Can a business be scaled using social media platforms? For Bangalore-based Qtrove, a marketplace for handmade products, the answer is a resounding yes. QTrove, which recently raised $ 51.5 million in funding, has used platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp, Quora and YouTube to scale up its business and reach out to more sellers and customers in the last three years.
Qtrove had tied up with influencers on Instagram and Youtube, who would be given samples of various products ranging to chocolates to jams. The reviews by these influencers, in turn, helped Qtrove increase their brand awareness and following across the country.
“E-commerce should be content driven and specially for us, our engagement with people on Quora and other platforms helped us make our products better,” Vinamra Pandiya, CEO, Qtrove told TheBigScope, adding that the startup had even reached out to people on Quora for suggestions about their products.
Pandiya says that the social media strategy helped them communicate better with their seller network. The constant churn of reviews and comments from users across the country helped them catalog their products better.
“E-commerce companies are buying transactions and customers. Our approach has helped sell non brands to Indians. Community and content based approach is the future of online selling,” says Pandiya.
Recently, the curated marketplace also raised Rs. 350 crore in finding from Springboard ventures which is an investment body of Bennett, Coleman & Co Ltd( BCCL). Pandiya says that he will use the funds to grow to 5 million customers and utilize BCCL’s network to scale further into other states and Tier-3 towns in India.
But inspite of being an e-commerce startup, Pandiya likes to differentiate from rest. He says they are the opposite of every e-commerce firm in India and that discounts and free cash on delivery eats into e-commerce margins and in order to sustain you have reduce such methods.