Startup Circle: How is ANS Commerce helping eCommerce scale businesses online?

By : |February 12, 2021 0

Direct-to-consumer (D2 C) refers to selling products directly to customers. That is, the brand bypasses any third-party retailers, wholesalers, or any other middlemen. This can only be possible when a brand has its own website or sells through its social media handles (apart from physical stores). But it isn’t usually possible for small brands who can’t employ a full stack developer. Enter ANS Commerce.

Currently, ANS Commerce works with 90+ brands across segments to help them sell on their brand stores with 15+ marketplaces. The startup counts Bikanervala, ITC, Marico, Bath & Body Works, Daniel Klein, CEAT, Jack & Jones, Vero Moda amongst its brand partners. Read Mr Vibhor Sahare, CEO and Co-founder, ANS Commerce talk about how they are  helping eCommerce scale businesses online.

What is ANS Commerce about? Tell us about the team.

ANS Commerce is a full-stack e-commerce enabler that helps brands sell online, offering brand store tech, performance marketing, marketplace management and e-commerce warehousing and fulfilment. We want our brand partners to just focus on their brand and product and leave ‘all-things-e-commerce’ to us.

All cofounders, Amit Monga, Sushant Puri, Nakul Singh and me – we possess rich experience across e-commerce, consulting, entrepreneurship, e-commerce, brand building, marketing, and operations. Standing strong in the market with 150+ people team, the company is serving over 90+ established and challenger brands in the market.

How did you come up with the idea?

All four of us come with rich experience in e-commerce, digital marketing, brand building, operations. We also have the expertise to offer marketing consulting to brands. We have closely observed the market and how brands struggle with performance marketing to get traffic to their websites. So, we decided to focus on this domain to simplify e-commerce for them.

After the initial success in improving brands’ marketing ROI, we realized that current brandstore tech was becoming a bottleneck for brands to achieve the true scale and performance. Thus, we decided to create our own India-focused brandstore platform to address this and found instant uptake for the tech + marketing combo.

Soon after, brands started asking for help in managing the warehousing since managing turnaround times, customer expectations, and SLAs of the marketplace wasn’t their core skill. We realised that this would create a compelling bundle of solutions and there is enormous scope to leverage tech to enable this for brands

What are the changes you are bringing into the market?

Our full-stack solution enables brands to create their online brandstore and jump-start marketplace operations in no time. Our extensive experience across product, e-commerce, retail, and marketing helps the brand achieve higher sales and stronger brand differentiation. We have our own in-house brandstore platform, Kartify. It is a pre-integrated platform with 60+ partners (such as Unicommerce, Fynd, Delhivery, Razorpay etc.). We also offer sales-focused performance marketing, marketplace management, and warehousing & logistics solutions to brands.

How are online brands adjusting to the challenges of supply chain management?

Currently, brands are re-evaluating their distribution models such as omnichannel, direct-to-consumer, hyperlocal delivery, and aggregator models, etc. They are opting for multi-city warehousing with the capability to manage different operational models across marketplaces and brandstore (both B2B & B2C models)

Is the D2C model, the new normal?

Yes, with the current trend of online buying, the D2C model helps brands to develop a deeper connection with consumers. It helps them build consumer loyalty. With higher brand value-adding to the overall revenue growth. Customers also get a superior and personalized brand experience. It is predicted that the D2C market in India is going to further boom. With an increase in digital acceleration, small and big brands have realized the importance of investing in their own brandstore; thus, enhancing their online presence among their target audience.

What is your business/market growth? Who are your consumers?

We are currently run-rating at ~$2.5M annualized revenue and will exit this FY21 at ~$3.5M (ARR). This will be on a base of ~$50M annualized GMV currently. We are working with 90+ brands currently and should exit this FY at 100+ brand partners. We work with both established brands and DTCs. Some of our clients are – Marico, ITC, Jack & Jones, Vero Moda, Only, CEAT, Piramal, Aldo, Celio, Lafz, Bikanervala, Nivea, Grand Pitstop, Nutraj etc.

What has 2020 changed for you? How are things now?

COVID provided strong tailwinds resulting in inbound interest across the client spectrum. We added ~40 new brands this year. Some of the key brands, we onboarded in the current FY are ITC, Marico, Bikanervala, Chemistry, Rosso Brunello, Nivea, Daniel Klein, Century Ply, Signutra, etc. We are growing 20% m-o-m since June 2020. Despite initial uncertainty due to lockdown impacting supply chains for partner brands and cash-flow drying up, we achieved this without any lay-offs or salary-cuts. Things are going perfectly well as the ANS Commerce team is growing each passing day.

What are your plans for 2021?

We are looking forward to this year with more achievements and to keep the pace high we will further strengthen our positioning as the #1 E-commerce enabler in India by signing-up more partners, developing more/ better products, driving value to our clients, and have fun as a company. We are working to expand warehousing space and capacity at some of the locations and to focus more on Food & FMCG segment.

Funding

We’ve raised a small round of $300,000 from angels & friends. We became profitable in June 2020 and growing 20% m-o-m since then.

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