The e-commerce industry in India has emerged as one of the most exciting innovators in the wider startup ecosystem, especially after the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. Social trading, live trading and various other trends have started to revolutionize the entire e-commerce landscape.
While other trends are emerging earlier in the booming e-commerce segment, the Metaverse is still a long way off. At least that’s what the founder Sanjeev Barnwal and CTO of Meesho thinks.
Explaining why and how the metaverse provides many opportunities to disrupt e-commerce, Barnwal said that the current shopping experience offered by e-commerce platforms has nothing to do with the offline shopping experience where customers touch and feel the products and can interact with people.
The Metaverse addresses some parts of these issues, and it is hoped that users will be able to see themselves (in avatars) in a mirror with a cloth or take recommendations from other people. In fact, buying also has a lot to do with social validation.
Even though the metaverse hype has yet to reach e-commerce, a number of other trends seem to have gained momentum in recent years. One such trend, according to Barnwal, is the shift in e-commerce buying behavior from intent-based buying to discovery-based buying.
Previously, users visited an e-commerce platform with predetermined products in mind. Now the user opens an app, watches the latest trends and decides on their buying behavior.
While change is exciting, it comes with its own set of challenges – for example, e-commerce platforms now need to constantly optimize to discover new trends.
Much of the e-commerce unicorn’s target audience hails from the less tech-savvy cities of Tyr 2 and 3. With nearly seven years of experience building Meesho, which currently has over 120 million monthly active users (MAUs), Barnwal says he and his team focus more on customization, simple UX designs, consistent and static user interface design.
Moreover, making their platform available in different languages has been a very important reference point in the startup’s journey so far. Meesho’s e-commerce platform currently supports eight languages.
Over time, Barnwal also realized that it wasn’t just about upgrading systems. When creating new functions, scaling should be considered. But the downside here is that if everything is built to scale, it’s over-engineered because only one of the five things built would work. Barnwal said Meesho has grown five times in the past year.
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