Influencer-led 'live commerce' poised to grow exponentially in India

At present, video commerce is in a nascent stage in India but has a huge potential to reach a size of $4-5 billion by 2025, a study reveals

e4m by Kanchan Srivastava
Published: Nov 26, 2021 9:14 AM  | 4 min read

On Tuesday, Myntra became one of the first major e-commerce platforms in the country to adopt the influencer-driven live commerce platform ‘M-Live’ to expand its online business. M-Live on Myntra’s own shopping App allowed influencers and experts to host live video sessions for a host of fashion and beauty products and styling concepts curated by them. These sessions, available on the Myntra app, now enable viewers to shop instantly from the live stream, thereby facilitating a real-time engagement between consumers and brands.

Myntra’s data-backed understanding of customer buying trends, along with the influencers’ expertise and understanding of the domain, made this event quite successful. Walmart-owned Flipkart will also launch its live commerce platform soon. The e-commerce company had last month announced its partnership with homegrown short video platform Moj to enable video and Live Commerce experiences to engage the next 200 million e-commerce customers. 

American retailer Walmart has been investing in live shopping by hosting events across social platforms like TikTok and YouTube in a massive way. On November 28, it will debut Twitter’s first-ever shoppable live stream where users will be able to watch a live broadcast, shop the featured products and join the conversation around the event by posting tweets. 

Indian advertising is poised to make huge inroads into the live creator-driven commerce space especially for the younger population. Dr. Sandeep Goyal, MD, Rediffusion, says, “Live commerce has emerged as a fusion of physical and digital space where consumers can understand more about the products in live videos just like any normal shops and then can purchase by paying through mobile phones. They will not only get dynamic choices but also experience the joy of shopping at the comfort of their homes.”

Mansi Jain, GM and VP, Roposo and Commerce for Glance, echoes the sentiments. “Consumers today are likely to look for fun shopping experiences that go beyond transactional e-commerce. They are looking for experiences that feel real, authentic, and replicate the offline world. We are excited to explore this space deeper as we move forward,” she told e4M. Glance has recently acquired social commerce startup Shop101. 

No surprise that Google’s YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter are also experimenting with this format by conducting various live shopping events on their respective platforms in the United States.

Nascent stage in India but huge potential: Report

The live or video commerce segment in India is still in its nascent stage but has a huge potential to be the next big thing in the content space considering mobile and data penetration in the hinterland and Indians’ obsession with the video formats. It may reach $4-5 billion Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) by 2025, according to a research report released by Indian consultancy firm Zinnov in its whitepaper titled ‘What Is Shaping India’s Digital Economy: E=MC2. 

Mansi Jain, GM and VP, Roposo and Commerce for Glance, speculates that it can become a $40 billion opportunity by 2025. “Consumers are moving from traditional transactional e-commerce environments to one that incorporates social engagement, fun, and storytelling at the core of customer experience,” the firm noted. Other Indian e-commerce players which are using live commerce include Bulbul and Simsim. Simsim was acquired by YouTube in July this year.

Mobile shopping has set a trend

Mobile shopping has dramatically changed the digital ads segment. Traditional commerce is still popular but the ongoing pandemic has changed the consumers' behaviors totally. Like physical shops, they want authentic and entertaining experiences in a live manner, say sector experts.

Deepender Rana, Executive Managing Director- South Asia, Insights Division, Kantar, who had earlier served in China, says, “In China, many brands are using live commerce for quite some time. India too has a huge potential for this platform as we have a very strong celebrity culture. Celebs are using their own social media platforms to further the brands and monetise or join the live sessions of the brands where both can monetise. Both formats will continue to grow since mobile payment is rising fast.”

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