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ShopConnect: Facilitating Personalised Shopping Experiences through Virtual Stores

  Dilli Babu Nandarapu,     Founder

When the pandemic hit the world, all the retail businesses had to face a major challenge how to sustain their brands. Even when they reopened their stores, they struggled due to reduced footfall, commoditized e-Commerce experiences being offered by every other platform that lacked personalization. In such a competitive and challenging scenario, ShopConnect brought along a solution that could turn these retailers’ businesses around. In May 2020, the company introduced the idea of selling virtually through ShopConnect, which allows retailers to offer their customers virtual, in store experiences to make their purchases from the comfort of their homes.

Under the leadership of Founder Dilli Babu Nandarapu, ShopConnect has emerged as a futuristic solution, which appropriately fulfils the needs of both retailers and buyers. Nandarapu believes he has been able to turn his idea of realtime, virtual shopping into a reality owing to the consistent efforts of his talented engineering professionals and an innovation centric organisational culture. In an interaction with CIO Insider, he further goes on to talk about his company’s journey and how it has changed the dynamics of realtime online shopping with features like virtual try ons.

Could you give us an overview of ShopConnect and how it has transformed into a robust end-to-end immersive e-Commerce platform?
ShopConnect is a state-of-the-art SaaS based platform that offers a realtime, personalized shopping experience to buyers. It offers retailers the ability to utilize their existing investments in physical stores and showcase them in a

real like virtual environment with 360 degree movability. Using our platform, retailers can deliver instore, immersive experiences to customers allowing them to make their purchases from the comfort of their homes. As our platform made it to the market when the retailers were struggling to regain business as an outcome of the pandemic, it gained traction within a few months and ever since, it has been a rewarding journey for us.

ShopConnect, a next generation interactive ecommerce and video collaboration platform that enables brands and retailers of all sizes to build immersive and hyper personalised shopping experiences

How would you describe the customers’ digital shopping experiences facilitated by ShopConnect?
We have taken online shopping to another level by enabling the buyers to connect with the salespersons via a video call. They can even opt for the virtual tryons within the video call. Virtual try-ons are presently available for jewelry, cosmetics, and eye wear, and 3D and AR-based versions will soon be available for furniture and home decor too.

Additionally, with ShopConnect’s ‘Shop Party’ feature, the buyers can even connect with their friends and family to show them the merchandise before making the purchase. It makes online shopping an enjoyable experience just like it happens in the physical world.

How well has ShopConnect been accepted among the retail brands? Also describe how has the journey been for you since the platform has made it to the market.
When we introduced our platform, our clients were facing the after effects of the pandemic. Thus, they were really excited about ShopConnect and the

abilities it offered them to improve their business and ROI. The most satisfying experience for us was to see the joy on our clients’ faces when they realized that they can use their existing stores and showcase them in a never before manner to their customers.

Owing to these capabilities, we have witnessed a substantial growth trajectory since its inception. We have continuously been acquiring new customers and are on track to hit 100 customers in another month and have an overall target of acquiring 10,000 customers in the next two years. We have also been able to obtain our first external investment, which would help us to further scale our platform to a broader client base.

How would you describe Shopconnect’s roadmap for the next few years? What kind of developments can we expect going forward?
We are focused on facilitating hyper personalization at scale. Our long term goal is to offer immersive, personalized shopping experiences to shoppers all around the world. Apart from the Indian market, we are now present in the US, the UK, and Europe, and going forward, we expect a significant part of our revenues to come from these markets. In a nutshell, our vision is to continuously innovate with a keen eye on cutting-edge technology developments in order to bring the best virtual, real time and personalized shopping experience to the customers in every possible manner. Additionally, we even intend to offer sales-as-a-service for dark stores. This would allow the retail brands to save on the investments aimed at improving the look and feel of their stores, which in the case of dark stores isn’t a concern. We also aim to introduce virtual try-ons for apparel and footwear categories and 4D shopping pod technology for a real, immersive virtual reality experience.

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