We Are Aiming to Capture 2% in Total of the Indian Retail Market (Online + Offiline) by 2020’ Says Sachin Goel, Founder, Mallfort
BWDisrupt team member Sujata Sangwan interacts with Sachin Goel, Founder, Mallfort and spoke to him
Brief us about your business model? How was it started and how does it work?
Mallfort- the next big thing in retail business has disrupted the offline shopping experience by launching Omni commerce with Online to Offline business model. We are location based shopping experience and aggregates Brands and Retailors in a real time environment. Omni channel marketplace helps consumer to shop from anywhere or return anywhere. All retailer’s locations are managed by central system with our OCE Engine helps to streamline the processes with faster and hassle free shopping experience.
Each Retailor is having a separate URL with their store/brand/shop name i.e. www.mallfort.com/yourstore
We follow Ship from Store lean model which makes deliveries faster and builds the retailor-buyer relation. This model helps retailors or Brands to liquidate their store inventory fast.
Buyers/Customers also can experience hassle free shopping experience by getting the authentic product from Nearby Shop. It promotes the hassle free returns/exchanges etc.
We realized that ecommerce is a growing market in India but having certain gaps in business model as it was going towards Stock and Sell model or Warehouse model from anywhere. So the products getting listed are either non-brands or Brands having Discontinued/Sale items/Specially outlet made products available or the products are made for eCommerce business only in compromised quality.
Here we are giving option to customer to Buy Online Pick the Product from Store or Return/Exchange the product in any of the store of the same retailor.
We launched Mallfort in Early May 2016 and bridging the gap for offline retailors to connect their customers in their locations to share their live inventory and live real nearby deals, which are missed completely.
What has been the most challenging part of your journey till now?
Launching Startup is nothing but ready to face challenges in life. We faced numerous challenges like in limited resources, Capital and Infrastructure etc. Indian business mindset has to be changed and converting unmanaged retailors is biggest challenge we have seen so far. Omni channel itself is a complex technology as we have to have real time inventory all the time and it has been most technological challenge we faced.
What are the unique key points which sets apart you from your competitors?
One of the Mandatory propositions to launch your showroom on Mallfort is to have a Physical store presence. Our technology plays around all of your physical stores or brands and enabling shops to connect with shoppers by providing last mile delivery and local marketing approach. The Hybrid model helps us to increase our reach in few special categories as well.
The USP of the business is to shop direct from Nearby store with the real time inventory.
Our Solution works around Local SEO and proximity marketing to drive the shoppers directly to nearby shops for their shopping.
We are continuously working on developing new features and technology to provide more ease to customers. We have done pilot for our Virtual reality Solution to provide the Store view in VR format.
What is the funding status and monetization model?
We raised $100,000 from Ourselves, Family & Friends to invest in this business and now looking to raise up to $3 million to expand our operations in other cities and strength Technology & Logistic.
How do you look at expansion?
Our SFS (Ship from Store) model with Brands helps us to expand in other cities very fast and planning to expand in 4 metro cities in next 6 months by investing into last mile delivery service Mr. Quick.
Our main focus is on retailor-buyer relation building so that deals/sale/promotions running in shops can reach to the local buyers which is a big GAP in the current eCommerce platforms.
What are your future plans?
In terms of technology we want to focus on VR and AI based features to provide comfort and convenience to customer. We are going to launch proximity marketing device called “BEACON” also which helps to pull customers and analyze customer liking trend etc.
Mallfort is aiming to work with 1000+ reputed LFO, MBO, EBO, COCO and Franchises stores very soon and targeting deep into unmanaged or small or medium retailers in our working city.
What are the biggest learnings so far?
Ecommerce industry is not discounted industry, it is about Convenience and authentic products. We actually don’t want to simple ecommerce, we are Retail-Commerce business by targeting Offline Shoppers to shop from nearby stores and add more convenience to their shopping experience.
How has been the people responses since inception?
People response had been mixed so far, we have heard many good things like ‘you made my life easy by delivering product from my favorite store’, ‘thanks for increasing footfall in my store’, ‘I have increased sales my store brand recognition since I was listed on Mallfort’ and Brand stores are looking at great opportunity to liquidate their store inventory faster. From the customer point of view, they received their products in 2-4 Hrs or few customers shop in the store on Mallfort.com and pick the product to receive extra cashback. Overall response is really very good and we are growing at 180% month on month growth and looking to play major role in transforming the retail industry.
What is the market size and how much of the market share has Mallfort captured?
Total Indian retail market is about $600Bn (expected to be 1.3Tn by 2020) with 8:92 % between managed and unmanaged retail. We are aiming to capture 2% of managed and 1% of unmanaged thus having a combined share of 2.4% or 24Bn by 2020 of retail industry in India. India is expected to be 100Bn E-Retail and 900Bn Offline retail by 2020 and we are aiming to capture 2% in total of the market by 2020.