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Offline retailers rarely collect customer data: Co-founder and CEO, Magicpin | Interview

Sudhir Chowdhary
Offline retailer, customer data, ANSHOO SHARMA, magicpin, growth trajectory, industry, news

Magicpin is a fast-growing local discovery, rewards, and commerce app. It drives discovery that leads to business for offline retailers across categories such as restaurant, fashion, beauty, grocery, spa, yoga, gyms, and more. For their spending, users get rewarded in magicpin points that can be used to buy more services and experiences at magicpin partner merchants. We are doing for millions of retailers what Uber and Ola have done for the taxi drivers give them the power to get new and repeat business on their smartphone such that they can focus on giving a great experience to their customers, says Anshoo Sharma, co-founder & CEO, magicpin. The company continues to grow 4X across its user base, GMV, and retailers and has recently initiated a unique branding exercise by adding a unique touch of technology. The company co-founder shares his views around this one-of-a-kind branding exercise in an interview with Sudhir Chowdhary. Excerpts:

Magicpin is gaining a significant amount of recognition and brand awareness. Why are you attempting this branding exercise now?
We are growing fast and the exercise is to ensure that the brand is expressed in its best form across our growing touch points. magicpin s essence is to enable everyone to discover the magic around them in people, places, products, experiences, rewards, games and lots more.
Our signage boards have become a part of our and our partners identity. The branding exercise is taking this a step further by adding technology to our signage. magicQR, our QR led signage system will make a user s experience even more magical. magicQR will drive more benefits, more rewards, more fun, more privileges and more magic for our brand partners and our users.

How is technology helping you in this branding exercise?
Our magicQR is going to drive a more experience-led interaction where technology is blending the offline with the online world. Our exclusive collaboration with select brands will unlock members-only prices and rewards. Every magicQR has a different story to tell. Magicpin users will know that they are in for a treat when they see this signboard around them.

Recently, you received funding of $20 million. How do you plan to utilise it?
We are investing in three areas: growth, product and team. We will continue to drive growth across cities and categories. We are investing in the product (user and partner apps) to offer more enrexperiences and rewards. We are also building unique solutions for manufacturing brands (magicData) that lights up the retail ecosystem in a way never seen before. We have doubled our team strength in the last 12 months and continue to invest in building local teams across markets.

How is technology helping magicpin to create a value proposition for the brands and consumers?
Close to 95% of retail in India is offline and this ecosystem is dark from a data perspective, which is in contrast to the role that technology and data play in the online commerce world. We understand our customer s SKU level preference and offline spending through the millions of receipts captured and analysed by our technology. We are thus able to create win-win propositions for users, retailers and manufacturing brands. We are doing for millions of retailers what Uber and Ola have done for the taxi drivers give them the power to get new and repeat business on their smartphone such that they can focus on giving a great experience to their customers.

From a growth point of view, what is your vision for the year 2019?
We are already India s largest platform for driving discovery and commerce for offline. Year 2019 will be about accelerating this growth trajectory and we expect to grow 4x across users, GMV, and retailers.

How critical is the role of technology in the way we do commerce in India?
Off-the-shelf availability of technology building blocks is reducing the cost and time to market for building complex products. At the same time, the ubiquity of smartphones is accelerating the adoption of technology. These changes will transform how commerce is done in the coming years.
Cloud infrastructure, machine learning and augmented reality are domains that have enabled us to crunch massive amount of data and build features that bring significant value to our users and partners. magicpin is the first company in India that has brought augmented reality to retail. Every month we see millions of augmented reality plays delivered on magicpin and they give an entirely new dimension to the engagement between users and brands at the point of retail.