IndiaMART has 93-mn buyers registered at the moment. 64% of their overall traffic comes from tier II or below markets, reveals Sumit Bedi, Vice President – Marketing & CX, IndiaMART InterMESH Ltd.
While the recession has affected some businesses, Flipkart and Amazon claimed to have had the highest sales during the festive season 2019. Not just the B2C platforms but B2B eCommerce giant IndiaMART is also witnessing new growth opportunities, especially in Tier II and Tier III towns.
In a chat with exchange4media, Sumit Bedi, Vice President – Marketing & CX, IndiaMART InterMESH Limited., speaks about how the company witnessed consistent growth despite the economic slowdown in the country. He also spoke about the marketing approaches and consumer behaviour in Tier I, Tier II and below towns.
While the B2C platforms have limited products offering (just gadgets and apparels), B2B giant IndiaMARToffers 6000+ products across 54 industries.
A lot of industries claim to have faced serious consequences of the economic slowdown but just like the online B2C market, B2B business continues to run at a steady pace. Bedi revealed that IndiaMART is growing at a rate of 30% over the last 5 years. With this consistent growth, Bedi feels that despite the recession in the country, online B2B is growing persistently.
With the fast-paced digital adoption being propelled by growth in rural and semi-urban India, the reach of eCommerce to Tier II or below towns has opened up a whole new space for people residing in these regions. According to Bedi, IndiaMART has 93 million buyers registered at the moment. Interestingly, 64% of their overall traffic comes from tier II or below markets.
Talking about the challenges that online B2B platforms are facing these days, Bedi said that there are multiple challenges that enhance opportunities too. The user profile is now shifting to smaller screens (mobile devices). Earlier when on desktop, we used to have a bigger space to showcase product offerings. Today, with the growth of smartphones, adjusting on smaller screens has become a significant challenge.
Since the younger generation is shifting to smaller screens, we’re dealing with a whole new type of user profile. “The user profile has evolved significantly over the last four years. The metro brand that targets people between 35 to-44 years, to a brand that gets most of its traffic from smaller towns,” Bedi highlighted.
Now, the challenge is how we stay relevant to this new user profile, he said. To deal with such issues, IndiaMART is making every possible effort to speed up the site and make it user-friendly.
When it comes to online eCommerce, it has been seen that there is a lack of trust among buyers. Bedi feels, in the digital age companies and buyers don’t know each other personally. And people dealing with each other for the first time is the key reason behind this lack of trust.
On quizzing how IndiaMART deals with this lack of trust issue and takes care of consumer security, Bedi said, “We remain very transparent to our customers. Unlike other platforms, IndiaMART is very open to show its price. You can check the price in your region and all the other regions of India as well. We feel that this creates a sense of faith among our consumers.”
On the other hand, IndiaMART is also investing heavily in making the content credible to allow for only GST verified and Geotagged assets.
Further, from a consumer perspective, Bedi added, IndiaMART felt the requirement of a secure transaction. So they took a step forward and launched a payment solution. To gain more reach and faith in smaller towns, IndiaMART has also launched the messaging feature on its platform. Now, buyers and sellers can interact with each other easily. For a buyer, such features are surely convenient as well as secure.
When it comes to the brand face, earlier IndiaMART had Irrfan Khan but right now they do not have an ambassador, instead, they’re focusing on storytelling. The most recent campaign of IndiaMART is Bada Aasaan Hai. The campaign is centred on a brand film, which shows the story of an aspiring candle maker and a wedding planner.
From being a functional platform with the tagline “Kaam Yahin Banta Hai”, IndiaMART has come a long way. The brand has influenced the entire business ecosystem. Now the brand is set on a journey to bring in ease of doing business in India, and to show millions of offline businesses, how easily they can scale their business using an easy-to-use online platform.