Brands must leverage technology to build online biz: Mangesh Panditrao, Shoptimize India 

Mangesh Panditrao, CEO, Shoptimize India Pvt. Ltd, talks about the AI-powered brand e-commerce platform’s plans to grow 300% in 2019

e4m by Neethu Mohan
Published: May 21, 2019 9:47 AM  | 5 min read
Shoptimize India 

Ecommerce has been consistently growing across the globe and is set to cross $200 billion in India. Shoptimize, an Artificial Intelligence-powered e-commerce platform drives conversions through brand websites. 

Shoptimize has built a persona bank of over 13 million personas, articulating the typical Indian shopper persona and behavioral patterns. They have recently launched a first of its kind AI engine on the Shoptimize platform (Shoptimize Aarya).

In a conversation with exchange4media, Mangesh Panditrao, CEO - Shoptimize India Pvt. Ltd, talks about the company’s journey in the last 6 years, the technology involved, their expansion plans and more.

Edited excerpts: 

What is Shoptimize? Can you take us through your 6-year journey?
Shoptimize drives conversions through brand websites. It is an AI (Artifical Intelligence) powered brand e-commerce platform that provides the ideal end-to-end e-commerce solutions that help you grow online revenues from your own brand website. The platform includes creation of online stores, integration with payment gateways, logistics and backend systems, generating traffic to the online store and driving conversion to actual orders. At the heart of it, is a state-of-the-art user analytics platform which helps in targeted marketing and experience personalisation.

E-commerce has been consistently growing across the globe and is set to cross $200 billion in India as well. To build a successful online business, brands need to leverage technology to the fullest. This is where we saw a gap 6 years ago, and decided to build a SaaS business, which would enable, operate and grow online sales for brands through their own websites. We started out with an e-commerce enabling platform, much like the SaaS platforms you find in the industry today. 

However, over the years we realised that brands needed a little more hand-holding which is not provided by do-it-yourself SaaS tools. We have always believed that the end goal for our company is to drive online revenue for our clients and the assisted e-commerce solution was key. We have worked on our tech stack and created two AI engines - Aarya and Polaris - that optimise marketing campaigns, create buyer personas and personalise end-user experience, among other things. These engines help our clients maximise returns on their investments on digital channels and in turn increase online sales in a scientific and replicable manner.

Can you elaborate on the technology behind Shoptimize?
The Shoptimize platform is the most robust e-commerce framework available in the market as of now. It is marketing ready, and any new feature is built with the focus of customer growth. 

Our e-commerce engine runs on AWS cloud, our infrastructure is PCI compliant guaranteeing best security standards with use of necessary firewalls and VPCs. For improved page loading times we use many caching techniques like CDN, and cache stores like Redis. We also use Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) and PWAs for better SEO ranking and improved user experience.

Besides our e-commerce platform, we have two AI growth engines -- Aarya and Polaris. Aarya is our AI engine that personalizes the shopping experience for the end-user. Aarya has delivered 4X growth in revenues in very short periods of time for many of our clients. A more personalized experience to the end-user drives them to convert more and return to the site that better understands their interests and wants. Polaris is our integrated data analytics engine. The insights provided by Polaris to the brands we work with has been critical to the success they have achieved for their independent e-commerce store.

Tell us more about your AI platform Shoptimize Aarya?
Aarya is Shoptimize's AI driven growth engine. Aarya engine is tuned to achieve primarily two goals - Increase conversion rate and decrease customer acquisition cost.

The Different applications of Aarya include:
Personalizing UX for conversion optimization with:
Dynamic messaging
User segment and cohort based UX
Product recommendations
Personalized relevant search
Generating AI driven insights to improve store's performance.
Optimize digital marketing across Google and Facebook.

Which are some of the brand you are currently working with?. Tell us the ways in which association with Shoptimize has enhanced the brand value of clients?
Some of the brands we currently work with include Haldirams, Luminous, Schneider Electric, Lotus Herbals, Google India, CEAT Tyres and Gute Reise, among others.

Shoptimize has been a part of over 100+ successful brand stories. During the journey, we have helped brands reduce their customer acquisition costs while increasing and enhancing their brand awareness, brand lift, website traffic, ecommerce conversions rate and last but not the least the customer experience.

The data backed approach to help our clients has featured us in many case studies by Google about the success that we have driven for these brands. The in-depth analysis of the customer buying process combined with the targeted marketing via all online channels has helped us optimize and scale at a must faster pace.

Throw some light on the marketing and advertising strategies of Shoptimize?
Shoptimize believes in aligning with client objectives and creating a tailored approach for each of them to meet their online revenue goals. There is a content calendar put in place along with the channels-wise, go-to-market plan to achieve the objectives set by or agreed upon by the client and the account manager from Shoptimize.
On our end, Shoptimize Aarya helps us deploy strategic messaging as per client personas and Shoptimize Polaris (Analytics Platform) helps us with in-depth data analytics to make the most of each Rupee spent.

Your expansion plans for 2019?
India is a strategic market for us and we plan to grow 300% in this market in 2019. A lot of this growth is coming from increase in revenue of our existing customers. We are also looking to explore international markets and hope to start building success stories this year.

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