This Ahmedabad-based SaaS startup is helping jewellery retailers go online
Aagam R Shah comes with a background in jewellery retail business and knows the shopping behaviour of people.
He says, “In general, 98 percent of jewellery shoppers won’t buy jewellery without trying, yet 95 percent of the existing jewellery ecommerce stores don’t provide that experience.”
was conceptualised in 2018 with a vision to transform the way people buy jewellery. Due to increasing demand from jewellers, the Ahmedabad-based startup launched a virtual TryOn feature on the platform in October 2019. Aagam says he decided to pivot to a SaaS model just before the pandemic-led lockdown in January 2020.
“During the lockdown, the delivery chain was disrupted and gold prices were highly volatile. On the other hand, the demand for virtual TryOn was high. This shift in scenario made us pivot from being an ecommerce marketplace to being an AR based SaaS startup,” states Aagam, who had earlier launched an ecommerce store for his family business before venturing into Plushvie.
“We noticed that a lot of visitors on our website used to add products to the cart, but didn’t check out for some reason. We tried solving this problem by taking interviews of potential customers who wanted to buy something. We learnt that they were not quite sure of how well the jewellery will look on them,” says Aagam.
"This feedback made the team give an ‘Experience of Trying Jewellery Before Buying’ with the guided shopping over the video call. “It worked out really well and we made a full-fledged product innovation around it,” he adds.
Plushvie has also been recognised as the “Startup of the year 2020” by Gujarat University Startup and Entrepreneurship Council (GUSEC) for its user-driven innovation in the retail space.
How does it work?
Plushvie provides an AR Video Call called PlushMeet, where jewellery retailers can show their products over a video call and shoppers can try them live over the call.
“We use Augmented Reality technology to detect the user’s face and augment it with jewellery products to help them experience the look and feel of the jewellery,” says Aagam.
It also has a group video conferencing feature, where all the members of a family can virtually try the same piece of jewellery at the same time, something which isn’t possible while shopping in physical stores.
For jewellery retailers, it’s a three-step process to upload products, thus helping retailers in quick merchandising. It’s a web first approach, hence no hassle of app download.
Aagam states, “The web-based video shopping platform allows users to join the video call and makes the shopping experience comfortable, similar to shopping in-person from the store. Jewellery executives can show the products one-by-one, allowing them to TRY it virtually and see which jewellery looks better on them, thus giving the shoppers a “Guided Shopping Assistance” (GSA). These days, GSA has been in trend with many shoppers as it saves a lot of time as well as it helps them in choosing the best product from the entire inventory.”
The startup also provides advanced analytics that gives deeper insights to jewellery retailers. It is also coming up with a secured payment method to help shoppers buy products directly from the video call.
Some of the retailers who have tied up with Plushive include Charu Jewels, Surat; Sri Bhavani Jewels, Hyderabad; Kothari Jewelers, Chennai; and others.
Speaking of challenges, Agam highlights, “Merchandising was the biggest challenge. Because there’s very little infra to capture jewellery photography and convert it into a virtual TryOn. To solve that, we have developed a three-step product listing process, which helps jewellers to click pictures from a mobile phone and upload in a minute. Team building was another struggle.We hire for the right attitude and train teammates for the skills. Finding the right candidate has always been a challenge.”
Business model and revenue
With a team of 15 members along with the founder, the startup operates on a SaaS business model and licenses its technology on a monthly or annual subscription basis.
It claims to have onboarded over 250 retailers and over 50,000 unique shoppers till now.
“We currently have an ARR of Rs 50 lakh and we are targeting an ARR of Rs 5 crore by the end of FY 2023. We have an aggressive target of serving one lakh subscribers by 2025,” adds Aagam.
“Because of our ongoing team expansion, we aren’t profitable yet. We hope to be profitable by the end of this financial year,” states Aagam.
Market size and traction
The Indian Gems and Jewellery market size is expected to reach $100 billion by 2025.
The startup, which is mainly targeting jewellery retail brands in Tier-I and Tier-II cities, claims its TryON feature has been used over a million times till now.
Aagam started Plushvie with an initial investment of $20,000 and the startup has so far raised $230k from angel investors, friends, and family.
At present, it competes with startups such as MirrAR by StyleDotMe, Modaka Technologies, and Ammazza.
“We envision to onboard 100,000+ subscribers by 2025 and we are also planning to expand our existing clientele in Dubai, the US, as well as South East Asia in a phased manner,” says Aagam.
Edited by Megha Reddy