Pune: Thousands of retail stores in the city are now also acting as warehouses for fashion application ‘Fynd’. Without any warehouses, Fynd has been delivering fashion to consumers directly from retail outlets closest to consumers.
Speaking about the company, co-founder Harsh Shah said, “We started off in 2012 as a company called ShopSense, which wanted to work with traditional retailers. During this time, we identified the inventory at retail stores and thought of monetising on the same. That’s how the concept of Fynd came into being. There are 70 lakh organised fashion retail stores in the country. Then what is the need to build warehouses for e-commerce?”
Shah said that the model has not only proved successful for Fynd, but has also benefitted retailers and consumers. “The benefits for consumers include the availability of a larger variety of options, provision to browse through old and new stocks available at the retail outlets and quicker delivery. In terms of retailers, the benefits include increased sales due to a combination of online and offline sales and others,” he said.
According to Shah, the company also has an in-store product in the form of a tablet with a digital inventory of the entire stock. “If a consumer walks into a store and likes something, he may be put off if the product is not available in their size or of a different colour. Through the tab, the consumer can place an order, which will be delivered to his/her doorstep by the store. This helps in retaining or even boosting offline sales,” he said.
Speaking about the success of the app, Shah said that Fynd currently showcases products from 220 brands and 8,000 stores across 23 cities in India. “We have in-store devices at 150 stores at present and plan to have 400 such devices by March 2018. We have tie-ups with brands like Loius Phillipe, Van Heusen, Steve Madden, SuperDry, W, Aurelia, Nike, Reebok, Adidas and many others,” he said.
Explaining how Fynd works, Shah said, “Once a person opens the app, he or she can browse through the collections available by various brands online. Once he/she shortlists the products and places an order, Fynd locates the closest store, which has that particular product and intimates them of the order. A delivery person from Fynd goes to the store, picks up the product and delivers it to the consumers’ doorstep.”
Shah added that the app offers the product at the same price as it is available in the store, thus ensuring that the traditional retail outlets can survive. “We are planning to have 12,000 stores from across 350 brands on-board by end of March 2018. A lot of local brands stores are also coming on-board. The only criteria for getting associated with Fynd is to have a digital inventory,” he added.
He further said that the app also studies browsing history of consumers in order to improve the shopping experience. “We study the browsing history to provide consumers with relevant products. Through a service called mix and match, we give you a complete look based on one clothing item that you select. Once you get the whole look, one can make a direct purchase even if the look comprises of different brands. Artificial intelligence is also used by us through a chat-bot called Fify, which communicates with the consumers for their needs,” he said.
Speaking of Pune, he said that Pune is the eighth largest market for Fynd. “It is also interesting to note that stores from Vimannagar in Pune are bringing the highest value nationally, from the in-store tabs of Fynd available in the outlets,” he said.