Fondly referred to as the localised Pinterest for India powered by user-generated original content, Trell is India’s largest Community Commerce platform, where users share 3-minute vertical videos on over 20 interest-based lifestyle categories in over 8 Indian languages. With over 90 Million downloads, the platform has hyper-grown over the past few months and surpassed the active users of Twitter and Pinterest in India. Currently, the platform is aggressively expanding its social commerce vertical, where users can also shop their favorite lifestyle products best suited to their needs, based on recommendations from trusted influencers.
Trell plans to get celebrities on board to further amplify their brand presence and tap in more consumers. They have already partnered with Chennai Super Kings, Zakir Khan and many more.
Pulkit Agrawal, Co-Founder, Trell speaks to us about the Social Commerce Space, empowering women and ensuring financial security for them, the D2C space and much more.
The pandemic has seen a spurt in digital consumption, how has TRELL used it to their maximum benefit?
Since its inception, Trell has been at the forefront of digital disruption. We introduced peer-to-peer recommendations on our video-based platform through which we realized that millions of Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) were looking to share their stories without language barriers. During the pandemic, there was an explosive growth in e-commerce as well as in video consumption. At this juncture, Trell expanded its value proposition by launching social commerce. Our aim is to enable KOL’s to collaborate with brands by becoming micro-entrepreneurs who review and recommend their favorite products and services which users can buy through the platform itself. Trell is gearing up to create a trusted ecosystem for India’s internet users to make suitable and well-informed lifestyle choices.
You have mentioned that there are huge gaps in E-Commerce purchase (only 8% shoppers) what is the reason for this?
India as a market has a lot of mistrust and lack of awareness. A majority of people are apprehensive about shopping online as they are hesitant to trust brands, especially when it comes to sharing payment information. Secondly, a majority of the Indian population is non-English speaking while the internet largely caters to the English-speaking crowd. So, when people use the internet, they often don’t relate to it or understand the descriptions given, and hence they aren’t very comfortable with online shopping. Thirdly, there is a significant requirement for awareness and education on various products and services that exist and how they function.
We believe that Trell is offering an all-in-one solution for these problems apart from the infrastructure issues that exist. We are addressing the issue of customer trust by ensuring that the Trell community is composed of like-minded people where users can shop based on recommendations from trusted/verified influencers. Furthermore, with content in regional languages, we are enabling people to become educated and gain awareness about the products and services that can enhance their lives. Trell is also facilitating social infrastructure at a time when there’s no other Indian platform that has scaled so rapidly.
Can you tell us about your recent launch?
Our recent launch of the ‘Shop’ section on our platform marks our foray into social commerce space. The launch of social commerce is definitely the most important addition to our platform this year. It is an important part of Trell’s aggressive expansion plan which will allow users to purchase their preferred lifestyle products based on recommendations from trusted users on the platform.
You have also talked about women empowerment and financial security; can you elaborate on this?
Trell has numerous female users creating content on the platform. Approximately 65% of our total user base is female and they contribute to over 75% of the content on the platform. While they do so, there is an inherent responsibility for us to ensure that they feel safe, comfortable, and included within the community. Trell is now becoming a go-to platform for women to share their experiences and point of view freely. They are protected from any inappropriate content, making it a conducive environment for knowledge-sharing and voicing their thoughts. Additionally, they can also express themselves in their native languages which make it a level playing field for everyone to be able to express their opinions on the platform.
Trell also enables several influencers to establish a space for themselves on the platform, particularly through social commerce where they can educate their audience about products and services and enable them to make informed purchases. Through every sale that happens on Trell, these influencers earn money. This also makes it possible for those in Tier-III or Tier-IV cities to access global brands and earn a living from making recommendations, etc. Through these, Trell facilitates women empowerment and financial security while also helping them express themselves and share their thoughts on various topics that interest them.
How does TRELL market these initiatives to their end-users?
When it comes to a majority of the initiatives we take, it is aimed towards the betterment of the community on Trell. We primarily focus on publicizing these within the platform itself to help the community. Moreover, through word of mouth and the positive feedback we receive from users, these initiatives become the talk of the town, and this is how the marketing happens as we don’t go out of our way to market our initiatives.
What would you be Focusing on in 2021?
Having assumed a presence across 75% of the country, we will continue to expand our India community in 2021. As our prime focus, we will actively work towards giving our users more personalized content based on their diverse interests while creating an exceptional shopping experience for them. Once we establish ourselves across the length and breadth of the country, we will look at going global.
What is D2C segment?
The evolution of the internet and the setting up of basic e-commerce infrastructure such as automated warehousing, last-mile deliveries, etc., becoming more mature and independent, has enabled several brands to emerge. Erstwhile, creating a brand was a cumbersome task where there were multiple steps involved. However, the scenario has changed. Today, numerous D2C brands are emerging and can iterate quicker and amplify by leveraging the power of social media, data-analytics and other technologies.
The quality and quantity of D2C brands are growing exponentially across categories. In the near future, we are most likely to see billion-dollar entities stem from these D2C brands, indicating a promising future for the D2C segment.
Where do you see yourself in the next 3 years?
We will keep adding exciting features to the platform like our own vlogging camera that has helped our creators make videos with ease. The latest feature ‘Reaction Video Maker’ has gained immense popularity and has been widely appreciated in the creator community for being a unique, easy-to-use feature that is exclusively available on Trell.
In the next three years, we see ourselves cementing our stance as the industry-leading Lifestyle Social Commerce platform where passionate users share their stories and experiences in the form of 3-minute vertical videos, in their own languages, with a like-minded community, across categories like Fashion, Beauty, Recipes, Movies & TV reviews, Travel and Gadgets while also being able to buy their preferred products in a seamless manner.