Material Depot for Business

Opening the supply side of Material Depot with vendors, manufacturers and suppliers through an app that helps them bid & fulfil orders.

A snapshot of the Material Depot for Business app

Fact Sheet

What’s Material Depot for Business?

The following project was an experiment that began mid-April and evolved into a crucial business front in the Material Depot ecosystem of Apps. Learn more about Material Depot here.

'Material Depot for Business' is the vendor side of Material Depot website, where it helps them 1. Access a higher level of information of 2. What leads they're receiving, 3. Understanding their popular products, managing bid requests and lastly the purchase orders placed with them.

The app currently sits as a web-app integrated into our existing android app and opens a customized experience of Material Depot tailored for brands, material businesses and vendors.

The original manufacturer signup that barely got us brands in Material Depot 1.0 website footer.

Screenshots of competing websites - IBO, Youcraft, Indiamart & Wishkarma.

How to find businesses?

Everything on Material Depot so far has been about architects (consumer side). How do we get the vendor experience right so that the loop is complete? The idea was to complete this circle where there is a supply side that uploads/fulfils products that can bring in new products every day and architects/homeowners who discover and use them.

Directory for architects

How project came to existence

Material Depot app has multiple moving parts, and only users will not be enough to run it. The first phase of uploading products used many methods including mining other websites, screening PDF catalogs manually and asking brands to give their dumps directly. It will require much more active touch points to actually get materials and construction products on a real time basis.

*It is important to note that building material products come to life and expire almost every day. And there are 100's of catalog products that discontinue leading to time waste in pursuing them. These two objective brought vendor app to come to life.


The first phase of the project started in May '22, where we were thinking of ways to get contacts actively for vendors. The design was intended to be kept as simple as possible while using some custom elements. Functionality was the key. The second phase of the product was to actively onboard them through the main Material Depot app experience.


1 Design Lead (Me), 1 Full stack developer (Amit)1 Front End (Yogi) and 2 Tech Interns (Aryaman & Jai)

My role and responsibilities

1. The pitch for the app and to make it stand separate from Material Depot. Aspirational enough for people to sign up at the same time doesn't confuse messages.

2. Create very simple and straightforward flows for low-tech users in supplier-based construction industry roles.

3. Fields should be very tailored according to the vendors we are looking for - Usability a/b testing. Make the most of the leads.

4. Matching marketing efforts to ensure we get sufficient leads to test this in two weeks.

5. Developing enough data for these to evolve into a successful bidding platform.

Target User Group / Attributes

The target users are vendors, suppliers, manufacturers and sales reps. This user group is not very tech-enabled and mostly like to operate in phone calls and WhatsApp messages. Something simple will always be appreciated.

Brainstorming and Research

The first part of exercise is tailored around lead generation first and then enabling action by those leads in the form of bids. A very well-known platform is India Mart known to manage leads and drive actions in a similar sense. The vendor app in a way is a direct competitor to them in the construction materials market.

There are several other bidding platforms like Tender Tiger, Bids, and Procore, that are very similar to the kind of approach we are taking except for the fact that the platforms are mostly B2B or B2C.

With Material Depot and Material Depot for Business, we are taking a two-pronged approach by bringing a new B2B2C mode of making construction deals happen.


The audience we are running after don't like typing or logging data in general. Any leads or bid management steps should be as complicated otherwise there would be significant user drops across the experience leading to more bleed.

Opportunity is the amount of people vs transaction value is very high. We can use some methods of manual onboarding to ensure users are retained while perfecting the product. A new customer success team will be set up for this to work as well.

Design principles

Understanding that our target user group only uses very basic form of tech, the principal is to keep our user journeys as short and uncomplicated as possible. In addition to that, we'll extensively use customer support to not only help them complete user journeys but take user feedback as well.

Phase 1: Finding vendors

The design included 3 elements:

  1. The form + Branding + Campaigns: The form was crafted in a responsive manner with addressing Material UI framework.

  2. The app: The app was bifurcated into two parts for accommodating this use case.

  3. Three marketing campaigns with audiences. The first one was getting initial registrations.

Phase one - Design outcomes

The lead generation form and its various screens and components.

The 4 steps of lead-gen forms.

Experimentation and optimizing forms for more effectiveness.


Marketing campaigns and ads for the first phase of MD for Business.

Experimenting with several adsets to see which ad does better.

Experimenting with languages and different audiences to improve UAC for directory and increase lead quality.

Phase 1: Impact

Till 1st of February Material Depot only had about ~100 brands listed, this exercise got us more than 500+ brands listed by the end of June with over 5000+ professionals within 60 days of launch.

Old brand index

New brand index with 600+ brands

Here's how the numbers look so far

Here's how the results looked like.

Phase 2: Engaging vendors

While we have the database growing for various vendors and suppliers. The promise however is to bring them leads from architects using Material Depot.

The next step in this journey was to build an experience where vendors can meaningfully engage with architects requesting prices or fulfil bids. Here's how we bridged that gap online.

How bidding looks like online?

Here's how the results looked like


Here's how the results looked like

Illustration: Scans of wireframe of vendor app

How it connects to platform

Here's how the results looked like

Illustration: How it connects to the main site.

Pre-final screens

Here's how the results looked like

Onboarding to bifurcation in vendor side of the app.

Concept onboarding flow with store setup screen

Types of cards developed for the bids page - and the final card that made it to the design.

Pre-final 'My orders' page.

Prefinal catalogs section.

A snapshot of the app as seen on desktop on