In the coming years, India’s small and medium enterprises (SMEs) will act as the silver lining, as a more resilient India re-emerges from COVID-19’s aftermath. Most of its growth story will be written by the continued rise of e-commerce. The next phase of growth in digital commerce will come from traditional businesses going online. In recent years, products and services that aid this transformation have seen a significant rise in demand. As more businesses sprout around solving Bharat’s growing needs, the pertinent question is: how to effectively build a product that solves Indian SME needs?

Our latest webinar on “Building products to empower small businesses of tomorrow” delved deeper on that topic and hosted attendees who were a mix of product managers and operations and marketing experts.

Couldn’t attend the webinar? Don’t worry because we are here with a summary of all that happened in this insightful session. We will cover everything from anecdotes to business lessons right here, so you don’t miss out on anything.

Razorpay’s latest webinar garnered some valuable insights as Prasun Jain, Razorpay’s Senior Director of Platform Product hosted the webinar. Prasun was joined by Rajeev Nair, Senior Director of Product at Meesho and Hitashi Garg, Vice President, Phoneshop, Cashify. The panel broadly discussed how to build products for Bharat, a business segment that is increasingly getting online. It is important to note here that both Meesho and Phoneshop are making great strides in bringing more businesses online and driving Bharat’s e-commerce growth story.

Getting SMBs in Tier 2, Tier 3, or even Tier 4 Cities to Adopt Digital Products

We managed to scoop out some of the most enriching discussions between all three speakers in the webinar.

Starting off the discussion, Rajeev spoke about the seller ecosystem at Meesho and how the team tailors its product to their needs. “Most of Meesho’s sellers experience online commerce for the first time when they interact with us, and our job is to help make that journey easier. At Meesho, we build our product based on four key factors: increase familiarity, reduce decision-making, step-by-step onboarding, and reduce anxiety by introducing a sense of predictability,” he said.

Phoneshop’s Hitashi Garg said that the biggest challenge with getting Indian SMBs to adopt a product is nailing the onboarding process, especially cataloguing. “At Phoneshop, we use tooltips to assist users through the process and reduce friction to the lowest, and we could see huge traction by doing that. But, onboarding is not just getting your users to sign up. It is every single step you force your user to take towards anything new you want them to do.”

How to design an onboarding flow for the less tech-savvy SMB owners?

Meesho uses deep research insights to figure out the challenges in their users’ onboarding journey. “The average new Meesho user comes in with a lot of questions and anxiety. We try to enforce our value proposition right from the moment we create our product’s awareness in the user’s mind. We also take our research team’s help to pick up some key anxiety pointers and answer them, so they tip them in Meesho’s favour during the consideration stage,” Nair explained.

If you’re able to solve small onboarding problems at every single step, you can create beautiful products for your SME users. Phoneshop recently tied up with Razorpay and the whole focus of this partnership was to ensure Phoneshop customers experience frictionless onboarding. “As a result, Phoneshop’s users can now activate a full-blown payment gateway and gain the capability of accepting payments in more than 100 modes with Razorpay, in less than 40 seconds!” Hitashi shared.

Solving for Bharat’s Unique Digital Payment Challenges

Garg said that an important part of solving user problems is finding the right solution partners. Phoneshop is a full-stack POS software solution. Its users can manage their inventory, access omnichannel sales, enjoy a complete payments’ ecosystem without any integration pain and experience the benefits of marketing automation – all on a single platform. “The main concern here is stitching these pieces together for our users. When we were looking for a tool that could solve our ask to provide payment instruments across channels, none of the PGs in the market could be stitched directly into our app,” Garg said. “So, we approached Razorpay with our need, and you built Onboarding APIs to solve for the ask,” Garg added.

How Meesho and Phoneshop Regionalize Their Customer Experience

One of the integral ways Nair’s team at Meesho reaches its audience is with vernacular language, but with a generous sprinkling of insights gained from trial and error during the process. “The first time we experimented with localisation when we first started our outreach programme. We learnt that using “Hinglish” (a mixture of Hindi and English) to communicate with the audience yielded better results. We were understood better when we used universally familiar words like ‘order’ and ‘free’ in our product copy, irrespective of the language,” he explained.

Hitashi Garg agreed with the importance of vernacular languages to draw in a diverse audience in India. “Phoneshop is available in 7 languages, and we are launching 3 more in the coming quarter. However, almost everyone is familiar with Hinglish,” he said.

Parting notes

We hope the insights from our latest webinar helped get a glimpse of how companies like Khatabook, Cashify, Vyapar, Teachmint, Meesho, and a host of other products strive to create products that help SMEs go digital.

At Razorpay, we take great pride in empowering enterprises that continue to bring new ideas to life for Bharat. With our newly launched Onboarding APIs, we help companies make payment gateway onboarding native to their product. Why? Because it’s an important step in creating customer delight. Using Razorpay’s Merchant Onboarding APIs, you can essentially eliminate context switching for your user and deliver a fantastic payment gateway onboarding experience. To know more about Onboarding APIs, check out this blog, documentation, and product page.

If you missed out on the live session, we’ve got you covered. Here’s the webinar recording you can watch any time.


See you around for the next webinar.

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    Shweta Rao
    Author Shweta Rao

    Shweta writes content for Razorpay's Partnerships team. She's also a public transit enthusiast who's exploring her newfound love for geo-caching.

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