Earlier this week, Reliance Industries Limited’s digital arm Jio Platforms Limited announced a $200 million investment in lock-screen platform Glance.
Akash Ambani, director of Jio Platforms, said in a statement that Glance had unlocked the power of the lock screen for experiencing the internet, live content, creator-driven entertainment, commerce and gaming.
Live commerce combines the instant purchase of a featured product and audience participation through a chat function or reaction button. Social commerce involves social media and online media that supports social interaction, and user contributions to assist online buying and selling.
Glance’s short-video platform Roposo. which has over 30 million active users, entered the live commerce space in October last year. In June 2021, Glance acquired e-commerce platform Shop101.
Consumers in India are just starting to experience live commerce but the initial response to the phenomenon has been encouraging, said Mansi Jain, Vice President and General Manager of Roposo.
"Currently, categories like lifestyle, fashion, beauty, health and fitness, electronic accessories are popular on Roposo for commerce. We have close to 500 direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands across most of these segments," Jain told Moneycontrol.
She added that according to trends seen globally, and especially in geographies like China and North America, live commerce had become a phenomenal success.
Next big hub of live commerce?
"While it is at a nascent stage in the country (India), we expect India to become the next big hub for live commerce," Jain added.
According to a report by Accenture, Why Shopping’s Set for a Social Revolution, India’s social commerce market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 59 percent from 2021 to 2025.
The report added that 79% of those surveyed in India had confirmed using social commerce to make at least one purchase in the past year.
A report by RedSeer Consulting predicts that the gross merchandise value of live commerce through short videos would touch $5 billion in India by 2025 and that social commerce is estimated to grab 5 percent of the Indian e-commerce market.
A report by Bain and Company projects social commerce in India to reach $70 billion by 2030.
The video or live shopping market has seen the entry of many entities in the past two years. In November 2021, Flipkart's online fashion and lifestyle platform Myntra launched live video streaming and live commerce platform M-Live with the aim of producing around 1,000 hours of live video content per month.
The platform is expecting social commerce to engage about 50 percent of its monthly active users in the next 3-4 years.
Roposo's Jain pointed out that conversion rates of footfalls on live commerce sites into sales was 4 - 5x higher than those on regular e-commerce sites.
One of the first players in the live/social commerce space, Trell, claims to be growing at more than 100 percent in online transactions every month.
"At the moment, we are home to a healthy mix of over 1,000 D2C, legacy, regional and international brands," said Pulkit Agrawal, CEO and co-founder.
The platform in December launched a sale where content creators drove a 300 percent increase in online sales through personalised content and recommendations of key brands that participated in the event, said Agrawal.
Small cities the big drivers
"During the sale, over 75 percent shoppers came in from Bhopal, Thane, Jaipur, Nagpur, Beed, Jalgaon, Nashik, Patna, Bardhaman, Ahmednagar, Dhanbad, Ahmedabad, Kolhapur, Varanasi and Raipur among other Tier 2, Tier 3 cities," he added.
US-based live-streaming and short-form video platform Firework, which entered India in 2019, is also betting on shoppable content.
"Firework has done over 25 live streams so far. We have been able to sell a sizeable amount. We did a gifting live stream where 30 products were being sold," Sunil Nair, the India CEO of Firework, told Moneycontrol in a previous interview.
Short-video platform Chingari, which tied up with e-commerce platform Amazon in February last year, is eyeing annual revenue of $100 million in the next two years from its video commerce offering, according to reports.
Experts say video commerce will scale rapidly this year.
"2021 saw platforms iterate and evolve their commerce offerings into real plays. These offerings are expected to scale rapidly in 2022 and become a very important channel for high engagement categories," said Deepak Gupta, founding partner, WEH Ventures.
Trell's Agrawal is looking at crossing 100 million active users and clocking over $500 million in gross merchandise value over the next 18 months.
He said the platform will be enabling social commerce for over 3,000 brands across the platform.
Consuming the snackable video
Trell also plans to add more tools to enhance monetisation opportunities for creators. "Today, less than 3,000 creators in the Indian ecosystem earn upwards of Rs 40,000 a month," he said.
Anup Jain, Managing Partner of Orios Venture Partners, said creators were mini internet celebrities who had sticky followers.
"These followers consume the snackable video periodically to entertain themselves and even learn new things in a fun way. This has switched D2C brands and legacy brands to use these creators as channels for driving greater awareness, loyalty or engagement in a deeper way than a traditional TV commercial."
Even Roposo in 2022 will be focusing on creators as the platform plans to help groom the top 100 live commerce creators in India."We expect to see consumers building a habit for live commerce at a faster pace and expect live commerce to pick up in a big way over the coming quarters," Mansi Jain said.