Mrigank Shekhar and Kush Srivastava, both pass outs from IIT Delhi have been friends from good old days. Like most of the youngsters they also wanted to test themselves and give shape to their ideas.
“We wanted to solve a problem in the Consumer Internet space, plus enter into a new domain, which is relatively nascent in India. Social Commerce was the answer to both, hence allMemoirs,” added Shekhar, while sharing their story over an email.
Today both the Delhi lads are running allMemoirs – a product classification, tagging and recommendation platform with a fully personalized experience. The startup boasts of handpicking products from multiple eCommerce sites and the consumers see them personalized to their likes and tastes.
“In a nutshell the product is to make online shopping, discovering Fashion trends and finding gifts hassle free, personalized and to the point. We want to bring the 3Fs of shopping under allMemoirs, Fashion, Fun and Friends,” adds Shekhar.
While allMemoirs is a consumer product on its face, it is providing a targeted marketing platform for online merchants to reach out to shoppers with their new product launches, popular products and seasonal promotions.
The year old product was recently reviewed by us and it turned out to be a great app to browse through products sorted under different categories on mobile. This gave me an opportunity to get in touch with Shekhar the CEO, who handles the marketing and hiring while Kush, the COO handles the product development. The slightly edited interview shares the startup’s journey so far, how they plan to crack a market that is getting crowded, the road ahead and challenges.
Prasant Naidu (PN): What will be your USPs for allMemoirs?
Mrigank Shekhar (MS): We see only 3-4 major players right now in Product Discovery and Social Commerce, which is a relatively new space in Indian Start up eco-system.
One major area where our competitors are behind is the mobile space - we have the following apps in the market, and our apps have crossed 25000 downloads:
a) Android + iOS apps for shopping and fashion.
b) Android + iOS apps for gifts ideas.
We have planned a third App, which will be released in Q2, 2014.
PN: With product discovery you have ventured into the gifting space too. Is it an extension and what are the USPs?
MS: Gifting was a logical extension for our classification platform. We are already classifying products from various sites on allMemoirs, by just adding gift related tags, we have been able to open up a new space for our product. It took us only a month to get our gifts offering to our users.
The USP is our mobile app, search gifts on the go, shortlist and save them, and gift them at the right time.
PN: Any new features that you plan to bring forth?
MS: Product Discovery: We want to take it to 2 levels:
1. Personalized: We are making Personalization more fine-grained, where in our tags (used for categorization), will be made public and users can choose which tag to follow and which to not. Needless to say, they will see products for the tags, collections and brands that they choose to follow.
2. Social: We are in the Social Commerce space, we want to add social features around user based curation and the ability to follow fashion bloggers.
The concept of Discovery and Social Commerce is new in the Indian market, so we wanted to approach it one step at a time. We want our users to get accustomed to Product Discovery and Fashion Trends first, and then we will get the social part going.
Additionally, we want to add value added features for merchants to enable them to bulk upload products and get reports on their product performance.
PN: How are you generating revenues at the moment and how do you wish to develop the monetization model?
MS: Firstly, we have significant experience in mobile payments and security and we provide consulting services to relevant clients, a few of whom are international. The consulting practice generates sufficient revenue to fund all aspects of allMemoirs, including marketing money, salaries and infrastructure expenditure.
Secondly, we are coming up with a well-defined monetization model for the space allMemoirs operates in, namely Consumer Internet. We have defined a couple of models to monetize our offerings, and are now focusing on implementing them. End consumers discovering products/gift ideas from our portal/application leads to two things:
1. Affiliation revenue from the merchant.
2. We will be serving as a marketing platform for the merchants to display their new products/promotions - which will be revenue generating.
We should be seeing revenues from allMemoirs by end of Q1, 2014.
PN: How has the customer response been, would you like to share any numbers and insights on what are people searching on your app and buying too?
MS: We have crossed 50000 monthly visitors and 25000 mobile app downloads. We are seeing consistent re-directs from our site to merchants, eventually leading to sales. Merchants are contacting us to add their products to our site and are using our store promotion feature.
We are seeing repeat users, especially for our mobile apps (~60%), which shows stickiness. We are also seeing direct visitors, not coming from SEO or marketing efforts, which shows brand re-collection, which are good signs.
When it comes to fashion trends, people are using it mostly for Women’s Fashion and when it comes to Gifts, Gifts for Husband is very popular!
PN: Challenges from the market and how are you tackling them?
MS: Online shoppers always look out for tangible benefits like discount coupons/sale. As our benefits are not directly out on the face it’s difficult to get that “love at first sight” thought from the customer.
However we do feel that our product capabilities will counter this and our perseverant marketing strategies will get on the new customers and our personalized classification engine will retain them for long.
The gradual transformation for allMemoirs from a product discovery platform to a social commerce platform is the rational way forward, considering the market is still nascent in India. Meanwhile do give a spin to the app and let us know your experience.
We wish allMemoirs’ efforts start showing fruitful results.