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The logos of mobile apps (REUTERS)
The logos of mobile apps (REUTERS)

Indian social apps make a dash for online commerce

  • Social commerce platforms are an easy way for traditional retailers to move online, since they are investment light, simple to use and have the ability to build trust with consumers
  • Roposo, is in talks with beta partners to integrate payments and logistics services on its platform

BENGALURU : Indian social media apps, including Roposo, MitronTV and Chingari, are tapping influencers on their platforms to enter the online commerce space in a bid to expand their revenue streams.

Short-video app Roposo, for example, plans to launch influencer-led commerce by the end of this year, said Naveen Tewari, founder and chief executive, InMobi, whose mobile content platform Glance owns Roposo.

Roposo, which has close to 100 million users and 55 million monthly active users, is in talks with beta partners to integrate payments and logistics services on its platform. Through this, it will allow creators and influencers to sell their products. Creators will also be able to upload product reviews, and brand partners can then list them on mainstream e-commerce sites.

“No one can build a large business in India by pegging their revenues on just advertisements. The second category of monetization for us will be what we call ‘influencer commerce’. On Roposo, we will be leveraging talent of our creators and influencers to convert them as entrepreneurs. In a post-pandemic world, efforts around retail are especially towards replicating offline commerce to online."

Tewari said Roposo is training and leveraging existing video creators for influencer-led commerce on its platform (for the launch), and is targeting 10-15 well-known celebrities for the same. The best performing and trending content and commerce on Roposo will get featured on Glance, which is InMobi’s lock-screen advertising platform. “Social commerce platforms are an easy way for traditional retailers to move online, since they are investment light, simple to use and have the ability to build trust with consumers," said Harsha Razdan, partner and head, consumer markets and internet business, KPMG India.

Chingari and Mitron are also in talks with brands to collaborate with creators on their platform to help build revenues, and are looking to enter the social commerce space.

“Chingari will foray into social commerce in the next 6-9 months. But as a company, we are focused on making it the best short-form video app platform. We see a lot of brand interest towards partnering with Chingari content creators. Gone are the days where brands used to collaborate only with the top Hollywood or cricket stars. This is a massive boost to both the content creators and the brand," said Sumit Ghosh, chief executive and co-founder, Chingari.

Mitron co-founder Shivank Agarwal said social media apps have an inherent advantage over e-commerce platforms, as users tend to spend more time on them, unlike shopping platforms, where users just log in to make a purchase.

Through interesting videos, social media apps can also build a differentiated online buying experience for users, Agarwal said.

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