Exiting from the ecommerce bubble, Yebhi’s co-founder Danish Ahmed has launched his new venture by the name ShopSity. ShopSity is an app-based information provider for fashion products which are being sold in the users’ vicinity.
Danish realizes that although mobile penetration is increasing and consumer buying patterns have changed; there is something that is hindering this expected growth of billion dollar ecommerce market.
“When I took customer calls or delivered products to them I realized that a lot of people are shopping online not because it is convenient, but because the alternate is so inconvenient”, says Danish.
The need to launch a venture like ShopSity arises from the fact that people risk to choose intangible products and wait for longer time for their products to be available in online buying against the alternative of going from store to store or mall to mall. Hence, neither ecommerce which is efficient but tedious and unnatural nor offline shopping which is laborious but fun, have nailed to the customers’ needs.
This move comes time when offline stores are establishing their online presence and India’s apparel industry is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 9%, reaching $102 Bn by 2023. As per Google India, online fashion retail market, which is the largest contributor to the organised retailing market in India, is expected to reach $35 Bn by 2020.
At Shopsity, Danish aims at targeting the $50 Bn offline fashion apparel market to amalgam the convenience of online with the offline shopping. The company is focussed on fashion and has over 2000 stores from Delhi/NCR, already listed on its android app. By the next year, they aspire to take that number to over 40,000 fashion stores across the top 10 cities.
The ShopSity mobile app will enable the users to select the designs, checkout latest offers, check size availability from the nearest stores online. Later which, the users can make a shopping list and go out to experience the product and purchase it.
This being his second venture is much inspired from Yebhi.com. Danish along with other founders build Yebhi.com into a $100 Mn company with a headcount of 1500 people. Yebhi had seen tremendous growth of its position in the ecommerce industry. But after going cash crunched for over a year, in September 2014, Yebhi.com pivoted its business model to become an aggregator of products from other ecommerce platforms, like Myntra, Jabong and Flipkart among others.
Scope for ShopSity
It has been seen in countries like the US and China, where ecommerce is more than a decade old phenomenon, that 80% of ‘non-food’ shopping still happens offline. This indicates that the user is still addicted to the traditional shopping model despite the heavy discounting and marketing strategy of etailers. Since, these discounts are coming from marketing budgets, they will soon taper down, says Danish.
I believe that retail is at an inflection point and the next five years will see a retail revolution. The way we shop will change, and Shopsity will be an important part of that change. A year from now, we’ll have thousands of retailers that’ll connect, engage and transact with customers digitally. You’ll see retailers offering personalised recommendations and discounts using beacons, retailers advertising on facebook and google, retailers with ipads and tablets, offering a much richer user experience. Shopsity aspires to become the platform where retailers connect with customers, and offer this experience.
Though there is no other player in the fashion industry dealing in this particular space, however, Pricebaba and Zopper are doing something similar in mobile handsets and consumer durable and electronics space respectively. Pricebaba and Zopper follows a hyper local marketplace model to facilitate consumers to search the product on its app and then displays the details of all the retailers who have it in the neighbourhood, along with price comparisons.