We are still a few months from going back to where the market was pre-Covid, says Anshoo Sharma, CEO & co-founder at magicpin. A fast-growing player in offline marketing for retailers, it is driving $1.2 billion of annual GMV and grown 6x in the last 12 months. The platform delivers business to over 4 lakh unique offline stores every month ranging from standalone stores to chains including Lifestyle, Westside, Shoppers Stop, Levis, McDonald’s, etc. The platform is now enabling millions of retailers to go digital with zero commission. “Magicpin’s core is to drive business to offline retailers,” he tells Sudhir Chowdhary in a recent interview. Excerpts:
Your business is mostly about offline retail. How is magicpin scaling up as the pandemic has thrown offline stores out of gear?
We took two initiatives to absorb the impact of the pandemic. One, we added online ordering as a channel of demand generation for offline retailers across categories. Two, we increased our focus on non-discretionary categories such as grocery and pharmacies. Both of these levers helped us support offline retailers during the pandemic and are now strong growth engines that are firing alongside the core business that has been doubling every month as the economy opens up.
The delivery business is getting extremely crowded. How has been the response so far?
On the contrary, we find that the options that an offline retailer has for enabling online delivery are very thin. In food, we are offering our technology at zero commission, to enable retailers to unbundle marketing from online ordering infrastructure such that they don’t have to pay for the demand they can drive by themselves.
In the case of grocery, large players such as Big Basket, Amazon, and Flipkart are vertically integrated and bypass the small retailer. Even Reliance’s JioMart is serving directly from Reliance’s retail footprint and not the local retailers so far. There is a flourishing opportunity for direct-to-consumer brands in the online retail ecosystem who will build their independent storefronts and need support in driving demand for the same.
For non-F&B categories, magicStore offers a unique AI-powered list-based ordering system that is very similar to how we order from grocery or pharmacy stores over the phone or WhatsApp. The order is delivered by the retailer’s staff or magicpin enables delivery to the customer through its 3PL delivery partners. This ‘list-based’ ordering is uniquely Indian and originated from the realisation that most kirana shops won’t have the time to upload a catalog, leave aside fill the inventory into a catalog system.
MagicStore has emerged as the third front to compete with established players such as Zomato and Swiggy. How are you planning to thrive on it and what is your USP?
As online’s share of retailers’ business continues to rise, retailers do not want to pay high commissions for the online demand they are generating by themselves. MagicStore provides merchants with world-class technology for order management, payments, and third party logistics integrations that enable them to directly serve their customers at zero commission. It takes us 5 minutes to onboard a retailer across any category and make them ready for selling online. We are seeing the service grow faster than we had imagined in both food and non-food categories.
Reliance has been hailed as the new retail giant…
Jio’s fundraise reflects the great potential of a strong retail market in India. It will further expand the online market and the role that technology has to play. We believe Jio will evolve more as a vertically integrated service for consumers than a demand generation service for the local retailers.
The market is gradually opening up, what are your plans for the remaining part of the year?
With the addition of online delivery, magicStore, and support from the festive season, we expect to see complete revival to pre-Covid levels as the year comes to completion.