionable information.
“The app curates the best fashion from both online and offline stores so that people have multiple options at their disposal,” says Piyush Malhotra, Co-founder of Orangepick.
He adds that if consumers aren’t able to find it on their own, they can post a style search on the app to seek help from the community of fashionistas and stylists.
Orangepick was co-founded by four engineers, Piyush Malhotra, Arpit Sharma, Anand Kumar and Saumya Sharma. The founders, who met in business school in 2012, would often talk about Arpit’s handbag retailing business. He often wondered how customers could reach out to his retailing business better if they could find collections through a digital channel. This thought led to the genesis of Orangepick in 2016 and it was launched in February 2017.
Orangepick encourages peer-to-peer fashion discovery, where a user can get fashion inspiration as well as styling and shopping tips from other users and fashion influencers on the platform. Other forms of engagement include integrations with Instagram accounts that help users get exposed to a larger community, as well as creating looks by combining their favourite products into complete outfits. Apart from that, they have solutions for brands as well.
For fashion brands, the platform aims to function as a ready-made mobile omni-channel solution as well as a cost-effective digital marketing solution. Orangepick seeks to help brands provide a similar and consistent marketing experience to their users (either online or offline users) as part of its integrated marketing communications (IMC) strategy. “The company will curate personalised offers on behalf of brands, based on an individual’s browsing behaviour so that a brand can achieve higher conversions through individualised and localised communications,” says Piyush.
Orangepick aims to be a one-stop solution for a consumer’s fashion needs by integrating all apps on their fashion platform and become an affiliate marketing company.
“Omni channel is the future. But whether customers will discover their local stores through the mobile phone for fashion is yet to be proven,” says Harminder Sahni, Founder of Wazir Advisors, a retail consulting firm.
How it makes money
With over 20,000 users on Android, the platform has now started generating early affiliate revenue. The user base has been growing at 110 percent month on month after the implementation of the rewards programme in February, which gives an opportunity to the users to earn extra cashback (in the form of Paytm Cash) every time they make a purchase on any of the Orangepick online partner stores through the app.
Orangepick claims to have partnered with 15 online affiliations and on-boarded more than 110 stores in Delhi NCR. It says the app has received over 400 style queries in four months with over 70 percent organic response rate.
The business model includes earning affiliate revenue from online and offline stores, freemium subscription-based services to brands/stores for influencer marketing (firing automated responses to a user’s style query on the “Style Talk” section of the app as per that user’s style preferences), promoting fashion brands as well as stores through hyper-local push notifications by analysing key pre and post sale metrics of stores. “We are also looking at monetising through native ads at a later stage,” says Piyush.
The way forward
Orangepick is currently bootstrapped and in talks with various investors. The team plans to come out with the iOS version of the application by the end of April 2017. From a technical standpoint, the vision is to evolve the product further into providing users with more automated yet personalised experiences as a value proposition, through machine learning algorithms and AI.
The aim is to build a comprehensive omni-channel fashion discovery and marketing solution for users and brands, respectively, by overcoming the challenges of closing the loop between the online and offline channels.
“Affiliate businesses require their app to be discovered. There are several affiliates in the market and the challenges in scaling up are plenty,” says Naganand Doraswamy, CEO of IdeaSpring Capital.
These four founders all of whom are under 30 have invested Rs 50 lakh in the business. They believe that the stores or brands would eventually pay the value that they bring to their business. But it's hard to say because the orange is yet to be picked.