Say you are on an e-commerce site and search for a yellow shirt under 500. But the results are not quite what you were looking for, no matter how specific your filters were. After a couple of more attempts at further refining your search and it yielding inaccurate results, you give up and maybe switch to another portal. That doesn't bode well for the online store though. Hyderabad-based start-up SeekNShop is the first voice search-as-a-service for e-commerce that is trying to solve this problem. “Ideally the search function should be able to figure out exactly what the user is looking for,” says Sarath SSVS, founder of SeekNShop. “The more a user has to click, more are the chances that he will get frustrated and leave. That's why search abandonment rates are quite high in e-commerce,” he explains.
An avid online shopper himself, Sarath founded the company in June, after encountering the issue while surfing online. SeekNShop provides natural language search, wherein a customer can post his query as a text or voice command and the search engine would be able to pick it up. Unlike most players in the industry, SeekNShop promises over 98% accurate results in under 50 milliseconds. This e-commerce solution can be extended to other areas also.
Targeting the US, the UAE, Singapore and Asia-Pacific, the company focuses on providing its present service to small and medium enterprises that could offer faster sales cycles. Clients are charged a monthly subscription fee, which could vary from 13,000-130,000 depending on whether they have been set up on platforms such as Magento (an open-source e-commerce platform) or have their own websites. SeekNShop presently has three clients (who have their own websites) at an average ticket size of 109,000 and clocks a monthly revenue of about 327,000.
The company is however focusing more on platform integration and providing the service to platform-based e-commerce players as an add-on feature. This would not only help in scaling up faster but also achieve the target of over 100 customers with a 13,000 ticket size and fetching about 13 lakh a month by June 2018. “The reason being once you finish the platform add-on, any customer who likes you can add you in a second, so there is no need of a specific sales team. Apart from such inbound traffic we would also reach out to the top few Magento customers and offer free trials,” Sarath explains.
As for competition, those like Unbxd offer increased accuracy rates by using existing technologies to build better features. SeekNShop will soon launch the beta version of its flagship product with a few big e-commerce players. It will also introduce an AI-based sales assistant, named Seeker, by April, who would replicate the salesman at brick and mortar shops. Seeker can interact via voice or text and is able to understand the context of the query and help the customer with product discovery, suggestions and decision-making. The start-up has filed around six patents for the technology and is planning to file nine more. Thankfully, picking out what you need through a never-ending collection online is now made easier and quicker with SeekNShop.