While large retailers often gain the attention of bigger brands and easily maintain online visibility; it’s the small-box retailers that lag behind in many cases. However, the pandemic was proof that the small-box retailers still hold a core value in the country, despite the growth of ecommerce and branded supermarkets. ShoprSmart’s unique product, flips the script by aggregating the smaller players into their ad platform. It allows them to earn additional revenue while providing brands a data driven, campaign specific touchpoint to engage and reach customers in this thriving offline space.
Vivek Menon, the Co-founder and CKO along with Barath Akkihebbal, Co-founder and CEO of Erevu, premiered their innovative product at TechSparks 2022, Bengaluru. The founders highlighted ShoprSmart’s unique value proposition in not just capturing advertising spaces but connecting it to their larger business in logistics and supply chain.
Evolving times, evolving strategies
With a street smart approach and a simple dream, Barath proved his capabilities in starting his own successful B2B enterprise. OfficeSmart, his first corporate vertical under Erevu, began with an ‘anything for your office model.’ While the business clocked a revenue of Rs 1 crore in the first year, and increased 30 percent year-on-year, the pandemic threw a wrench into his growth plans. Like many, he was faced with hard choices, which lead to his most successful Pivot.
Looking at the larger supply chain gaps led Barath to discover new channels where he started moving similar inventory sets for corporates, into new retail channels. That is when ShoprSmart was born. This retail specific vertical not only expanded to Chennai and Hyderabad but boasted a net profit over Rs 1.2 crores with a 450% CAGR, in 2020-21.
The larger vision of ShoprSmart was to address the supply chain gaps in the retail sector without burning money, along with providing greater intrinsic value for the retailers. For the founders, the best, creative way to do this, while embedding a differentiator, is through their advertising tech solution.
Simplifying the process for brands
Vivek, with extensive retail management experiences, and diverse online to offline advertising work, joined hands with Barath to further this strategy. Mapping out the businesses connective threads, building the best use case scenarios to create a robust, hyperlocal, ad management tool – an offline ad space for brands.
“So what is it that we are doing? We would be occupying the empty spaces in and around small-box retailers, placing our ad boards where brands can advertise on. We realised that to scale this development, tech is needed. This is where we automate and simplify the process for brand managers, making it easier for retailers to be a part of the process,” he shared.
The entire purpose of this operation is to foster stronger partnerships with retailers by supplementing their income. Erevu also plans on organising all the small-box retailer stores to strengthen their larger value.
Vivek explains, “there is a heart in every kirana, these small-box retailers serve a functional value, hold a higher regional relevance, and part of a natural eco system that we are looking to re-enforce.” He adds, “Here’s the interesting part – we can connect the logistics and supply chain to these small-box retailers to understand how their products are moving, to create brand product launches, to provide product samples and to review customers interest.”
The founders believe that there is an integral connection between offline and online spaces today. Hence, they are digitising the offline space and converging tech around it. In a nutshell, this means capturing footfall, affluence and demographic data, helping brands shape the narrative.
“The key (though), is to become the champion of small-box retailers, to bring them together to help organise them, to improve their business and help them earn.” concluded Vivek.