Corporate and big brands are ruling all over the world. Even this pandemic is not able to stop them from upscaling. Technology and human power made them robust and evolving. Local merchants do not have the upgraded technical knowledge, nor do they have a financial backup, due to which their sales are limited. This pandemic again focused our attention on the problem of the local merchants who work forced to close the doors of their earnings.
Vedam Prasanna completed her Bachelor in Commerce, and Prabhala Sri Adi Lakshmi Kameswari completed her Master in Chemistry. Despite coming from an ordinary educational background, they still hold the power to transform the world with their vision. Prasanna and Lakshmi are sisters-in-law, and both belong to Telangana and Andhra Pradesh local markets, and this gave them the advantage to understand the core problem of locals. These two inspiring women analyzed the sufferings and pain points of local merchants. After a lot of trials, they identified that the local merchants need digitalization, and they decided to bridge the gap between local merchants and digitalization. The continuous brainstorming sessions gave rise to Local Merchants Offers.
Also Read: Brainstorming Techniques for new startups
Local merchants are getting huge competition from big corporations, and this disadvantage gave rise to the LMO in January 2020, with the only focus to strengthen local merchants by providing the right set of resources and advanced technical support.
“LMO is an online store for local merchants. The application digitalizes the local shops and provides an online store supported by high-tech features and the latest technology”, Prassana Explains.
LMO is India’s first application that is designed for local merchants. It is made using advanced technologies that will help LMO to onboard online merchants and customers. Different from other platforms, LMO offers 160+ categories of listed businesses from restaurants to electronic items and from arts & classes to rental cars.
LMO provides some special features for service-based merchants, like appointment bookings. It breaks the cliche way of calling and provides a digital solution to book appointments. The best part of this feature is that users can choose appointment timings as per their convenience which is very rare in other service providers.
The companies know that their targeted audience are locals, and hence the user interface is made in 8 different local languages. By July 15th, they will introduce 3 popular languages in India to support every section of society.
Getting started with LMO is very easy for merchants. A user can sign-up while answering a few questions. After a successful sign-up, they need to verify their shop along with some necessary documents submission.
To submit the products, merchants can either submit the images of their items or they can easily select images from the inbuilt inventory. LMO has an inbuilt inventory with 14000+ images that cover the majority of the businesses. For a better onboarding experience, it also offers customer support. Merchants can directly call a given helpline number and describe their products and services, the rest of everything will be done by the team.
Merchants can also give various offers to attract customers; Flash Sales, Discounts, and Cashbacks.
“More quantities, more offers”
“Initially, before the release, we were planning to charge 4% commission from the merchants. But when we realized the fact that this pandemic affects most of the merchants very severely, then we changed our initial plan and started LMO with 0% commission”, Lakshmi says.
LMO went live on March 28th in both Andhra and Telangana, targeting 2000+ areas. The company was hit by the pandemic in its initial stages, and getting the resources and the right team became the key challenge for the founders. But the desire to support locals was so determined that the company manages to onboard 450+ merchants in just 50 days. Another challenge for the founders is to command the company on a defined budget and that too from their own pockets but the powerful ladies managed everything so well that the company is continuously seeing growth from the day it started.
Globally”Currently, we are targeting only Telangana and Andhra Pradesh because of the market familiarity. But our mission is to reach the entire India, and for this, by July 15th, we will launch LMO in the entire PAN India local market” Lakshmi Explains when asked about their future goals.
She further added “they will cover Tier 1, 2, 3, 4 cities of PAN India and release in at least one area of each district”.
Pandemic is tough for both; the company and employees, especially, when you are just starting. However, our team is continuously determined to achieve the goals we are targeting that results in a successful product launch. As the success of the company is not the sole result of the efforts of the founders. There is a dedicated team of hardworking employees that work behind the curtain to achieve this success.
Pragathi Attluri is the bridge between the technology of LMO and local merchants, which helped local merchants to understand and learn how to bring their business online. Her prior experience in management helped LMO into Andhra and Telangana Market, and her creative strategy resulted in bringing 400+ merchants in the first 50 days only.
Noel Sasikanth, a technology enthusiast, helped LMO as a more advanced online Platform for local Merchants. He plays a key role in designing, developing, and functionality of LMO. His dynamic nature helped to adopt new technologies, challenges faced during the initial days of the development.
Priyanka Jain is the creative pillar of the company. Her work in LMO is hard to describe in mere words. Her work is focused on creating Brand Images of the company. She also maintains the online presence of LMO which is the key factor in today’s era.
If you want to know more about our business and share the same vision as ours, then we are delighted to meet you. We are open to partnership opportunities through any means of support. For helping us to digitize local markets against big corporate giants, you can reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Let’s together empower the local market with the latest technology and strengthen them against the competition from corporate giants and global online marketing.