The idea was about bridging the offline - online divide by offering the best of both worlds, says Kartik Sanghavi, Founder, Appie during a candid chit-chat with Retailer Media..
Tell us about the inception of your brand?
Appie is your virtual co-pilot through everyday life. The genesis of the idea was while I was doing my gamification course at Wharton. During my studies I realized how mobile could be leveraged for amplifying experiences in the real world instead of pushing humans to the mirage of the virtual world. The idea was about bridging the offline - online divide by offering the best of both worlds. As I researched further, layers & layers of benefits & features finally formed the full fledged concept of a mobile application, Appie. From R & D to production to technology, the entire process took over 1.5 years.
How do think your app will benefit consumers and retailers?
The app solves a real pain point in everyone's life. As a consumer, Appie enables ambient discovery and on demand fulfillment from nearby businesses. Our on-the-go lives get a major facelift with such specific actionable information at our finger tips. IT has so far been seen primarily as Information Technology, now with Mobile Computing, Appie will enable Intelligent and Interaction Technology to offer personalised service and amplified experiences for existing behavior.
Prior to this consumer bought online due to lack of actionable information. With Appie, we want to empower relevant merchants to become the first choice for fulfillment.
Here are some handy benefits for consumers:
.Look and feel of product before paying
.Faster & better service
.Option to buy from nearest outlet
.Trusted local sellers
.Personalised services & coupons
Appie provides the following benefits for retailers:
.Getting online customers to their store
.Creating awareness about the shop in near proximity
.Higher conversion of shoppers entering your store
Tell us about your revenue model?
Appie works on a simple pay -per-use revenue model. Retail is a much evolved industry, by that the margins in each product category are highly optimised, hence we do not believe in charging hefty commission on transactions. We have a no-investment, pay-per-use kind of a model so that all kinds of retailers can afford it regardless of category, stage or scale. And the best part is that it's free for consumers. This is a very transparent system where a consumer can directly pay the retailer. There are no hidden charges involved.
Who according to you are your competitors in this segment?
Appie is one app that does many things in a simple and seamless manner. Appie competes with anyone who is trying to take business away from our retailers. Most "ecommerce" and online shopping are in the business of using retailers to acquire their consumers. These are our real competitors.
What technological innovation have you incorporated in this app?
We are essentially building a platform that is designed to empower the entire ecosystem. We enable Brands to directly connect to consumers and guide them to directly to a shelf of their Retail partners or franchise. When consumers are nearby a retailer they get reminded about specific products or coupons that the retailers could fulfill or redeem (Research about location context making it actionable). 85% of users will visit instore if they have a relevant offer or if they find a product of interest. We do precisely that. Infact we allow users to capture interest from ecommerce sites and fullfill it from a retailer nearby. Yes, our retailers are going to get them back. So in a way we are going to change the game here. It is time for the real retailers to come ahead and take a step forward.
Appie is less technology & more magic! The interactive media solutions are innovative & fun ways for people to buy products that are advertised by brands. The product uses technologies such as mobile computing, cloud computing, internet of things, Big Data to build contextual experiences.
Today, when consumers visit ecommerce sites they know precisely what to offer to the relevant consumers. Retailers did not have this advantage, until now. It is not just consumer preference; retailers do not even know when a Loyalty platinum or Gold member enters the store. With Appie, we empower retailers with this knowledge so that it not only creates a level playing field but also enables retailers to service and delight important high LTV customers before and while they are shopping.
What according to you is the future of m-commerce in India?
India is naturally growing as a mobile first country. Many netizens have experienced computing and connectivity only as or beginning with mobile. Mobile is an amazing tool for retailers to win back, serve and delight their consumers. Only 0.96% of the consumers who visit Commerce sites on mobile actually convert into sales. The balance? We bring them to our retailers' store. Globally 71% of consumers are using mobile to find a nearby retailer and India is already on that trend.
Enough research proves that consumers want better experiences and faster gratification for their needs considering the strength of retailers in numbers and physical presence. Appie empowers retailers to connect to such consumers looking for products that they serve. A Google study says, an average of 88% of the world's consumers use Webroom or Research online and buy offline.
Mobile phones have become an extension of the device owners. Mobile internet access has made M-commerce the new normal. Given the fact that a significant part of our population jumped the desktop to adopt internet enabled mobile devices, there is a large population that is digitally native on the mobile. At Appie our goal will be to keep these set of users deeply connected to the real world.
At appie our goal is to keep these set of users connected to the real world while transcend the digital path.
Where do you see your brand five years down the line?
In five years, Appie will become like second nature to our consumers, if they have a product in mind they will find it with our retailers, an arsenal for our retailers to winback customers and an important connecting channel for Brands to connect to consumers. Appie begins with retail and gradually connects to various forms of businesses and physical and real world experience. Appie is the real world connect. In five years the world will be Appier place. Appie will be to the physical world what Google is to the virtual world.