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Zoho looks to capture large chunk of retail market with cloud-based PoS solution, Zakya

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Zoho Corporation recently launched Zakya, a new brand, to offer a modern retail POS solution in India. Zakya’s cloud-based POS solution is easy to implement and user-friendly, helping small and medium-sized retailers go live and start billing in under an hour. Jayagopal Theranikal, Chief Evangelist, Zakya, shares with us the vision behind launching Zakya as a separate business division

Some edited excerpts:

What led Zoho Corporation to launch Zakya as a new business division, and what strategic advantages does it offer to retailers looking to embrace digital transformation?

We launched Zakya as a separate brand because with the POS solution we are targeting one industry: retail, and having a separate brand allows us to create a domain-specific identity. We have similarly launched other brands in the last few years that target specific markets. Given that India is the fourth largest retail market in the world and is estimated to grow up to ~$2 trillion by 2032, it’s an opportune time to address the challenges of this segment by providing them the right digital tools to grow and evolve.

Retailers can implement Zakya in under an hour and start billing their customers. Store owners can view all their transaction details, inventory from one or more stores in one place, and even launch a mobile app for their stores to make the shopping experience for end customers more convenient. They can also get reports about their business in real-time using the analytics provided in the system. All these give retailers a strategic advantage over their competition. Moreover, as Zakya has been built on the technology stack of Zoho Corporation, it has inherited the security and privacy provided by the company for its software under other brands.

In what ways does Zakya address the challenges faced by retailers in adapting to the digital era and staying competitive in the online shopping landscape?

Technology has evolved beyond just being a necessity, but if leveraged well, it can provide a competitive edge to retailers. The retail industry is known to have a high churn rate, so constantly training new staff, many of whom are not tech-savvy, becomes a challenge for stores. Additionally, consumers are increasingly choosing to engage with a business based on their convenience, whether it is digital payments, item availability, reduced waiting time, or doorstep delivery. While larger retail stores are able to provide this for their customers, with Zakya, we ensure that even the small businesses have access to the same technology.

Our POS software is easy to use, with a very short learning curve. Also, it allows store owners to create their own apps for customers to make purchases from their phones and choose delivery or in-store pickup. Zakya POS also has a billing mobile app that can be used during rush hours to parallelly bill customers and shorten the queue at the checkout counters.

Can you provide insights into the integration capabilities of Zakya with third-party applications and how this enhances the overall operational efficiency for retail businesses?

At Zakya, we understand the importance of flexibility and offer integration capabilities to cater to the unique needs of each business. Zakya is designed to make the shopping experience seamless for both customers and store owners. With built-in payment partners like Pine Labs, Razorpay, and PhonePe, customers can easily make payments using their preferred method. In addition, Zakya offers integration with popular shipping solutions such as AfterShip and EasyPost. This allows store owners to easily fulfill orders and track shipments, in case they want to offer a delivery service.

Store owners also have the option to connect with other third-party applications to streamline their operations further and communicate with customers. For example, by integrating with Twilio, stores can handle SMS notifications to customers, keeping them updated about their orders. They can also integrate with WhatsApp to send messages for invoices and payment receipts directly from the system. For other business needs, like accounting and HR, they can use business apps by Zoho or other third-party vendors and integrate the POS system with them.

How does Zakya’s seamless integration with other Zoho business apps like Zoho Books and Zoho Commerce contribute to creating a comprehensive ecosystem for retailers to manage their operations efficiently?

By virtue of being a part of the Zoho Corp. ecosystem, Zakya has been built on the same tech stack, therefore, making integration very seamless across the product portfolio. By integrating with Zoho Books, cloud accounting software, businesses can track and manage their finances, while staying GST/e-invoicing compliant. Similarly, with Zoho Commerce, businesses can build and manage their online store and track sales. Overall, with these connected applications, retail businesses can build an online presence, and manage their finances seamlessly.

What market opportunities does Zoho Corporation aim to capitalize on with the launch of Zakya as a new brand, and how does Zakya’s modern retail POS solution position itself to meet the evolving needs of retailers in the digital age?

The current solutions in the market fall under two extremes: either they are too complex, rigid (difficult to integrate or customize), and require extensive training, or they are basic, single-point solutions that do not address all the business requirements of small-and-medium-sized retailers. Zakya was curated to bridge this gap and provide these businesses with a level playing field by equipping them with a modern solution. We conducted a survey of SMBs in India and found that only 39% used POS systems while the others relied on manual billing or primitive digital tools like spreadsheets. Of those who did not use the POS, 95% said they wanted to adopt a POS in the next five years, and 75% of them mentioned that the primary criteria will be ease of use. This showed us that there is a demand for POS solutions, and by making ease-of-use a key feature while creating the product, we will be well-positioned to capture the market opportunity. Additionally, Zakya supports ten Indian languages, apart from English, including Telugu, Urdu, Malayalam, Kannada, Punjabi, Bengali, Marathi, and Gujarati. This enables the cashiers to use the POS software in the language of their convenience. All this helps lower the barrier to technology adoption.

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