Our focus is more towards ROI-driven digital campaigns: Harsh Shah, Co-Founder, Fynd

In conversation with Harsh Shah, Co-Founder, Fynd, on chat-bots, GST and Voice AI

e4m by Misbaah Mansuri
Updated: Aug 23, 2017 12:55 PM

Flying high on the success of having raised $ 3.5 million in funding, technology-based fashion shopping app, Fynd seems to be on a growth spree. It’s no secret that the venture boasts of a number of high-profile investors.  The platform that leverages chat-bots and AI-fuelled innovation has also launched Fifty- the unique fashion bot-friend. In conversation with exchange4media,Harsh Shah, Co-Founder, Fynd, speaks about revamping the app, achieving success out of a chat-bot and more. Edited excerpts:

How will you allocate the $3.5 mn raised in funding?

This is going to be used for building new product lines to augment our existing e-commerce business line and growing and establishing the brand. There will also be a lot of technological investments we are looking at, which for the retailers’ side will be to chip away their 30% potential share of their sales.

Can you tell us about the idea behind rolling out the revamped app Fynd 2.0?

Being able to make a product relevant to the consumer is always a challenge. So the idea behind the revamp was to reduce browsing fatigue and ensure personalised shopping. The new app has features to react to what you have just seen. So it was also about making the experience more personalised with improved conversions and purchase decisions for the consumers.

Please give us a sense of the marketing spends and activities undertaken to scale up business.

We sort of started putting our peddle on growth from January onwards. We launched our campaign around cars which went off well. We were the first quarter’s top 10 viewed ads on YouTube and garnered 1.6 million views. With respect to the marketing spends, digital becomes the largest area for spends for us. So Facebook, Google, a few affiliate partners along with our own campaigns becomes the whole chunk. Our focus is more towards ROI-driven digital campaigns.

What do you think about voice AI as the next frontier in brand marketing?

Voice AI as a way of interaction between a machine and a human is definitely going to pick up. It’s just so difficult to encapsulate so many different dialects and languages, especially of India, on a keyboard. Voice is actually the easiest way to communicate. So I think you are going to see a lot of voice-driven engagement between a phone and a person, which will go on. However, we don’t see many brands going full throttle with Voice AI as of now.

What is your idea of achieving success out of a chat-bot?

Chat is one thing that the consumer knows how to do. So it is about pondering over how we can recreate a shopping experience through the medium of chats. I don’t think that having a chat interface will become a solution for that. There will be barriers around people downloading multiple apps and amount of space on phones but I think what a chat-bot needs to do is be present on existing chat platforms like WhatsApp and Facebook messenger. Categories like ours which is fashion is a once in a two-month category. So how do you achieve daily use with a consumer for such a category?  I think chat provides a good way to drive that.

According to you, what was the effect of GST on business?

I think that the uniqueness of a model which is a store-driven one has a lot of complications. So a lot of capabilities at the point of sale-systems, being able to issue invoices for inter-state and intra-state orders was and is still a big hurdle. I think over the next one year this feedback should definitely go to the government and they will try and simplify things. 

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