The growing trend of ecommerce has made shopping a breeze for the people. The onset of marketplaces has allowed buyers and sellers from even the remotest of areas to connect, buy, sell and market their products to one another. This has also opened up the market for smaller players and artisans. However, there are a number of barriers and problems that smaller players face when it comes to selling online. Right from the documentation to the packaging & logistics, all of this can really be a pain to take care of. This is the problem that Nitin Purswani realized and decided to tackle the same with his startup Zepo!

The story behind Zepo

Started about 2 years ago, Zepo actually is a part of The Morpheus Gang and has also secured funding from the One97 Mobility Fund. For Nitin Purswani a B.Com graduate, Zepo is his 3rd entrepreneurial venture. He had initially started a T-shirt printing company printing cool and trending Marathi slogans. Things looked good on the offline front and Nitin wanted to venture online. But, that was when he realized that there were many hassles involved in the same. It was much later in June 2011 that Zepo was started and in the hindsight, all the experience at Bijness(dot)in proved to be very useful for this new venture. Today, Zepo aims to solve most of the problems that are faced by enthusiasts as well entrepreneurs both young and old face when they wish to start selling their products and crafts online.

What makes Zepo Different?

The main thing that sets Zepo apart from conventional marketplaces like Flipkart is the fact that sellers have their own little store with their own unique domain name and website. In our country, today there are many small players like Designers, Artists, Engineers, etc who are creating something amazing every day but do not have resources for marketing or even the technical knowhow for the same. Zepo takes care of that and more with the help of integrated Indian Payment gateways, logistic solutions and more, all under one roof. Apart from that, the very simplistic User Interface and availability of a large number of ecommerce setup templates with virtually unlimited color combinations, makes it really amazing.

Zepo does not restrict one from listing products on marketplaces online but on the contrary, facilitates the same in the higher paying monthly plans.

Show me the money (The Revenue Model)

Their monthly subscription model makes it really affordable for people who are new to the ecommerce market and wish to start small. Additionally, they also have half yearly and annual plans wherein they offer plenty of discounts and even Google AdWords advertising credits. Their plans start at approximately 949 per month and go up to 5000 per month.

The Road so Far

Ever since their start in June 2011, Zepo has done a lot more than just offer ecommerce solutions. For instance, they started a free online store for a small roadside tea vendor named Chotu Chaiwala taking Mumbai’s signature cutting chai online and making it easier for consumers to order from the convenience of their offices and at the same time providing a new source of revenue for the tea vendors who at times are known to struggle to make ends meet. The website, ChotuChaiWala.com managed by Zepo and jointly owned by 4 tea vendors of Bandra managed to get an amazing 42 orders in two weeks!

The team currently has 3 offices, one in Mumbai, one in Delhi and another Bangalore and a team of about 40-50 people that manages everything for their 2000+ paid clients.. The team even offers value added services for their users in an effort to make things work like a breeze for them. Also, the team is continuously working to make the platform more flexible and user friendly. They are also working on many innovative marketing ideas which helps their online store owners reach out to more audiences online and get better ROI.

Our Take

Ecommerce has off late been considered as the sunshine industry however there are a lot many problems that smaller players face today. Not only do they have to work extra hard at times to stand out amongst the growing crowd, they also have to deal with at times rigid rules of market places solely because they did not have any other choice. Zepo and other related market places are like a silver lining for them. However, how they scale and what makes Zepo itself stand out in the market with other players.

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