E-commerce giant moves from a traditional vendor-dependent operating model to a hybrid hub and spoke model to scale merchant onboarding

E-commerce leader sought a Managed Services Provider who could become its largest partner in driving merchant growth on its platform

Merchant onboarding and engagement

Outperforming the competition in the cluttered e-commerce marketplace is no cakewalk. It requires e-commerce companies to not only onboard hundreds of thousands of merchants but also rapidly empower them to succeed on the platform. The lengthy and resource-intensive process involves identifying potential leads, setting up and launching merchants on the platform, and post-launch training and engagement to maximize sales.

Firstsource approached the e-commerce giant with a unique value proposition – using a hub and spoke model complemented by integrated digital portal and predictive analytics to accelerate merchant onboarding.


  • Time and resource intensive merchant onboarding and engagement process
  • Need to attract merchants and accelerate onboarding to outperform the competition
  • Revenue sharing project for Firstsource

Maintaining leadership position: Harnessing a hybrid model

Only a third of the country’s retailers currently have a presence on the e-commerce giant’s platform. With e-commerce poised to grow at a CAGR of 30% over the next years, the company decided to partner with Firstsource to attract high-value merchants and accelerate on-boarding.

The outcome-based model focuses on three critical pillars to maximize Gross Merchandise Sale value and drive growth for the e-commerce platform.

  • Lead generation – Identify potential sellers through secondary research, business listings, industry-specific databases, social media, referrals, and outbound calling – to build a healthy pipeline.
  • Seller launch – Ensure lead quality through predictive analytics, register sellers, and upload their product listings using an integrated digital portal.
  • Post-launch engagement – Track seller performance to maximize merchandise sale value, drive sponsored product and coupon adoption, order management, boost sales conversation, and merchant training, relationship management and support.

Solution Synopsis

  • Hub and spoke model to scale merchant onboarding
  • Integrated digital portal to seamlessly connect front and back office
  • Predictive analytics to nurture high value merchants based on 12 attributes

Outcome-based model delivers tangible results

With targets set at each stage of the funnel based on historical performance and benchmarking and focus on key drivers such as launch quality and price competitiveness, the Firstsource model delivered tangible results:

  • 300 sellers launched in a quarter, with 15% being high-value merchants
  • Improved GMS
  • Superior merchant support satisfaction rate

Next phase of the seller affiliate program will include:

  • Analytical models to help seller qualification framework and better lead sourcing
  • AI-powered operations to achieve 100% digitally enabled merchant onboarding

Business impact


of merchants launched were high value

Faster merchant onboarding

Higher merchant support satisfaction rate

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