Defending margins & opening new markets with just a link
Businesses deploy a stack of specialised departments to deliver the end result. Payment Links, Instamojo's flagship product, solves the sales part of their stack. Millions of businesses use Payment Links to close sales on WhatsApp, SMS, websites, etc.
Fast-growing businesses found it difficult to scale payment links. With new processes and software, links would become a pain instead of a pain-killer. Payment Links needed to solve more problems.
It wasn't about adding features. Talking to our customers we learned that it's important:
- to allow their customers to calculate the price
- to look professional & trustworthy and give information before & after the payment
- to collect data with the payment, so other departments can begin their work. Eg: Shipping details, invoicing details, donor details, etc.
These things were critical for their entire business stack. (Read more on insights we gained from our user research.)
Data showed us that the following type of businesses were likely to face these problems:
- Small businesses selling services to consumers
- Businesses selling products & services to businesses (B2B)
It was a challenge to cover use cases and feature requests for a variety of industries. We made it as simple as we could:
Features that have an impact on the cash-flow come first when creating a Smart Link. For e.g.: businesses don't want to oversell inventory or run a discount for too long.
Everything else comes next and is optional.
The smart in Smart Links
Smart Links understand the pain you're trying to address. Consider data collection:
Using Smart Links, businesses can collect Shipping Address with the payment. This is a critical feature if you sell & ship products.
They can also collect business details for invoicing. Their customers get an option to add the shipping address, billing address, GSTN, and the company name while making a payment. By clicking one checkbox.
This saves hours of manual work.
Within 60 days of launch, 5% of our active user base adopted Smart Links with zero budget spent on marketing.
Smart Link users are the most engaged and are more likely to use our value-added services.
"I have a payment option on my website; I create Smart Links to give special treatment to my special and loyal customers."— A handicraft artist who uses Instamojo
A new market
Many API users started using Smart Links. We didn't expect that because API users could make these features within days.
After talking to them we realised they have a tech-team but no time to solve these problems. They'd rather have a payments expert handle these problems and focus on their core business.
Smart Links is an API alternative for small or non-tech businesses; it's an API companion for bigger and tech-enabled businesses.
A moat against margin erosion
- Payments is a low-margin business
- There are other market players (SaaS) solving these problems with standalone products
With Smart Links, businesses get these solutions practically for free. All they pay is 2% + Rs. 3 per transaction.
While other payment players in the market resort to reducing rates to acquire users—we continue to have pricing power.
Instamojo's pay-as-you-use model works better for small businesses.