How social commerce has enabled Indian MSMEs to reimagine growth
Social commerce has gained enormous popularity in India. Due to the ever-rising number of smartphones and increasing internet penetration—social media and internet users have grown at an exponential rate, especially in rural areas.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, ecommerce was a boon for many and enabled people to shop from the comfort and safety of their homes. The number of people buying products and services online is increasing daily—a trend that precedes the pandemic.
This, combined with the increasing spirit of entrepreneurship and the advent of social commerce and reselling platforms in India, is helping individuals turn entrepreneurs and leverage interactions happening on social media platforms to influence customers for purchases.
Social commerce has evolved into a significant phenomenon, especially in smaller markets, helping micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) reimagine growth.
With around 6.3 million MSMEs in India, contributing about 29 percent of the country's GDP through internal and international trade, the MSME sector is a highly dynamic and important element of the Indian economy.
For many years, digitisation has been a key growth driver of MSMEs, and the pandemic resulted in the massive onboarding of MSMEs on ecommerce platforms.
The changing landscape
Social commerce makes it easier for MSMEs to manage their business and increase revenue. It allows small-scale businesses and individuals to connect directly with their consumers through social media and add more revenue channels at a lower cost.
At present, it is helping thousands of people around the country to leverage the power of social networks and the internet to provide a wholesome and unique shopping experience.
Unlike ecommerce websites, many social commerce platforms don’t charge a commission from sellers, enabling small businesses and individuals to run their business from home without the heavy costs associated with taking the business online.
With the advent of social commerce and reselling platforms like Shopsy, Meesho, Shop101, Sheroes, and more, individuals and small enterprises are expanding their offline business to online commerce and generating more revenue than ever without the hassles of creating their online store from scratch.
Social media to the rescue
Small enterprises can transform social media platforms into vital distribution channels. Meesho is a famous example that helps over a million small companies open digital stores using social media networks to sell their products.
It has also enabled MSMEs to target their consumers in various ways, including through conversational-commerce-on-chat platforms (WhatsApp), video-led ecommerce platforms (SimSim), reseller communities (Meesho), popular social networking sites (Facebook or Instagram), and platforms based on group buying format (DealShare).
Generally, selling products through social commerce and reselling platforms has more flexibility in operations, requires low investment, low imports rates, and a high contribution to domestic production, giving underprivileged and people from rural areas a chance to run their businesses online.
Social commerce is an incredible opportunity for MSMEs to reinvent their business and reach, modernise and update with new business procedures, and support the marketing efforts to develop their businesses.
Since social commerce is enabling these MSMEs to bloom, this further facilitates the rise and growth of various product segments and industries while giving employment opportunities in underprivileged areas.
With social commerce, MSMEs may modernise their route to market, audience access, and their payments, financing, and expert advice—all of which will benefit their growth.
Thanks to social commerce, MSMEs can now reimagine their development and provide consumers with an engaging and unique shopping experience.
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)