Sanjay Patel, an 18-year-old labourer at a glass factory in Pratapgarh, Uttar Pradesh, spends around two hours a day on the short video app TikTok. Last month, while watching a video, he came across a link for Bulbul Shop, an e-commerce platform with a difference—Bulbul uses videos to sell products.
In one of the videos, a woman host showcased a phone from a brand Patel hadn’t heard off. Its unique design—the phone had a sliding flap that allowed users to end calls—coupled with its bargain-basement price appealed to him. “At Rs 744 ($10.5), I thought it was a good deal.
Bulbul and simsim’s video bridge between rural India and e-commerce
Video commerce has been a roaring success in China. Now, Indian startups want to replicate the model and convince Indians in tier-3 towns and beyond to shop online. Just one problem—India is not China
As investors & startups look for ways to bring more shoppers online, video commerce offers an alternative
Rising penetration of internet, payments and the recent success of short video apps are great enablers
The success of video commerce startups in China has encouraged VCs to back companies like Bulbul and simsim to do the same in India
The combination of cheap, poor quality products and high customer acquisition costs, though, makes success harder to come by