Fashioning Women
    Category: Entrepreneurs By : Ulisari Eslita Read : 707 Date : Thursday, March 01, 2018 - 23:39:51

    Ahmad Zamroni / Forbes Indonesia

    Sale Stock, the country’s second most-visited fashion site after Zalora, was born out of disappointment in 2014 by Lingga Madu and his wife Ariza Novianti. Ariza liked to shop online but was never satisfied with what she found. “I started Sale Stock because I was disappointed every time I shopped at a fashion e-commerce site. Most of the time, the pictures on the site were far from reality,” says Ariza.

    That disappointment brought opportunity. Lingga, 33, and Ariza, now 32, then decided to start their own fashion e-commerce site, right after Ariza gave birth to their first daughter. With Rp 1 million of initial capital, they started Sale Stock in their home in Tangerang by reselling clothes on Facebook that they had bought more cheaply from resellers or at wholesale markets. Surprisingly, the market response was strong—with orders rising every day.

    Pretty soon, the business outgrew their home. “Sale Stock was growing rapidly. Our house was packed with fashion products and people, we could hardly move around in the house. The only room left empty was only our bedroom,” Lingga recalls. A year later, they moved their operations gradually to various places: customer service to Yogyakarta, commercial operations and the warehouse to Jakarta, while marketing and finance stayed in Bumi Serpong Damai, not far from their house.

    As sales kept increasing, Sale Stock began to offer more platforms: such as through mobile apps (both Android and iOS), WhatsApp, Line, Instagram, and BBM chat app. “We wouldn’t be sustainable if Sale Stock only used Facebook as a platform. From that point, we asked for help from our developers and programmers to expand the platform,” says Lingga. Originally, Sale Stock used a third-party platform for its site, but by 2015 it had built its own site in-house.

    Sale Stock’s edge is its advanced technology. It uses AI, and incorporates some machine learning and natural language processing. Among the site’s innovations is that it automatically tracks users, processing over 1,300 data points captured during the consumer purchasing process. The site has the ability to change its appearance in real-time to match a user’s preferences. Two different users literally see two different sites. A Youtube video posted in 2016, entitled “Artificial Intelligence (AI) Sale Stock” shows two people scrolling through Sale Stock on their phones simultaneously—both start with the same screen, but within 12 seconds, the site is showing completely different clothes on the two phones.

    Another innovation is Soraya, an AI chatbot that is allegedly the first in the world to integrate with Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and BlackBerry Messenger to take sales orders and chat with customers. Sale Stock also has human staff to handle customer queries. However, Soraya is expected to be able to handle even slang and shorthand, such as “Ada dres hitam?” (“Do you have a black dress?”) to which the chatbot can answer “Soraya can check the collection.”

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