How This Startup Is Scaling Online Revenue And Ensuring Sustained Growth Of D2C Ecommerce Brands – Shoptimize

Shoptimize is a one-stop platform for all D2C eCommerce brands looking to scale their online revenues.

How This Startup Is Scaling Online Revenue And Ensuring Sustained Growth Of D2C Ecommerce Brands – Shoptimize
Mangesh Panditrao, CEO, Shoptimize

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted people's lives worldwide, changing how they work, socialise, and even shop. This shift in customer preferences spurred the market for direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands, which help to bridge the gap between vendors and consumers by providing flexibility, convenience, and seamlessness. Several brands have hopped on the D2C bandwagon to boost revenue and increase client acquisition, retention, and satisfaction.

According to Avendus Capital, India’s D2C landscape currently comprises over 800 brands and is expected to reach a $100 billion market by 2025. While setting up a D2C brand is relatively simple in today’s tech-driven world, the significant challenge lies in scaling it and ensuring sustained growth, given the growing competition. Finding growth drivers and executing them at scale is challenging for many. This is where Shoptimize becomes a game-changer.

Shoptimize, a Pune based, high-tech product company, the brainchild of Mangesh Panditrao and Vivek Phalak, was founded to help brands take control of their digital growth.

The story behind the Idea Shoptimize

Mangesh Panditrao and Vivek Phalak, two Pune-based entrepreneurs with a flair for innovative tech, could foresee the eCommerce trend in India — precisely, the direct-to-consumer (D2C) method of selling online. Hence, the duo started looking for a way to leverage technology and AI to create a better online shopping experience. And finally, they came up with a SaaS model for a platform that comprised everything a brand needed to sell online. 

Shoptimize is a one-stop platform for all D2C eCommerce brands looking to scale their online revenues. They enable businesses to increase their e-commerce sales by helping them throughout the entire life cycle - from acquiring to order conversions to customer retention. 

Shoptimize offers a one-time setup/integration fee, a recurring monthly subscription price, and a revenue share component as part of its subscription-based commercial model. The revenue share component is an exceptional business model that fits with the aims and accomplishments of the consumers, and it has proven to be incredibly effective for both the brands and the company.

Furthermore, the company realised that, with increased competition in the D2C sector, data-driven decision-making is critical to D2C success. Irrespective of the organisation’s size, technology plays an essential role in helping brands scale their business operations, provide a better customer experience, and build brand loyalty. Furthermore, data and analytics enable brands to capture their shoppers’ preferences based on factors like location, demographics, and online behaviour. It allows the brand to provide more personalised recommendations, which leads to higher conversion rates. However, most of the time, this data is not actionable. It needs a particular skill set to analyse this data and find meaningful actions to drive growth. Understanding this, they launched the Shoptimize Growth Platform and Accelerator Program to augment their offerings further and help brands identify hundreds of these opportunities and execute them at scale. 

What makes Shoptimize different?

Shoptimize is a SaaS startup with a subscription-based commercial strategy that assists D2C eCommerce in managing its digital growth. In addition, it has launched the Shoptimize Accelerator programme with an appealing revenue-sharing-based commercial model, and 70+ D2C brands are participating in the Accelerator Program. The platform leverages machine learning and artificial intelligence to generate insights and suggestions and personalise certain aspects of the website for users.

Commenting on the challenges, Mangesh Panditrao, CEO and Co-Founder, Shoptimize said, "For brands, it is fairly easy to set up their D2C channel. The challenge lies in scaling it and ensuring sustained growth in the face of fierce competition. It is here that Shoptimize has invested significantly and created a repeatable growth model for brands using its growth platform. While this industry was already gaining steam, the pandemic expedited this shift and substantially boosted our business.”

The most challenging task for any entrepreneur is to find the right individuals and bring them together to form a successful and influential team. Since the D2C industry is relatively new in India, we had a hard time finding experienced talent. Apart from that, nearly every entrepreneur faces challenges in raising sufficient capital to achieve their organisation’s goals at some point. We owe sincere gratitude to our investors, who believed in our vision and kept us going.”, he adds.

The success story

Shoptimize was launched in 2012 to empower brands to take control of their digital growth. From being perceived as an end-to-end eCommerce platform to becoming a growth enabler for D2C brands, Shoptimize has grown and evolved remarkably since its inception. Shoptimize, which started with two highly motivated individuals, has grown to over 100 team members and several hundred active brands on the platform. 

Brands on the Shoptimize platform have seen a 400% growth in GMV by implementing the insights and recommendations delivered by their AI powered growth engine.

The growth of D2C brands in India and how is Shoptimize AI, technology helping them?

With the fast-changing consumer expectations and technological advancement, the D2C sector is gaining traction. However, these D2C brands must stay competitive by employing AI to capture customer data and insights. Hence, the use of technology and innovation, AI-enabled decision making, advanced forecasting and recommendations will ensure that brands succeed and lead their way to success in the coming years.

According to the Direct-to-Consumer Purchase Intent Index, over 80% of consumers worldwide are expected to buy something from a D2C brand over the next five years. Hence, to help the D2C brands thrive, Shoptimize enables businesses to increase their eCommerce sales by helping them throughout the life cycle - from attracting and converting to retaining customers.

Shoptimize, through its exclusive, invite-only Shoptimize Accelerator programme, assists consumer brands achieve exponential revenue growth. It enables consumer brands to focus on more critical aspects of business, such as inventory management, product creation, enhancing the supply chain and providing better customer service, resulting in a win-win situation for all parties involved. The brands in this program saw a 400% growth month over month.

Apart from that, Shoptimize provides digital marketing assistance, covering the entire cost of advertising, thereby bringing the strain on working capital for the brands down. 

Funding and the road ahead

Backed by marquee investors, including Tandem Capital, LetsVenture, Saha Fund, and Twin Ventures, Shoptimize has achieved remarkable growth. With ambitious growth plans, the company has set sights on 400 to 500% growth in India and expansion in Southeast Asia. Furthermore, with the accelerator program alone, Shoptimize hopes to offer significant value to customers and achieve $10 million in GMV in the coming months. The platform also envisions becoming a key growth enabler for D2C eCommerce brands and a leader in D2C eCommerce and online sales growth, enabling brands to identify opportunities and execute them at scale.