To become an online merchant the very first step is choosing the right platform at the right price – Lakshmi Prabhala, LMO, Full Interview

Ms.Lakshmi Prabhala, Co-Founder of LMO

Ms.Lakshmi Prabhala, Co-Founder of LMO

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Founded in 2020, LMO is a new-age E-commerce Store that is designed to support local merchants. As we know that local merchants do not have access to high-tech knowledge, skills, and huge finance, and in such situations, it is difficult for them to stand firm against corporate giants. To strengthen and support local merchants, LMO provides easy-to-use features and helps them to transform their previous business model. Ms.Lakshmi Prabhala, the Co-Founder of LMO was in conversation with team IT-Voice recently. Here is a transcript of the brief interaction.

Prateek: What is the vision behind LMO?

Lakshmi Prabhala: 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. On other hand, Local merchants do not have upgraded technical knowledge, nor do they have a financial backup, due to which their sales, business, and growth are limited.

LMO’s vision is to support and strengthen local merchants in India, it comes with a solution that allows merchants to bring their shops online.

Prateek: What are some of the smart strategies for becoming an online merchant?

Lakshmi Prabhala: To become an online merchant the very first step is choosing the right platform at the right price. We know that local merchants are not very familiar with high-tech knowledge and advanced tools so it becomes very important to select a platform that is easy to use and provides complete support in the journey. Another important aspect is finance. Huge corporations charge a very high commission from merchants so it becomes a barrier for most of the merchants. To tackle this problem, merchants need a platform that is affordable and under thier budget.

Prateek: How E-commerce is a plan B for Indian Local Merchants?

Lakshmi Prabhala: Local merchants are earning a decent amount for livelihood from their physical shops but their earnings and reach have always been limited. The recent pandemic also stresses the loopholes in their current business model. Their current way of doing business is not by the latest technology. In such situations, E-commerce is a plan B for Indian Local Merchants. Nowadays, with the help of various platforms like LMO, they can run their online business easily without any prior technical knowledge and huge finances.

Prateek: What are some of the challenges for DIY platforms in tier 2 and 3 cities?

Lakshmi Prabhala: The biggest challenge in tier 2 and 3 cities is to break the stereotypes. Merchants are very comfortable with their normal business model. They believe this is sufficient, they don’t need anything extra. Changing this mindset is very challenging. We have to make them realize that they can make it big, and online presence is the future of the world.

Prateek: Explain LMO’s business model and its unique features.

Lakshmi Prabhala: Unique features of LMO are listed below:

  • Covers more than 160+ business categories from a grocery store to a boutique. From a photographer to a salon. You will get everything in one application.
  • Provide its services in 12 different local languages.
  • Gives inbuilt inventory support which has more than 14000+ inventory images.
  • Merchants can generate flash sales, combo offers, bulk offers, discounts, and cash-backs.
  • DoorBuster is LMO’s unique type offer in which merchants can sell their products at a price equal to the month number and date. Eg: On 10th October, you can buy everything for Rs.10 And this offer will continue every month. On 11th November, everything will be for Rs. 11.
  • Specific features for specific types of categories. Like doctor’s appointment booking or hotel room reservation.

Business model

LMO has two applications. One for merchants and one for customers. LMO Merchant application has two versions premium and freemium. In the freemium version, features are limited. Here, merchants can sell online seamlessly without prior technical knowledge and huge finance. LMO customer application has two versions premium and freemium. In the freemium version, features are limited. It presents a one-stop destination for customers. You don’t need multiple applications, a single application can help you in multiple ways.

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