Vidit Aatrey and Sanjeev Barnwal were early adopters of the social commerce wave.
To get ahead of the competition, they created Meesho, short for Meri Shop, in 2016. Based in Bengaluru, the social e-commerce platform is designed to enable small home-based businesses sell efficiently on WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, and other social channels.
“Interestingly, we observed that most Meesho users were individuals who were running their boutiques solely on WhatsApp. On deeper profiling, we discovered that a majority of them were homemakers, students, and small retailers who dreamt of starting their own business but did not have the capital required,” says Vidit.
The 700-member company is enabling hundreds of thousands of Indians to start their online business with zero investment. They give them the ability to sell through WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, and other social channels and have also bought hundreds of thousands of pan-India products for them to sell, while offering delivery and payment support. So far, they have enabled more than 5 million social sellers across 5,000+ towns to start and grow their online businesses, with tools around sourcing, logistics, and payments.
“We observed that most Meesho users were individuals who were running their boutiques solely on WhatsApp"
Meesho resellers share their experience of using the WhatsApp Business app. A homemaker from Lucknow, says, “I find the automated messaging tool very useful. This allows businesses to set an away message when you are unable to respond to a customer and informs the customer when to expect a response.”
The owner of an online boutique who interacts with her customers using the app says, “Customer interactions are smoother, and I can analyze them by looking at statistics like message sent, delivered, read, and received. I have also prepared a standard response to all frequently asked questions, which saves time and enables me to handle my customers well.”
By helping ordinary people discover their calling as entrepreneurs, Meesho has disrupted the social reselling space — and has found WhatsApp an indispensable tool in doing so.