RealTell is a retail tech start-up by Sanyam Gupta and Shivendra Misra, the two 19-year-old students of Shri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC), Delhi University. The solution ‘RealTell Sales’ for retail stores focuses on increasing the customer engagement and sales of fashion and lifestyle brands through their intelligently designed solution.
“Indian customers are price sensitive due to which the majority of retail sales happen during the end-of-season sales period. With the number of options available, they prefer to explore all the available mediums for finding the best deals. As a result, there is reduced footfall during the ‘no-sale’ time in the stores,” said Sanyam.
The idea behind the solution is to provide a tool for the bricks-and-mortar stores that are facing huge competition from online retailers like Myntra and Amazon.
The solution is built around the concept of ‘dynamic pricing’ that is being used by these online retailers. Dynamic pricing is a strategy in which product prices are continuously adjusted, sometimes in a matter of minutes, in response to certain circumstances such as the real-time supply and demand.
“We take into consideration the brand’s KPIs and the overheads which go into holding and maintaining the garments. We then apply algorithms to do dynamic pricing, which means that for different combinations, the customer is going to get different offers every day,” quoted Sanyam Gupta, co-founder, RealTell. “We are using dynamic pricing in order to deliver two benefits; while the customers get value for what they are purchasing, brands maximise their basket size from each customer, therefore, increasing their overall turnover.”
The customers shopping from the stores get dynamic offers for different product combinations. So, suppose in case the combined price of products A and B is Rs. 3,000, the technology may help the shopper get the product at a cheaper price, e.g., Rs. 2,500. These combinations of prices are precisely set after considering a host of parameters. Also, it helps retailers to use the data that they receive in an intelligent way. The retailer will have a better view of what their customers are liking in the store but not buying, helping them with better product assortment in their stores.
The concept is very similar to that being used by the online retailers, wherein they analyse every data point they capture. To point out an example, as soon as customers put their products in the wish list, brands start giving personalised offers on those products to the customer. However, in the case of retail stores, retailers are hardly using the data they are collecting.
“Our USP is not only dynamic pricing but also the consequent data intelligence as this is something that has not been introduced in the bricks-and-mortar concept. Online retail works on this model and it is something that is successful,” said Sanyam.
The product works on a mobile application wherein customers entering the store will be scanning the barcode of the product tags that they pick up. As soon as the shopper scans the barcode, he/she will be receiving personalised offers. This will help the shoppers in getting better deals on the products, saving the amount of money that they would have otherwise spent on buying those products individually. Also, the retailers with this will be able to maximise customer engagement, get deeper insights into their customer preferences and therefore, increase their long-term profit. “Since fashion and apparel is majorly commoditised, brands have to compete on customer experience. Moreover, as the smartphone penetration increases in India and other countries as well, the mobile phones have become natural extension of the shopper. Keeping that in mind, the solutions that we provide help apparel retailers set up a much more engaging customer experience as well as execute a smarter pricing strategy to serve the shoppers and maximise long-term profits,” said Shivendra Misra.
The two young entrepreneurs started their retail journey with a self-checkout solution for groceries and supermarkets. However, problems of theft and use of legacy systems by retailers made it hard to execute the idea. Self-checkout solutions like computer vision and RFID tags do exist in the ecosystem; however, in a low-margin business like grocery, the solutions are capital intensive and not scalable enough – resulting in pivoting to a different proposition for RealTell.
RealTell is incubated by TurningIdeas Ventures, where Ashish Mittal helped identify various pain points in the retail industry and advised throughout the research phase to build the product as it stands today.
Apart from this, the company already has a solution “RealTell Retail” that was launched in February and is successfully implemented in 900+ stores of Crimsoune Club, a leading lifestyle manufacturer. The solution helps the brands to better manage their stores from their mobile phones and other devices.
The solution is majorly for the multi-brand store and store-in-store format outlets. “So what happens is that in store-in-store format, the data or POS system is basically maintained by the retailer, and the brands have their own associates who are managing the sales in the store, so we help the brands better manage their workforce, their sales data as well as various other data points,” said Sanyam.
The company is further working to make the solution more valuable for the brands. The first step is to focus on optimising the software and making the customer’s journey as smooth as possible. Gradually, it aims to help retailers use the data wisely to grow their business smartly.