There’s two sides to every coin — unless you’re Jai and Veeru, or Harvey Dent.
This applies to startups as well. You’re a delivery executive? You have a rider app. You’re a driver for a cab aggregator? You have a driver app.
You’re a seller on one of the fastest growing e-commerce marketplaces in India? You have —
Actually, you don’t. We integrated our seller app into our main app and maintained our position as the lightest e-commerce app on the market.
Here’s how we did it.
But first, some context 🧑🏫
In our earlier setup, our sellers had to sign up on the desktop. They managed the inventory and tracked dispatches through this site.
However, not everyone has a laptop. We noticed that well over half of our sellers used the dashboard through the mobile website.
In fact, we noticed that desktop usage and growth was lagging behind the mobile site’s.
The mobile site wasn’t optimised for this growth. There were frequent problems that worsened the sellers’ experience.
Some of these looked like this (notice all the wonky text placement):
This wasn’t done.
Despite these frequent issues, our sellers continued to use the mobile website.
Creating a seller app was a straightforward solution. But why did we choose to integrate it into the main app?
More than 70% of our sellers already have the Meesho app. It would be very convenient for our sellers if we included our seller dashboard in the same app.
It’s a tough challenge — but we’ve never shied from those.
Ideation stage 💭
User Research showed us that sellers who have a laptop still prefer using the mobile website.
Much like Meesho’s Work From Anywhere policy, most sellers wanted the freedom to operate their operations from any location, any time.
This sentiment was echoed by a whopping 96% of our sellers — they wanted . Our project was validated.
On our end, integrating the seller app into the main app had its benefits too.
We don’t have to maintain a separate digital asset on the backend. We don’t have to worry about promoting a new app and its downloads; we don’t have to worry about Play Store ratings.
Moreover, we’re hoping that some sellers can also double up as buyers, since we’re keeping them on the same app.
It’s all about conversions 😉
New entrants to the house 🚚
Decisions were made. Now comes the work.
We were clear on one directive: our app design had to be along the lines of what we already had designed for the mobile website.
Although it was enticing, we didn’t want to overwhelm our sellers with an entirely new interface.
This setup would be consistent across the app, desktop, and mobile site.
Since our buyers outnumber our sellers by a wide, wide margin, our app will open on the buyer side first, irrespective of the type of user.
Sellers can head to their dashboards by visiting the My Account tab, where the first option available is “Go To Supplier Hub” at the very top.
We also needed to design our seller hub in a distinguishable way from our buyer side.
It’s a plausible situation where a buyer stumbles on to the seller side accidentally.
While our buyer hub is full of pink accents and shading, we decided to go with indigo for the seller hub.
This contrast ensures that there’s a clear distinction between the two sections of our app.
Some engineering ⚙️
At 14.5 MB, we’re proud to have the lightest e-commerce app in India.
This was designed keeping our users in mind. Whether it’s a buyer, seller, or entrepreneur, our users operate amidst poor network conditions.
Downloading a large app can be inconvenient at best, impossible at worst. Thankfully, a dozen-ish MBs don’t take too long to get downloaded.
Despite integrating our seller hub, it was crucial for us to maintain this app size.
Our engineering team had to prioritise some features as P0. Some of them were:
- Onboarding registration
- OTP-based login infrastructure
- Order management
- Inventory management
Features that would be classified as P1 were Product Recommendations, Advertisements, and Activation Journey, among others.
Final thoughts ✅
We’re constantly striving to improve our users’ experience. Rigorous User Research, countless meetings and a million man hours later, we managed to finish a task that was deemed impossible by the Amazons’ and the AliBaba’s of the world.
Integrating the seller app into our main/buyer-facing app was our 10x bet. And it’s paying off every single day. We’re noticing an ever-increasing trend of users moving away from the mobile website to our app every single day — we count that as a huge success in our book.
If you want to work with us on such path breaking projects like this with us, check out our careers page for any openings that might interest you!