‘Consumer preferences evolving from intent-led e-commerce to discovery shopping’

Roposo VP Abhinav Jain tells e4m that based on global trends live commerce is expected to make up 10-15% of the country’s e-commerce GMV in 2 years

e4m by Javed Farooqui
Published: Jul 28, 2022 8:38 AM  | 8 min read
Roposo

Live commerce entertainment platform Roposo's key focus this year will be to enhance the entire user journey from consumption to discovery. The platform is also aiming to launch 3 to 4 more original D2C brands with some top celebrities and creators. Thanks to its integration with the Glance lock screen, its active user base is close to 50 million.

In an interaction with e4m, Roposo VP Abhinav Jain shared more on the progress made by Roposo since its transition to live entertainment commerce space and the expansion plans for the platform.

Excerpts:

What kind of progress has Roposo made since transitioning to a creator-led live entertainment commerce platform?

As India’s first creator-led live entertainment commerce platform, Roposo has been the frontrunner in the country’s live commerce industry, bringing consumers, creators, and brands ground-breaking value propositions.

Some of the strategic investments that we made early on have enabled us to integrate and deliver top-shelf live shopping and entertainment experiences in a matter of months since our launch in October 2021. Shop101, a full stack e-commerce platform that we acquired a year ago, has powered the rapid deployment of a user-centric, seamless discovery to delivery commerce framework on Roposo. Our investment into Collective Artists Network (CAN), India’s largest talent management network, has enabled us to onboard some of India’s most loved stars and creators to bring consumers some of India’s best live, interactive content. The creation of Glance Collective, a joint venture company between Glance and CAN, has led to the launch of multiple original D2C labels, co-created by us with leading celebrities and creators in India.

In these past three quarters, we have also invested in our growing creator community, with a deep focus on engendering ‘creator-preunership’. Roposo now has close to 500 creators across live entertainment and live commerce in categories such as fashion and beauty, health & fitness, electronics, home décor, lifestyle, and more. Our live commerce creators choose from over 350 plus partner brands to monetize through engaging content on their own unique virtual pop stores. They have great economic opportunities through tri-party revenue share partnerships between the platform, creator, and brand. They also have a great opportunity to build and scale their individual presence and identity, given that they can potentially reach over 200 million users across Glance and Roposo. All live entertainment and live commerce on the Glance lock screen comes from Roposo at present.

How big is the live commerce space in India and what are the key factors driving its growth?

According to a third-party report, India’s live commerce space is expected to clock a GMV (gross merchandise value) of $4-5 billion by 2025 with consumers adopting new ways to buy items online through creator-led live entertainment commerce applications like Roposo. Globally, live entertainment commerce has seen great success, with some live streamers becoming household names and celebrities in their own right. The industry in India is still nascent compared to other markets, but we believe that there is tremendous potential that is yet to be harnessed. Based on global trends, we expect live commerce to make up 10-15% of the country’s e-commerce GMV in the next two years.

With faster internet and rising usage of smartphones, India has emerged as a mobile-first economy. This combined with the pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns accelerated the rise of social media, with buying increasingly taking place on digital platforms rather than through traditional retail outlets. Consumer preferences are evolving from traditional intent-led e-commerce to discovery shopping as younger audiences tend to want more innovative ways to purchase. Who consumers take recommendations from has also changed, especially for the GenZ. They now often trust their favourite digital influencers to recommend products and are more impulsive in their buying patterns.

Some of the major factors that drive commerce on live/video apps include ease of discovering brands, ease of payments, trust in the seller, and entertainment combined with shopping.

What are your international expansion plans?

We plan to be present in all markets where Glance is. However, there is no definitive timeline that we can share on this expansion.  We will make those announcements at the right time.

How do you plan to scale up the platform going forward?

One of Roposo’s biggest advantages with respect to scale is our integration with Glance. As we grow, we aim to multiply our reach through the Glance Lock Screen. This year our goal is to be able to drive and enhance the entire user journey from consumption to discovery. We have plans to augment our partnerships with creator-driven direct-to-consumer brands on Roposo as well. Roposo is the platform of choice for live entertainment commerce – for both users and creators and we expect many more collaborations on the entertainment front with more artists and music creators going forward.

How has the integration with Glance lock screen helped Roposo to grow its reach?

Roposo is deeply integrated with the Glance lock screen. All the live entertainment and live commerce content on Glance is enabled and powered by Roposo, and it has a dedicated tab on the Glance lock screen experience as well. We also have the Roposo app that is available to download on Android and IoS. It gives us a combined reach of millions of active users, which provides us with very differentiated access to consumers. On the other hand, with the integration, Glance leverages Roposo’s talented creator ecosystem as well as its commerce and distribution power to disrupt the space. A user can view any Roposo creator live on Glance as well and can even make a commerce transaction via Roposo.

How many users do you have on the platform and what are the key behavioural patterns that you have observed?

We have received a great response ever since we launched creator-led live commerce last year. If we consider Roposo on the Glance lock screen along with the Roposo app, we have close to 50 million active users. We are deeply integrated with Glance and the focus is to increase the base of transacting users on both Glance and Roposo. Largely, our users are in the age bracket of 18-30, but this is not a strict definition. We define our core target group as ‘Gen Now’. These are the kinds of users who are spontaneous, impulsive, and highly connected to experiences and trends that are in the moment. This is also the group that lives online the most (they are digital natives) and is increasingly looking for online experiences, including shopping, to be more immersive and real.

 

From a geographic perspective, a majority of our consumers tend to be urban audiences from tier 1 and 2 cities. We see good traction beyond metros, from cities such as Surat and Indore. Typically, the platform has about 40 per cent women and 60 per cent male users.  Live commerce is at a habit-forming stage for most users in India, so it’s still early for us to talk about specifics. However, we are seeing a steady uptick in interaction, engagement, and transaction.

How many digital creators have you onboarded across categories?

We work with around 500 creators across live entertainment and live commerce. From fresh to famous faces, we have a diverse set of live streamers creating content for us. Most of these are in live events in fashion and beauty, which are some of Roposo’s most loved categories. We also forge live streaming partnerships with leading pop culture events. This enables our users to enjoy some of India’s popular events and shows from the comfort of their homes in real-time. Our state-of-the-art interactivity makes the experience all the more real.

We are striving to form meaningful partnerships within the creator network with the aim of bringing top creators and celebrities on board. Live entertainment and live commerce are all about the top 1000 - 2000 streamers who can drive engagement and transactions. They need to be absolute experts in their field, whether it is fashion, gaming, music, beauty, gadgets, or home décor space to be able to inspire transactions. In the near future, we aim to groom and invest in the top 1000 live streamers of the country.

Roposo had plans to launch hundreds of creator-driven direct-to-consumer brands. How many brands have you launched so far and what's the target for 2022?

 Roposo co-creates original D2C labels with leading celebrities and creators in India under the Glance Collective umbrella. Currently, our goal is to launch one hundred such brands. The first brand we launched as part of this was EK with Ektaa R Kapoor in the home décor, furnishings, and wellness accessories space. The brand also extended its offerings to ethnic wear apparel this year. We also launched KRA with BeYouNick (aka Nikunj Lotia) which is a limited-edition, hyped streetwear brand in the same year. In 2022, we launched DCRAF with Rana Daggubati in the men’s grooming category.

The products from these brands can be discovered on Roposo and Glance and are also available for purchase on different e-commerce portals, and in the near future, in select retail outlets as well. In 2022, we are aiming to launch around 3-4 more such original D2C brands with some top celebrities and creators across different categories. Talks on the same are on and you will hear from us on that as and when we are ready to launch these brands in the market.

Our co-created original labels and products are carefully curated to reflect the ethos and identity of the celebrity or creator and become an extension of who they are. The product and brand category also stems from this same thought.

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