Meesho causes seller protests by changing return policies in 2023
Sellers are against the e-commerce platform Meesho’s attempt to tighten product returns. The information is based on good sources. These sellers, especially in Surat, considered one of the largest hubs for fashion and apparel merchants had given negative reviews and ratings on the application for the last few weeks. They have even stopped processing orders throughout the platforms based on conversations with merchants.
Meesho had gone with reforms to bring a change in the product return policy, which is followed by feedback from the third-party logistic partners. The returns consist of a massive cost area for the e0commerce platforms in India as the company continues with the logistics expenditure.
The startup, which has come into operation recently deals with low-priced apparel, home, and lifestyle commodities. The company has initiated a change in the return policy at the same time when the companies are cutting costs because of a decline in funding.
Meesho has tried to reduce operating costs and save cash. The platform plans to increase by at least 1 billion USD during the last year, but the goal did not materialize because for multiple reasons that include a mismatch in valuations.
Meesho has visualized a decrease in the number of sales after a bump-up festive month during the previous year. Other e-commerce platforms, including Flipkart and Amazon, have observed a decline in profits over several weeks.
Based on the information sourced from multiple e-commerce industry executives, e-tailors have observed a periodic gain in online sales that has been continuing in the Republic day sales, but the numbers have not been yet revealed.
The spokesperson of Meesho has declined to reveal the latest figures on the number of sales.
The SoftBank-managed platform has undergone many internal control changes that include technical changes, the production of new barcodes, and the feature for video verification of the product after packaging. The initiative was started after the Bengaluru-based startup started to impose thorough checks on the returned products at the beginning of the year.
Meesho’s attempt to change return policies: Here’s why
The initiatives have resulted in the widespread misutilization of the old return policy, as stated by the executives from the third-party logistic companies.
Meesho previously used to compensate the sellers for the products returned by the customers.
Previously, Meesho went easy with the returns, and most of the time- knowing that a large volume of products was being returned would not accept the return and will not accept the products after a stipulated period.
But, the processes are changing, and the sellers are disappointed by the change in decisions. Meesho had to change the processes as it resulted in many losses for them eventually.
The returns are more evident in the fashion category, where every one out of four orders is returned. Meesho was trying to change the scheme by offering the sellers and customers to buy or sell a product at a discounted price without returning it. The company spokesperson has stated in a statement that Meesho’s policies related to returns are fair and competitive, and third-party logistic partners do not have any interference in it.
The recent changes in the policy have increased the transparency in the logistics chain and provided power to the sellers. It is because the sellers have the chances to choose the preferred courier partners for the order returns according to their needs. Any policy change will require to be assessed vigorously, and all the changes are made to ensure a better user and seller experience throughout Meesho.
Meesho’s losses have increased to eight times, accounting for a valuation of 3247 crores INR in the fiscal year 22. Logistics and fulfillment costs, which is the largest expenditure have increased to a fold of 4.4.
There are many problems in implementing the technical changes as the sellers have mentioned that they have not yet received compensation after receiving damaged products from the customers.
Meesho has mentioned to the sellers that once the product has been disposed of by the delivery partner, it will be considered a zero-settlement policy.
The distressed sellers have formed Whatsapp groups against Meesho. A Meesho seller from Punjab has opened up, saying that the new policies are difficult and that h is making losses now. Despite showing the required evidence, Messjo is declining the refunds.
The sellers have reported a decrease in sales during the festive period, while some have experienced a 50 percent decrease in sales year on year.
Meesho has spent on advertisements. Despite that, the sales have dropped significantly.
Meesho’s progress has been considered unstable. It received a massive boom in funding during 2021 as it become famous as the reseller model of deals in fashion and other apparel through third-party sellers in India’s smaller cities.
But, the company has changed its positioning, and the target has shifted to the end consumers. This step has to caused the e-commerce platform to invest carefully in customer acquisition as it competed with the interests of Flipkart and Amazon.
edited and proofread by nikita sharma