“Consumers are moving towards discovery-based model of e-commerce”

Live commerce is the next frontier for the e-commerce industry. Besides being among the frontrunners in this space in India, Roposo was also the first to launch creator-led live entertainment commerce in October last year. This Indian video-sharing social media service, owned by Glance, a subsidiary of InMobi, provides a space where users can share posts related to different topics like food, comedy, music, poetry, fashion and travel. It is also a live stream shopping app that helps users find and own the latest trends from their favourite celebrities and influencers.

To power live entertainment and commerce for the Glance and Roposo platforms, Mansi Jain, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Roposo, spearheaded the acquisition of the Roposo platform in 2019, followed by the acquisition of full-stack e-commerce platform Shop101 in 2021. In the same year, she oversaw the launch of Glance Collective, a JV between Glance/ Roposo and Collective Artist Network, India’s largest talent marketplace.

In conversation with Adgully, Mansi Jain, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Roposo speaks at length about how live commerce is the future, how is it beneficial for brands and how has it positively impacted Roposo’s DAU & MAU.

How do live commerce platforms like Roposo help D2C brands to launch their brands?

We were ahead of the curve in realising the potential of live creator-driven commerce in the country and were the first to launch creator-led live entertainment commerce in October last year. The acquisition of Shop 101, the Glance Collective JV and the investment in Collective Artists Network were the initial steps towards this.

Shop 101 is deeply integrated within Roposo and powers the entire commerce proposition with its technology, comprehensive supply chain infrastructure and vast experience in managing end-to-end digital shopping. Our partnership with Collective Artists Network also helps ensure that the best of commerce creators and influencers are enhancing the D2C brand experience for the users through live commerce.

Through the Glance Collective JV, we at Roposo also co-create and co-own D2C brands with several top celebrities and leading creators. These are original D2C labels that reflect the ethos and identity of the celebrity or creator, and enable entrepreneurial opportunities for them, wherein they go beyond just endorsing brands. For example, we launched EK with Ekta Kapoor in the home décor, furnishings and wellness accessories space, DCRAF with Rana Daggubati in the men’s grooming category, and KRA with BeYouNick (aka Nikunj Lotia) which is a limited-edition, hyped street wear brand. We are set to co-create and launch many more of such original celebrity and creator partnered D2C brands in the coming months.

How does Roposo provide an edge over other platforms and help brands build more affinity within users? Is there any statistics that is provided by the platform for the users?

For D2C brands to be successful, they need innovative ways to reach, engage and interact with their consumers. There has also been a significant shift in terms of who consumers listen to. Gen Z, and even millennials, no longer trust traditional advertising, and prefer social media to guide their buying decisions. Given Roposo is a creator-led live entertainment commerce platform, we think it’s a ‘must have’ for D2C brands, where they can be discovered by millions. It also contributes to driving transactions and increasing an impulse purchase intent in consumers thanks to products recommended by their favourite creators, adding a layer of credibility. Roposo enables D2C labels to create brand value, affinity and loyalty amongst its users as it brings these D2C brands and products directly to the consumer in a fun and entertaining way, driven by their trust in the creator or celebrity.

From a user experience standpoint, users discover and buy some of the most interesting products out there via interactive livestreams on Roposo, conducted by highly skilled creators. This goes beyond social commerce, and replicates the offline feeling of real-time, real-life shopping, virtually. Further, users can gift their favourite live creators’ digital presents like stickers, tips, etc., making live streams more interactive, while it benefits brands and helps creators monetise.

We were the first to launch creator-led live commerce in the country, so we enjoy a first mover’s advantage. The 250-plus D2C brands across categories on Roposo can leverage not only its 30 million monthly active users, but also stand to gain through lock screen platform Glance’s reach of 173 million user base. All live commerce creator shows that are streamed on Roposo are simulcasted on Glance, enabling significant scale for them. This has increased user engagement levels as millions are experiencing live commerce on Glance as well.

Beyond the entire end-to-end commerce framework from discovery to delivery, we also handle aspects like marketing and sales for these brands. So all in all, we have a unique business model with our celebrity and creator-led D2C brands that we believe no one else in the country is doing. We are receiving a great response from consumers and industry alike, so we are on the right track.

How has the live commerce industry evolved in the past few 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. There has been a notable change in consumer behaviour. Preference has been shifting from the traditional to digital shopping. Even within online shopping, there is an increasing demand for more authentic, real-world-like experiences. Consumers are seen to be moving away from the intent-based model of e-commerce to a discovery-based model. Gen-Z and millennials are turning to their favourite social media influencers to guide their buying decisions in a fun and entertaining way. Creator-led, live entertainment commerce has been able to fill the gaps by offering a combination of real-time, entertaining, engaging shopping experiences, led by creators.

Globally, this model has seen success in countries such as China, where it accounts for 20-25% of the e-commerce market. The US, and now even South East Asia has picked up considerably. It is now on the rise in India as well, and we expect to see this upward trajectory continue over the coming years. We launched India’s first destination for creator-led, live entertainment shopping, and there have been a lot of major players entering this space in the past few months as well.

How has live commerce positively impacted Roposo’s DAU and MAU?

We have received a great response ever since we launched creator-led live commerce last year. Beyond metros, we have also got good traction from cities like Surat and Indore buying from various brands on Roposo through the creator live commerce streams. Fashion & beauty is one of our top performing categories. We are growing in our creator base with almost 500 creators on Roposo currently and our aim is to groom and focus on the top 1,000 live commerce creators of the country. Since live commerce is still nascent in India and is in a habit-forming stage for most users, it is still early for us to talk about specific numbers. However, we are seeing an upward trend and are extremely excited about where we are going.


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