Why this Pune-based startup's DIY platform is a boon for retailers looking to go the ecommerce way

Founded in 2019 by Harish Rohokale, Apptmart is an Al-powered ecommerce DIY platform that allows businesses to create their own ecommerce website/app - without requiring any technical knowledge.
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The Indian ecommerce market is predicted to rise to $200 billion by 2026, up from $38.5 billion in 2017, as per a report by India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF). This is due to rising smartphone penetration, the rollout of 4G networks, and increasing consumer wealth. India, only behind China and the United States, had the third-largest online shopping base in 2020, with 140 million people.

“Retail businesses in India are struggling to stay afloat and grow, and they can't compete in many areas with big ecommerce brands. With the help of Apptmart's AI-powered platform, retailers' businesses can transform into ecommerce businesses.” says Harish Rohokale, Founder of Apptmart.

Apptmart is a startup that provides an AI-powered ecommerce DIY platform that connects retailers to the online world by converting them into ecommerce businesses. The Pune-based startup was founded in 2019.

“With the online retail sector poised to explode, integrating local shopkeepers with technology has become critical, especially since they still control most of the retail space. This is where Apptmart comes in: it brings merchants onto its platform so that they can expand their reach and customers can shop more easily,” Harish adds.

The startup allows businesses to create their own ecommerce website/app in a matter of days without requiring any technical knowledge.

Apptmart offers a variety of business-enhancing features like Razorpay and Cashfree delivery partner integration, an AI-powered admin dashboard, auto e-mailers, inventory management, and product management, to name a few.

It generates recommendations based on user behaviour and analysis using AI technologies.

Apptmart can also help you turn social sharing into social selling where businesses can easily add and sell products on their Instagram and Facebook feeds, encouraging customers to browse and buy on their preferred social media platforms.

 

A bootstrapped venture, the startup claims to have 5000+ customers and over 75 merchants aboard its platform, both in India and abroad.

As a new homegrown ecommerce platform, Apptmart relied on offline sales to attract its first consumers and spread the word. “We're working on a long-term marketing strategy that involves offline sales, visiting trade fairs, hosting events, and promoting businesses on digital media,” Harish says.

The team

Harish Rohokale joined Globant India as an associate software engineer after earning a master's degree in computer science from Fergusson College. Over a period of six years, he was elevated to team lead and architect.

During this period, Harish had the chance to work on Angular 6, Angular CLI, HTML5, SCSS, PrimeNG, React 16, React Materialize, Jasmin, Karma, TFS, Octopus, and successfully led several projects using these technologies.

Apptmart  has a team of over 100 members currently.

As the sole founder, Harish is responsible for the company's general development, marketing, and financial operations, and also represents the brand to clients and investors while steering it through a competitive market.

The way ahead

Domestically, Apptmart competes with the likes of Shopmatic, Store Hippo, MyDukaan etc, while globally, the startup faces stiff competition from players like Shopify, BigCommerce, Wix and  WooCommerce among others.

According to Harish, his startup distinguishes itself by developing features and capabilities that meet the needs of merchants, and makes it simpler for them to utilise its ecommerce.

“Due to lack of technical know-how, retail merchants are not able to launch their own ecommerce website and app. For using Apptmart’s platform, it is not necessary to have any technical or coding knowledge. It offers a powerful merchant panel to administer your store in one place. Its in-built customer relationship management system (CRM) also promotes consumer discounts and special offers,” says Harish.

“Payment gateways Razorpay and Cashfree Payments, as well as delivery partners such as Delhivery, are all built-in,” he adds.

Apptmart’s target group is a comprehensive B2B and B2C domain. The startup’s revenue model is subscription-based, and has four pricing categories - Basic (Rs 2,599/month), Advanced (Rs 5,199/month), Premium (Rs 10,399/month) and Promotional (Rs 1,299/month), available on a monthly, quarterly, half-yearly and annual basis. Its clients include Talegaon Farms, Splendid Farm Fresh, Aroma Ferry, Raadha's Cosmic World and House of Meat among others.

Harish admits the startup is experiencing several barriers to entry, such as competitor brand awareness, customer base, and financial resources, because it is a growing and competitive business. However, he says he is confident that the platform is a boost for businesses thanks to its all-inclusive tools. 

“We are pushing on our marketing efforts, product development and increasing financial resources,” Harish concludes. 
Edited by Anju Narayanan

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