With increasing adoption of social media for selling, increasing smartphone usage, and cheap data, the share of social reselling was on the rise before Meesho entered the scene. Yet, online reselling had its set of challenges, including limited access to supply, lack of logistics and payments solutions, a dearth of customer-friendly policies, such as cash-on-delivery and easy returns, which customers had come to expect from an online buying experience.
Meesho’s initial growth spurt came by solving these pain points for online resellers, who were already active on Facebook groups and other online communities. They had access to products through traditional manufacturers, but were largely on their own, in terms of handling deliveries, returns and payments. Meesho aggregated for them a highly-curated supply of pan-India products and offered services on a par with other e-commerce players. However, we soon exhausted that limited base of traditional resellers. We saw that more and more people joining the platform were first-time social sellers looking to start their own online business, but held back because of the investment barrier. About 70% of these users were women, homemakers and mothers, who had to leave their jobs because of family obligations.
With this insight, Meesho changed its communication strategy from focusing on additional benefits it provided to existing resellers to the ability to start one’s own business without any capital, of becoming an entrepreneur and, thereby, scripting a new narrative of financial independence and self-determination. For first-time entrepreneurs, Meesho invested significant resources to build an in-app product to educate users on the concept of social reselling, navigating social platforms to sell, and specifics of using the Meesho app. This was done through the launch of Meesho Business Academy, MBA for Resellers, on the app. We also launched Meesho Community within the app to foster peer-to-peer learning, mentorship for new users, and a healthy sense of community based on shared aspirations and experiences.