In the last decade, we’ve witnessed eCommerce explode as the internet takes over the world. It’s a trend that accelerated within the last year, courtesy of the global pandemic. eCommerce allows us to buy anything from anywhere in the world at any time. It sounds great in theory. However, research has shown that 54% of customers abandon online shopping carts due to a significant reason – choice overload.
Vudoir helps online shoppers navigate through the maze of choice. In turn, it has allowed online retailers to increase conversions and reap great returns. The startup was recently acquired by the New York based fund, TriState Capital Partners. Vudoir has now set its sights on ambitiously expanding into the booming US eCommerce market. Driving this expansion is a team spread out across the world, including a team of developers in Sri Lanka.
What is Vudoir? A shopper’s new best friend
Vudoir is a digital sales assistant that helps online shoppers answer any questions they have when selecting a product. It can be easily integrated into any eCommerce platform as a chatbot to do so. Underneath the hood, it uses AI to analyse a vast pool of data to answer any questions customers, retailers, brands, and market researchers may have.
Today, online shoppers are bombarded with a variety of products on a single site despite product filters. This barrage of ads has resulted in what sales professionals call ‘Decision Paralysis’, where consumers are unaware of what to purchase. In physical stores, the phenomenon was overcome by the active roles of sales assistants who would be of service when making a purchase.
On eCommerce sites today, Vudoir fills that role. The software helps shoppers make informed decisions when selecting a product. Users can get real-time updates on stock, size, fit, product features, delivery details, and much more through its chatbot.
Vudoir’s AI can also analyse data from first-time and returning shoppers for retailers and brands. With this data, it creates a detailed analytics dashboard and can generate customised reports. According to the startup, its software has helped eCommerce retailers increase their conversions by 40% and over 1000 daily customer engagements.
The origins of Vudoir
Alina Franco and Paolo Rizzardini, the founders of the technology startup Vudoir. first identified the need for a versatile solution to choice overload on eCommerce platforms. Thus, in February 2015, Vudoir was born.
Initially, Vudoir focused on the industry where retailers reported the most significant instances of consumer decision paralysis – Fashion and Apparel. With tremendous success in this niche market, the startup then began its expansion to the following two most important markets that would benefit from its software – Beauty and Home Decorations.
Vudoir began as a B2C company and eventually hit a whopping 70,000 MAUS (Monthly Active Users) from around the globe. This statistic gave the company a solid foundation to take the leap forward in their expansion and add value to retailers as a B2B software solution.
Moving to Sri Lanka
Three years later, Sri Lankan entrepreneur Joe Lenora met Alina in Spain and briefed her on the country’s local tech talent pool. Alina knew instantly that Sri Lanka was going to be Vudoir’s next go-to destination for the technology shift that the platform needed to fulfil the ever-growing customer base. In order to facilitate this technological shift, Joe joined the Vudoir team as its Chief Technical Officer and became a shareholder of the company.
Looking back, Joe shares that it wasn’t a tough decision for the company to shift its IT operations to Sri Lanka. Local companies like We Are Designers, WSO2, Virtusa, MilleniumIT, 99X to name a few, have built a global presence. The island nation also boasts one of the highest literacy rates in the South Asian region and has a rich culture promoting creativity and innovation. As such, Sri Lanka is now known for its skilled IT talent capable of building solutions with cutting-edge innovative technologies.
Elaborating on the promise of Sri Lanka, Joe shared, “The future of work is distributed in nature and Sri Lanka is one of the best places for IT. Sri Lanka has a pool of 80,000+ talented IT professionals who speak fluent English. Increasingly, we’re proving to be an ideal environment for testing the viability of products that can rapidly scale in regional South Asian markets like India and Pakistan. So it’s a busy period and the local industry is growing rapidly.”
Thus began a part of Vudoir’s operation in Sri Lanka under Joe and Pasindu Wijesena. The Sri Lankan arm has helped the platform reach new heights, signing clients and telecom partners across the continent of Europe. As a result, Vudoir effortlessly grabbed the attention of investors and venture firms from across the globe.
TriState Capital Partners: A new chapter for Vudoir
Recently, Vudoir was acquired by TriState Capital Partners (TCP), a Limited Liability Corporation based in New York. The company recognises small and medium-scale ‘stranded assets’ and accelerates their growth with financial power, new contracts, experience, strategic relationships, and a complete pool of business resources.
Following the acquisition, Vudoir set up a subsidiary in New York and shifted its core operations to the US as it seeks to expand into the booming market. Under this acquisition, TCP anticipates the Vudoir platform to disrupt the US eCommerce industry with its SaaS platform. According to the venture capital firm, “Companies are reconsidering their fixed cost to be substituted by more flexible structures. We believe that this is an opportunity for Vudoir because it allows companies to outsource the personal shopper service and serve their customers online and in real-time.”
Looking towards the future, Vudoir is now set to take on any challenges that come its way along the path to becoming the gamechanger in the world of online shopping.