In the second week of May, Meesho was ranked 36th among the most downloaded apps. But in July, it hit the top slot where it has remained for over two weeks E-commerce platform Meesho, the reseller and marketplace platform combined in one, has pitchforked itself into the position of India’s most downloaded app across all segments.
According to data by Sensor Tower that examines apps
in Google Play, Meesho
has left Instagram, WhatsApp, Google, Amazon and Flipkart far behind.
In the second week of May, it was ranked 36th among the most downloaded apps.
But in July, it hit the top slot where it has remained for over two weeks (see chart).
According to Meesho, the app has seen over 100 million downloads, that’s a tenfold jump in a year. Based on Sensor Tower's ranking data for August 11, it is also in number one position in terms of shopping apps
alone, beating Flipkart (number 2), Amazon (number 4) and Jio Mart (No 9).
Explaining the meteoric growth, Meesho
founder and CEO Vidit Aatrey, cites two reasons.
“One, we are getting deeper into smaller cities and towns and are already available in 6,000 plus locations. 85 per cent of our traffic now comes from the non-metro top six cities.
“Two, we are expanding our product portfolio from fashion and lifestyle for women to kids wear, toys, and sports products. Now we will be entering grocery, so transactions are increasing,” he said.
The entry into grocery will put them on a collision course with Jio Mart, Amazon, Flipkart and the Tatas’ Big Basket, all of whom want to grab a share of the high volume but low margin pie.
Many of them are also wooing the small kirana shops in their fold for delivery of products. Meesho
clearly has a deeper reach than they do but it too is looking at recruiting the kirana shop owners as resellers.
Meesho claims to have over 14 million daily active customers who come on the platform. There are over 200,000 distributors and SMEs (the numbers have increased fivefold in 12 months) who use the marketplace to sell their unbranded, affordably priced products.
What’s more, Aatrey said that Meesho has roped in 14 million resellers onto its platform, which is 14 per cent of its app customer base.
The company has raised $490 million with blue chip backers such as Facebook and Softbank looking at using its cash for certain areas: building the grocery business, going into more towns and reaching the lowest economic class by offering affordable products, and making transactions simpler with technology.
However, over the next year, Aatrey insists that its only focus will be on growth. It is not looking at an IPO. “We are always in touch with investors, but we have cash currently to do what we want,” he said.
Currently the monetization model mainly comes from promotions and advertising by those who sell products on the marketplace. They take a very nominal commission from the sellers as well as the resellers. But Aatrey said that once growth has been achieved, then the company will look at various methods of monetization.
Meesho’s model is different from that of the big e-commerce players. Apart from a marketplace where one can buy directly, the company deploys influencers, mainly housewives who promote products to friends and relatives through WhatsApp or Instagram and make some money by selling them at a mark up.
“There are many people in the smaller cities and towns who are not comfortable with online shopping. The influencers help them with handholding through the process till they are confident of buying directly from the online site,” said Aatrey.