Riding largely on discounted pricing, e-commerce sensed the pulse of consumer shopping – where to get something cheapest and most conveniently – and successfully, in no time, made e-shopping a natural extension of traditional shopping. To push this shopping experience to the next level, some e-commerce platforms are now prefixing the word “social” to shopping. Indiaretailing spoke with Maneesh Madambath, co-founder of one such social shopping platform, Klip.in, to understand the future of social shopping trends in India.
Klip claims to be a social shopping platform. In what ways do you embed ‘social’ in shopping?
Well, for us, social does not mean simply integrating commerce on Facebook or Twitter. What makes Klip social is that any user who signs up on Klip gets a unique and personal shopping feed.
To understand how we make shopping social, one just needs to look at other social networks and platforms. What makes Facebook social? It’s not just the network, but that any update from people in your network comes to you, instead of you calling up all your friends to know what is going on in their lives. With Twitter, news that is important to you comes to you, instead of you having to go and find out what’s going on around the world. Similarly, on Klip we bring the most happening fashion products online relevant to your taste to your Klip feed every time you open our app or login to our site. And much like everyone’s Facebook and Twitter feeds are unique and personal, everyone’s Klip feed is also unique and personalized.
What are the social shopping features on Klip.in?
Talking purely about features, the ones that make us inherently social are:
Feature to Follow your favourite online stores pages (We have users who follow up to 80-100 stores on Klip)
Feature to Following other users who like similar things as you do
Ability to complete a feedback loop by liking other user’s Klipboards
Industry insiders say social shopping is the next level of e-commerce. What’s your take?
In our view, this step is already taken. Consumers are already switching to platforms where the product comes to them instead of them having to go hunt them down. A segment going social is usually a natural fall out of information overload. Going social helps cut down the noise and makes things relevant to you. This makes the platform more sticky and therefore easier to create a loyal user base, as opposed to pure e-commerce, where after a sale the site has to start all over again to convert the user. On the other hand social shopping platforms will have higher user retention. (Klip’s mobile app for instance, has a 65 per cent repeat user ratio).
What is the future of social shopping in India?
Well, in my opinion, as the Indian e-commerce industry grows, there will be more vendors coming into the ecosystem, which means more products to browse and shop from. Product discovery will thus become the most important problem. Platforms like Klip will help cut down the noise and help shoppers find things relevant to them faster together.
A key component of the growth of social shopping will also be mobile penetration. Social shopping platforms are inherently mobile friendly. You have some time to Kill, you can quickly open your Klip app and Klip or Skip a fresh set of products even if you have no intention to buy something, or simply discover a new store and follow them. This isn’t possible with an e-comm app. Online shoppers are likely to recognize this value and will prefer shopping with social apps.