Unicommerce Looks To Be Technology Layer Between Sellers & Marketplaces
For the past three years, the company has been helping marketplaces like Snapdeal, Jabong and Myntra in solving hassles of payment, logistics, warehousing and order management, as well the sellers that are dealing with them
In an exclusive interview to ChannelTimes Ankit Pruthi, Co-founder & CEO, Unicommerce shared the company’s offerings and the future roadmap.
CT:What prompted you to enter into this field?
Ankit Pruthi: We are a pure-play technology product company, when we entered into the inventory management domain three years ago, we identified major gaps, so rather stating our own e-commerce marketplace, we decided to build e-commerce management software & fulfillment solutions in India operating on B2B and B2C models (a software platform for online sellers).
Today the inventory management software company and its product are the backbone of inventory management for companies like Snapdeal, Jabong, Myntra, CaratLane and Groupon among several others in India. Internationally Unicommerce also serves clients like Lazada based in South East Asia.
We started as a company which would provides technology solution to e-commerce companies. Till last year, we were focusing on two type of technology products which were warehouse management system and order management systems.
Essentially, its a significant portion of backend technology for the e-commerce company, the moment users press buy button of any of the e-commerce company, the entire process after that which includes from order verification, inventory, warehouse order routing, invoicing, chipping level generation, to courier and shipping, that technology piece is ours.
Covering the order lifecycle management,inventory and warehouse management and also shipping. Presently, we integrate with whole lot of shipping provider and courier companies in the country. So significantly mid to large size e-commerce are using our solutions.
In last one year, as more and more companies were moving towards to dropship model and marketplace model, we also built products for drop ship model, where companies can use our products and provide login ids for their sellers for fulfill the process orders. In different models companies like Jabong, Snapdeal, Myntra, Groupon use our solutions.
The other part of the business, which we are focusing and interesting for us is the sellers part, as more and more e-commerce companies are looking at marketplace model, so the onus of order fulfillment, delivery, packaging and shipping, delivery and processing the orders are on sellers.
CT: Tell us about your sellers size and what are your offerings for them?
Ankit Pruthi:: As most of the small and mid sized sellers are not technological capable to seamlessly manage and process large volume of the orders in a day which are coming through multiple portals. We have two solutions like Uniware software including (Standard and Professional) are helping these sellers in automating their business inventory. With the help of our solutions, sellers can handle transactions from 100 to million orders in a month. We have different process flows, which are easy to use. Today, we act as an order inventory and warehouse management solutions for sellers and e-commerce.
Off late, with orders coming from every marketplace, tracking the payment for each order becomes a challenge for the sellers. The newly introduced Payment reconciliation feature of Unicommerce is all set to solve this pain point of Indian E-commerce Sellers.
In last one year, the seller side of the business has started picking up, so most of our product enhancements is on the sellers side. As we want to cater from large to small sellers, we will launch Freemium version for sellers.
We are also coming with our Freemium model, which should be a trial version. Its free for all the time ,with limited features. We want to serve anyone and everyone. Presently, we are working with sellers who are dealing in 20,000-30,000 orders in a month, but with this new version. We want to go to sellers, who are doing 10 orders in a month. The new version will be rolling out in a next month.
Today the inventory management software are the backbone for over 1000 seller’s (E-Commerce companies & retail businesses) to manage their orders and inventory on marketplaces like Jabong, Myntra, Flipkart, Snapdeal, Ebay, Amazon among others. Overall, the number of products shipped/processed through it had crossed 3 million per month.
CT: What is the vision of Unicommerce as you are well trenched among both e-commerce marketplace and sellers?
Ankit Pruthi: Our vision is to become a technology layer between sellers and the online marketplaces, so whatever information exchange happens between the two parties, which could be information related to order processing, inventory, payment reconciliations, catalogue all of it should flow through our solution.
Over the period, we are known in order inventory. Having said so, it will take long as with us even marketplaces are improving they are adding more features. Marketplaces are enabling sellers with more decision like marketing activities, pricing, discounting. However, we are a moving fast and agile. Typically our average sellers would be doing 2500 orders in a month. We are processing close to 8 million orders in a months, this include enterprise and sellers,which means 25% of Indian e-commerce, we want to grow it by 45% by end of this year.
CT: How do you see the competition in this space?
Ankit Pruthi: On our enterprise side, we don’t see any competition. But for our sellers business, we see Microsoft dynamics and SAP B1. Their business model is different as they charge per users basis, wherein we charge transaction linked. Nevertheless, Tally and Excel are widely used by these sellers.
CT: How are offline sellers hooking on to the online wave?
Ankit Pruthi: Looking at the numbers of growing sellers base on the marketplace, now these sellers are reaching out to them now. This was not the case in two -three ago. Today, everyone wants to sell, still there is intention to sell everywhere. However, there are pain points as most of the smaller sellers are in learning stage. They are are struggling to build product catalogue, taking pics, writing content, brand and marketing, pricing and discounting. We see these problems from a different lens, we want to automate these pain-points, which will allow sellers to go online. Our tech product is working on these pain -points.
We are reaching out to them with demo online and consultancy. In some cases marketplaces are also opening up their sellers to our solutions as they see value in collaborating their sellers on our solutions.
CT: What is the size of online sellers in India and what are your future plans?
Ankit Pruthi: There are marketplaces in the country, who claim to have more than 50,000. In china, Alibaba claims 8 million sellers, if we are expecting that India market is 10% of China market in next 4 years, it means 8 lakhs sellers. Out of 50,000 sellers, only 50% of them are active.
Well, we see there is a need for our SaaS based solution. As we reach out to smaller sellers. We have plans to launch the solution in multilingual. As the e-commerce grows, they will add more sellers. Existing sellers want to grow big they will need technology to grow. In last two years, we have tripled our growth, we see the same trend this year 2-3 times growth.