Organisations of all sizes and stripes have started using emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning to extract indepth and meaningful insights from reels and reels of raw data. For instance, brands use AI and ML to forecast and predict sales, fine-tune recommendation engines, customise offers, etc. As India is stepping up its digital push, Kirana stores are trying to ride the wave by turning ‘smart’.
Bangalore-based SnapBizz offers new-age solutions to transform traditional Kirana stores into smart stores, complete with several features that will enable the stores to gain a competitive edge and increase profitability.
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For this week’s startup column, Analytics India Magazine spoke to Prem Kumar, the CEO and founder of Snapbizz, to understand how the startup is leveraging AI and machine learning to craft cutting-edge business solutions.
Founded in 2013 by Prem Kumar, SnapBizz remoulds the Kirana stores into virtual supermarkets and arms them with tools to drive sales and attract new customers.
The Smart Kirana store is connected in real-time (via cloud ) to various stakeholders of the FMCG ecosystem such as brands, wholesalers, distributors, research/advertising agencies, e-commerce players and financial service players.
SnapBizz has cracked the product-market fit by
- Customising its solutions – depending on the type of Kirana stores and the size of its business
- Tackling key challenges of a Kirana store such as management of peak hour traffic, billing both bar-coded and non-bar coded products etc
Other key features include:
- Easy-to-use solution to manage and optimise store operations
- Take the store online with SnapOrder app
- Create virtual merchandising space with SnapVision
- Cloud-connect stores to all the stakeholders of the ecosystem through SnapConnect, allowing them to get promotions/discounts from brands and suppliers.
What’s The Differentiator?
“Snapbizz is a specialised player with focus only one vertical – Kirana stores. Hence, we have been able to achieve excellence in the product-market fit,” said Kumar. He added, “Unlike the other B2C/B2B Kirana-focused players, Snapbizz do not have a conflict-of-interest with the retailers both on the demand-side and the supply-side (as they do not supply goods to them nor are they in the business of selling to end-consumers). Snapbizz is a neutral player for the FMCG ecosystem.”
Use of AI & ML @ Snapbizz
In product catalogues, the company is using a natural language processing (NLP)-based approach. In the analytics domain, Snapbizz leverages AI-based recommendation engines to offer promotions and discounts for customers, forecast sales/demand etc.
The company is also using ML to help brands fine-tune their promos and coupons. They are using neuro modelling and behavioural analysis-based product design, based on the usage statistics engineering and navigation fine-tuning.
Core Tech Stack
Snapbizz relies heavily on IoT edge optimised Android/Windows, UWP modular client, with trickle streaming to cloud and eventually consistent systems. They use Android, and Progressive Web App (PWA) based consumer and supplier applications. Other core technologies include Java & Spring boot based server using microservices-based modular design and Clickhouse-based Big data stack and Metabase based analysis.
According to Kumar, the company hires from colleges across the country, while the lateral hiring is predominantly referral based. The key criterion for hiring is the candidate’s ability to push boundaries and do whatever it takes to facilitate small merchants.
On his concluding note, Kumar said, “The company is now developing new products and segmenting them on the basis of usage by a small and a large store as the pain-points of each segment are very different. For example, the large store owner wants a solution that enables him to run promotions, manage inventory efficiently, engage with customers etc. whereas a small store owner wants a solution that can ensure a steady supply of goods and money (financial products/loans).”
He added, “Snapbizz is a platform of 10,000 stores that collectively do a business of $1 Billion/year GMV. The platform aims to build a network of 3,00,000 stores in the next couple of years and become a $15 billion platform. They also plan to work closely with over 200 brands, a large number of distributors/wholesalers, major e-commerce and financial services players.”