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E-commerce for all

BY Imran Fazal

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Q] What was the idea behind the #NoBiasInBusiness campaign by Meesho?
Meesho’s mission is to democratize e-commerce, and give a platform to everyone. This goes for both consumers and sellers. We are doing some fantastic work with a lot of different ministries, notably, the Central Ministry of Rural Development. We are bringing women sellers onto the platform, and it is a selfless initiative, because we want to train them to create and scale online businesses. These trained women may choose to do it with Meesho or with any other e-commerce platform. Irrespective of their choice, our aim is to ensure that they find a way to come online and scale their businesses. It all began when we did a simple Google search, ‘women entrepreneurs,’ and were bowled over by the results of women in suits, the corporate women, which is good, but we felt that a lot of the women entrepreneurs who’ve been scaling with us are almost invisible to Google, and consequently to the human eye. So we thought that it is important to paint an inclusive picture of a businesswoman.

Q] What was your marketing mix for the campaign?
Unlike other campaigns with a very strong business objective, where we go surgically towards our TG, this campaign was about opening up and reaching out to people who have decision-making capabilities. It was important to send out this message to them. Hence, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn, played an important role in disseminating it. We also reached out to our sellers via WhatsApp, and saw a lot of buzz and encouragement from people.

Q] Where do you see Meesho placed as an e-commerce platform, and who’s your closest competitor?
At Meesho we believe that we are India’s truest e-commerce platform because we have a market place for everyone. We don’t charge commission from our suppliers, we don’t have any stake in any of the supplies, which means that we are not competing with our own suppliers. This is a place where everyone can come and enter into a competition, give the best value for users, and get the best outcomes for themselves. We are in a very unique position, and so we don’t look at competition in the traditional way. We believe that we are here to democratize e-commerce, and create the maximum value for everyone.

Q] ONDC came with the promise of democratizing the e-commerce industry in India. What do you think about that?
I think it’s a great initiative, and its vision is similar to that of the UPI. We can now see what it did for the country. So, if ONDC can do something similar then why not? We have been very keen on coordinating with the government and working alongside ONDC. I don’t have a lot of opinion on how big it can become, but I think we are very happy to cooperate with the government in order to make ONDC a big phenomenon.

Q] How is Meesho helping small and medium-sized businesses to grow?
Giving a platform to small and medium enterprises has been a core mission for Meesho. We believe that when e-commerce started in the country, it was only the major brands who got a platform, while the SMBs were absent. The main barrier for SMBs is hefty commissions that doesn’t make sense for a lot of enterprises. Moreover, other e-commerce platforms have complicated processes of on-boarding and merchandising, which makes it very hard for them. Looking at these problems, we decided to remove all those barriers, and that has been a key attraction for a lot of the SMBs. At Meesho, we don’t charge any commission.

Q] What innovative marketing strategies are utilized by Meesho to reach the masses?
We are a start-up and we live and breathe like one. It is extremely important for us to get the maximum returns. We have been constantly striving to do out-of-the-box thinking when it comes to marketing. In terms of performance marketing, we would like to believe that we are one of the best and most efficient in the country. We have been constantly collaborating with partners for innovative ideas. For example, we did this mega blockbuster sale, and for the first time we were building an annual IP of sale. We had tied up with celebrities, and released an innovative teaser for the campaign. People were really excited to see actors like Ram Charan, Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh, among others in the same poster. It was also the poster for our sale. So we created a lot of buzz and publicity around it. In our Q1, we did ‘Meesho Sab Kuch Challenge’ on social media, which took the internet by storm. We saw a significant increase in our search queries because we challenged people to try and find anything and everything on Meesho. People were innovative with their searches, searching for things such as ‘Bachpan,’ and ‘Mummy ke hath ke Parathe’ on Meesho.

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