With advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, the whole world has gone remote and technology adoption has been accelerated by a decade like never before. Customers are now not just browsing or consuming media, but also working, collaborating, buying, learning and much more – all online.
Kausambi Manjita, CEO and Co-Founder, Mason, in an exclusive interaction with MyBigPlunge discusses how technology has help companies remain connected with their consumers during the global health crisis:
How has technology transformed or evolved the customer experience in the past three years?
With a new channel opening up every year – from Facebook to now TikTok and more – potential customers are now everywhere. We’re browsing content on Youtube, discovering art & crafts on Pinterest, getting to meet brands and creators on Instagram. This means that customers now discover products they use and buy even if they are not actively shopping. Gone are the days when one has to go to a mall to buy something – the whole internet is an open mall today.
This means that customers now expect a seamless shopping experience, no matter where they discover products from. Website performance, personalization, instant shipping and same-day delivery are now status quos. On the other hand, setting up an online store has never been easier either. This means, there are thousands and millions of brands globally, and the only way to stand out in the crowd is through stellar shopping experience and customer service.
With the advent of the COVID pandemic, companies are holding their customers closer to heart than ever before. What is your take on this?
With the whole world going remote and accelerating technology adoption by a decade, customers are now not just browsing or consuming media, but also working, collaborating, buying, learning and much more – all online. And that is why we consumers are now looking for connections online – connections with people, connections with community, connections even with brands and retailers.
This means that online shopping is not just about deals or discounts anymore. It’s about trust, relationship and experience. If a brand forges a deep relationship with me, I trust them more and am open to buying products from them even without heavy discounts. And if they lose my trust through a bad shopping experience, I will simply move on to another brand I can trust more. Hence, in the digital world, DTC brands and retailers are leveraging social channels such as Instagram or Facebook to convey their brand story & product philosophy, listing their catalog and products on marketplaces such as Amazon, and also ensuring high performing web-and-mobile stores where shoppers can directly browse, love, and buy their brand’s products.
How has Mason transformed e-retail storefronts for its target consumers?
Mason powers retailers & brands run a successful online store with a self-serve, no-code store merchandising toolkit.
SaaS platforms like Shopify to apps like Dukaan are making it easier to set up stores, but running the 24/7 always on store is hard – it means keeping their storefront & marketing campaigns in sync with inventory & price updates, new arrivals, top-selling products etc. constantly. This means the store needs to be operated all day long, all year long. Setting up a 24/7 team to do this is not possible. With Mason, the online storefront and the e-commerce backbone (inventory, pricing, etc.) are connected together, enabling real-time collaboration & dynamic updates to all communication & shopping experiences.
Before Mason, every time a t-shirt’s stock runs below 50, a category manager, marketer & designer all have to be on call so that an update can go out to the storefront on time. After using Mason, this update can happen in real time.
What kind of technology has Mason engaged in?
Mason is headless, no-code and has automation baked in. This means that it can be easily connected to any existing technology layers that a brand or retailer is already using, and a lot of the repetitive storefront operations can be automated. Mason also has a data & analytics engine that helps brands & retailers understand how well their store is performing and has AI-based suggestions to enhance shopping experience and hence, eventually, shopping experience.
Are small businesses and entrepreneurs open to technology? How do you reach out/convince them?
Most of the online stores we see today, from Amazon to Nykaa, have access to dedicated technology teams, expensive design agencies and large operations teams who work together to manage their day to day store merchandising. New age brands globally, such as AllBirds or Warby Parker have raised enough VC funding to also get access to such technologies & services that help them have a strong online store at par with the giant e-commerce companies.
But for all other businesses coming online, this is hard to manage without knowing and understanding both tech and design. Mason’s easy, no-code automation and a large design library help these businesses run their store without having to invest hundreds and thousands of dollars in things they do not understand. This fuels adoption. Our content and community centered approach is how SMBs and entrepreneurs find us online. Our freemium model makes it easy for them to try and then buy the product.
Mason is an AI and automation-powered no-code SaaS startup for e-commerce entrepreneurs and DTC brands. The company has been operating in the space with an aim to democratize technology and design access for all SMBs and entrepreneurs who have an online retail store.