Although still at a nascent stage live commerce is growing rapidly in India. According to a report, India’s live commerce is expected to clock a GMV (gross merchandise value) of $ 4-5 billion by 2025.
BestMediaInfo.com spoke to Mansi Jain, GM and VP, Roposo, one of the first platforms in India to enter the social and live commerce space about their future plans.
Roposo was earlier a short-video app that was acquired by Glance in 2019. Jain revealed that ever since they acquired Roposo they wanted to turn it into a social commerce space.
“The TikTok ban in India that led to many homegrown players entering the short video space, accelerated our journey to a certain extent. It gave us a stronger incentive to transition to social commerce as well. This reflects in our decision of acquiring Shop 101, enter into the Glance Collective JV (joint venture) and our investment in Collective Artists Network. The live creator-led commerce model has already proven to be successful in some global markets, where creators are driving most of the commerce, and there is immense potential for it in India with the country’s online and mobile commerce space being ripe for disruption,” Jain said.
“India witnessed a big shift in consumptions patterns, with Gen Z or ‘Gen Now’ increasingly basing buying decisions on authenticity and trust versus just brand ambassadors endorsing products. Creator-led live commerce has been a way to fulfil this demand, and we wanted to be at the forefront of it in India,” added Jain.
She also revealed that they plan to launch digital commerce on the platform for micro-transactions to the creators coming from audiences directly. “A live streamer can conduct live masterclasses where they could charge users a fee through a paywall - whether it is a fashion creator going live and launching her latest collection of the season or a rapper performing live in a virtual concert. Users can gift their favourite Live creators’ digital products like stickers, tips, etc as well.”
“On the commerce front, we hope to change the paradigm of commerce and shopping in India. We will stay focused on scaling our partnerships with creator-driven direct-to-consumer brands and co-create some of our own brands with celebrities and creators to drive more transactions on the platform. We plan to onboard some of the country’s leading digital creators across fashion, beauty, lifestyle, health, fitness, comedy, music, etc. We also plan to help groom the top 1000 Live commerce creators in the country enabling them to establish their own identity firmly in this rapidly evolving space. As we grow, we aim to multiply our reach while integrating deeply with the lock screen content platform Glance as well. Over the coming quarters, we intend to be present in Southeast Asia and the US,” said Jain.
Asked about the kind of returns creators can expect with Roposo, she said, “The creator’s earnings may vary based on various categories of products and its margins. With respect to revenue share, there is potential for creators, Roposo and the brand to earn on the live commerce transaction. We also co-create D2C brands across categories with top creators which can be discovered on Roposo and lock screen content platform Glance. Commerce transactions will be the dominant or the core business model for our creators, accounting for a majority of their revenue. We are continuously working with brands to understand how to integrate brands further deeply on the platform.”
She stated that the success of the creator economy is largely dependent on providing creators/live streamers with sustainable business models. On Roposo, the creators can endorse more than 250 brands that they have partnered with through their own pop stores and live streams.
On challenges and competition
Myntra, an e-commerce platform has also been actively focusing on social and live commerce. They have launched a number of initiatives like Myntra Studio and Myntra Squad to empower the space.
Speaking about how they are dealing with the growing competition, Jain said they have had the first-mover advantage and the consumer’s journey coupled with the massive scale across Glance and Roposo will be their USP.
According to several industry conversations, one of the big challenges when it comes to social commerce in India is that despite the app, the transactions happen through several pages and is a long and time-taking process. Meanwhile, for some countries like South Korea and China, the entire transaction happens on a single page within a few seconds.
Jain said they are working towards solving this. “Last year our goal was to focus on transactional users, given that it is key for us now not just to have consumers purely from one content consumption standpoint, but be able to drive the entire user journey from consumption to discovery to transactions. We acquired the full-stack e-commerce platform ‘Shop 101’ last year to power the commerce framework and infrastructure for Roposo’s live commerce proposition. Our commerce framework is integrated to ensure a seamless user experience, so the entire end-to-end transaction process, from discovery to fulfilment, takes place on Roposo itself. “
The platform is also increasingly focusing on live entertainment on the app to target consumers. “We are building Roposo to be the number one destination for live entertainment and commerce, which includes some of the biggest live music and pop culture performances. Roposo is becoming a launch platform for the music fraternity, both independent artists and music labels, to promote their new releases. In last two months alone, we have promoted releases for 17 music partners, including international artists like HRVY,” added Jain.
Currently, they have 30 million monthly active users, approximately 500 creators and almost 250 D2C brands on the platform. In November 2021, they launched their first in-house brand ‘Ek’ and more such brands will be launched soon, Jain revealed. “We launched creator-led Live entertainment commerce on Roposo in October 2021, and have been seeing good engagement ever since. It is still early days though and this is a new format being explored both on the consumer and creator side so our efforts are aligned with offering the best shopping and monetisation experiences respectively as we move forward.”