Adoption of M-Commerce growing among buyers and sellers

Interview by Mr. Tejinder Oberoi in SME Times
18th March, 2016

By Saurabh Gupta

With “Convenience” being the most alluring part, M-commerce has seen very good adoption among both consumers & merchants, said Tejinder Oberoi, Founder and Director,m1 Order.

In an interview to SME Times, he said, “Digital is redefining what it means to “go” shopping. With lines between physical and digital worlds blurring, consumers are accustomed to benefits of grocery settings in digital market. Tech-savvy retailers are creating options via m-commerce marketplace.”

Excerpts of the interview…

Please tell our readers more about this online platform – m1-Order.

Tejinder Oberoi: M1 Order is a unique product that helps retailers in multi-faceted ways. From being the direct ROI for their advertising dollar to attracting consumers, M1 Order clearly bridges the gap. Companies print catalogs and publish print advertisements with no clear judgement on ROI spent.

Distractions destroy business. Marketers put in all the effort to bring the customer to your product and then they get distracted with some other advertisement and you lose your customer. With m1-codes and catalogs, your customer does not slip away. M1 Order assists reduce clutter from the consumer’s mind while placing orders.

Moreover, M1 Order is easy to adopt for both the merchant and the consumer as there are hardly any entry barriers of high cost or complicated technology.

M1 Order was launched in May 2015 and since then it is changing the way retailers receive orders from their customers. The app was built with the sole aim of enabling affordable technology access to small and mid-size retailers. It gives these retailers the ability to connect to their existing and prospective customers through mobile, social media and print campaigns.

How it works? Why m1-Order (USP)?
Tejinder Oberoi: We were seeing a lot of leaflets and prints being distributed for marketing which didn’t have a definite ROI/call-to-action attached to it! We toyed around with the idea of having some POS to gauge. We added QR code to it and voila! Mobile cameras and data bandwidth were getting better, placing order directly from your smartphone was hassle-free.

If you see the shopping pattern, customers are hassled with the personal visits to marts from parking their vehicles to buying, billing and more… M1 Order has a unique way of functioning – we provide a highly affordable platform to merchants to generate orders! While everyone is busy offering coupons, discounts and offers to customers, we provide businesses a platform to grow! Alternately we are reviving the print media and bringing in call-to-action for all the money spent fuelled into such activities. Customers now have a choice to select, compare and buy rather than being forced to buy from a fix list of merchants. We are committed to provide innovative means of ordering through technology to help retailers grow their business.

You people specially develop m1-Order for the neighbourhood merchants including retail shops, restaurants and enterprises. How a small and medium entrepreneur (SME) can benefited with this?

Tejinder Oberoi: With “Convenience” being the most alluring part, M-commerce has seen very good adoption among both consumers & merchants. Digital is redefining what it means to “go” shopping. With lines between physical and digital worlds blurring, consumers are accustomed to benefits of grocery settings in digital market. Logistics and delivery companies to provide a better customer service to their clients. Tech-savvy retailers are creating options via m-commerce marketplace. M1 Order pitches-in both online and offline categories because consumers today are shopping both on their phones and local stores. M1 Order is a handy package of both, print-commerce and virtual marketplace, addresses flipping consumer requirement.

M1 Order has 4000+ live stores from across Delhi, Pune, Mumbai, Ahmedabad and Kolkata! We are delighted with the kind of traction and trust we have gained so far. The milestone in itself is a testimony of how with a strong model, even the kirana stores can be brought on the digital platform and be at par with major e-retail players.

If we see the practicality, grocery stores run on a small profit margins. They cannot handle the 15-20% flat commission by huge portals! M1 Order is the unique market pitch for them. We charge only INR 5/order received by them! India has a 60% market of grocery stores only and we aim to target 20% of them. M1 Order is a marketplace and we have varied categories of stores joining in from jewelry, sweet marts, food & grocery, apparels, mobile & telecom, beauty & wellness, books & gifts, lifestyle, furniture, home & office décor, services etc.

How you the SME sector in India? And also the prospects in this sector?
Tejinder Oberoi: We are operating in the whole of the Indian retail market which is currently about $800 billion and expected to grow to $1.3 Trillion by 2020.

India’s retail and logistics industry, organised and unorganized in combination, employs about 40 million Indians (3.3% of Indian population). The typical Indian retail shops are very small. Over 14 million outlets operate in the country and only 4% of them being larger than 500 sq ft (46m2) in size. India has about 11 shop outlets for every 1000 people.
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Within India’s retail market, food and grocery currently comprises the largest market segment at around 60 percent, followed by apparel, (8 percent), and mobile and telecom (6 percent). In organized retail, apparel dominates at 33 percent followed by food and grocery (11 percent), mobile and telecom (11 percent), and consumer electronics (8 percent).
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M1 Order disrupts the e-commerce trends and focuses to pave a path by giving any seller a way to reach out to their consumers through the mobile store and leverage social media like WhatsApp and Facebook to get more orders. So consumers can easily purchase via virtual marketplace. Moreover, customers have the flexibility to pay via CC/DC/Net banking/Digital Wallets/COD.

Merchants are at the “front” unlike other portals where the customers don’t even know from which retailer they are purchasing! We make “BRANDS” out of merchants, so people know the next door “Vrundavan Grocery store”. With quality service and offers, merchants can have repeated business!

What were the challenges you had counter with during your journey of success?
Tejinder Oberoi: Challenges… On one hand when merchants find the concept interesting and very useful on the other hand they lack in putting enough effort to utilize the systems feature! Team M1 Order is constantly educating merchants on how to use the system efficiently to generate orders and retain their loyal customers.

The next is people usually confuse us with the standard m-commerce or e-commerce models, which we are not! Again I should add, we are breaking these myths. M1 Order give businesses a technology platform, THEIR OWN mobile app!

How you see the government’s ‘Make in India’ and ‘Start-up India’ movement?
Tejinder Oberoi: It’s enthusiastic to see that with the predicted 8-10% economy growth, it’s a great run for India so far. With flagship missions like Digital India and Make in India, government truly understands the power of technology and foresees a very bright opportunity for the Indian entrepreneurs.

What are your future plans?
Tejinder Oberoi: We aim to be “The Universal Ordering App” for businesses. New challenges arise every day for businesses to keep customers engaged and retain loyal ones.  It’s a highly volatile market if you look around there are significant changes happening in consumer and business behavior. It’s a highly unpredictable road! Every business from brick-n-mortar to online stores, are challenged today and it’s a “Winner takes it all” scenario. We foresee a huge growth potential. It’s a habit changing drive where you need to have a persistent approach to succeed.

Read the article in SME Times: