On 2021: Back To Winning At Things That Matter
What a difference a year can make!
2019: We were fresh off our Series A, doubled down on our commitment to contextual and discovery-led commerce by enabling on-platform transactions (quite simply, users could now start buying directly from brands and businesses recommended on LBB), worked on a series of excellent creator-commerce experiments (our digital pop-ups with Instagram superstars Pooja Dhingra and Sakshi Sindhwani were a big hit!), and basically built out our commerce engine from scratch.
2020: The lockdown eviscerated supply chains and monthly working capital for most small to mid-size lifestyle businesses, which is the volume of businesses that sell their products on LBB.
All the momentum we’d picked up came to a grinding halt. But as they say, when life gives you lemons and all that.
This prompted us to do 2 things:
- Go all-in on enabling on-platform transactions, across categories: in 2019, ~600 emerging fashion brands were shoppable on LBB; by mid-2021, we’d on-boarded 3000+ emerging brands and 100,000+ products across Fashion, Home & Kitchen, Beauty & FMCG. 50–70% of the brands within Fashion & Home and Kitchen don’t sell on other large marketplaces such as Flipkart, Amazon.
- Go all-in and cross-channel on content development: In our endeavour to build up commerce, we’d de-prioritised content and community building. This came back into focus, especially in 2021, for both our consumers as well as our brand partners.
2020 was about rejigging LBB’s foundation - both from a technical and consumer proposition standpoint. And through 2021, I can safely say, my colleagues have done an incredible job of delivering on a content and community experience that truly is #SomethingDifferent, with respect to both how and what you find on LBB.
Notable launches & product releases on the brand/supply side:
- Mastershop by LBB: an easy-to-use merchant distribution tool & lite-site that enables brands to not only sell on LBB with ease, but also on other platforms such as GPay, Paytm mini apps & PhonePe
- basecamp, India’s first emerging consumer brand-focused accelerator, by LBB in partnership with RPSG Capital Ventures: you can find out more about it here and the selected companies are here.
- Merchant and Brand Content: through emailers and our much-loved LBBForBusiness handle on Instagram, we’ve proactively shared customer insights and case studies that have helped us reach ~40,000+ brands and business owners.
As a result, 80% of our on-boarded brands and sellers are in-bound, with a mix of “local” (have their own store) sellers, up and coming Instagram and Facebook brands and artisanal brands you’re likely to find at local exhibitions, bazaars and more.
Moving to our Consumers & Shoppers, the larger changes we’ve been able to drive is shifting content consumption from categories such as restaurants, cafes & events (which was about 40–50% of the use case pre-2020) to ~80% of the content consumption coming from lifestyle categories such as home & kitchen, fashion and accessories, beauty and trending FMCG products.
Significant launches & product releases on the consumer & shopper side:
- Go multi-channel on user reach and top of funnel growth: We’d cooled off on our original content efforts on Social Media in 2019 (no reason, focus was on supply build up and getting commerce teams in place); but picking this back up & engaging with our community consistently has delivered on a monthly reach of ~50–60Million across our Facebook and Instagram handles. In fact we just crossed 100K followers on @ShopOnLBB which is our commerce focussed Instagram handle, with a total follower base of ~2.3Million across our handles. Next goal? Crack YouTube!
- Tripled down on “Discovery” Categories on Commerce: Categories like Beauty and Fashion (especially apparel) are ones where large brands will always win, and driving discovery of newer younger brands may not be a job to be done for a user. On the other hand, a category like home & kitchen is one full of “un-branded” brands, with the opportunity to not just aggregate supply, but also a. help users define their preferred design & tastes b. work closely with merchants and brands to create supply that aligns with user and social media trends. So though we continue to play multi-category, Fashion Accessories (bags, footwear for women) and Home & Kitchen (ceramics, kitchen & tableware, soft furnishings, decorative items etc, with light furniture launching soon!) are our “right to win” categories on both discovery and commerce.
- (Got back to) Making LBB and experience than yet another shopping app/platform: Our app’s gone through a transformation! From (re)launching LBBTV, to LBB Playlists (our Spotify inspired selections), LBB Events, “Aur Dikhao” (swipe left/right on our product display pages and see for yourself :)), to our EPIC Rewards section which is loved by our app users, to bringing back our local content OG’s such as Hood Guides, LBB Best Of, LBB’s Video Series, LBB Check It (curated sampler boxes that sell out in a minute!) and curated PUGC lists- we reconfigured, reimagined and brought back what made/makes LBB, as one of our users describes, the “Happiest App” to browse.
- Partnerships! From partnering with Tinder India on QueerMade (India’s first LGBTQ+ entrepreneur focussed mini-marketplace), to our #FutureForward Association with UpGrad which did wonders for user engagement and reach, our partnership with Paytm mini apps on their Indian Brand Sale (where we enabled ~300 brands to sell on Paytm mini apps through LBB Mastershop!), to our on-going association with Diageo on #RaiseTheBar- 2021’s been BIG for Team LBB with respect to our partnerships with large brands on unique, consumer focussed engagements.
All in all, we’ve been able to focus better on what our users like, what’ll make them come to us & create delight & how LBB can be an ecosystem enabler vs a unidimensional product.
In 2021, we have:
> User & Retention Growth
- Grown the number of posts and products people see by 2X, using swipes, personalisation, image recognition etc
- Improved conversion by 70%, through rigorous experimentation, testing & simplifying the transaction flow
- Improved time spent by 30% on app by introducing LBB TV
- Return on ad spend has improved by 100%, given growth and improvements in organic content, traffic & brand reach
- Top 20% users on our app view 15+ product pages per session now!
- Users who also follow us on Social Media have 2x higher conversion & browse 3x more products monthly
> Grown GMV by 100% since June 2021, 4X growth on YoY basis
- Best performing categories are Home & Kitchen and Fashion
- Some of our top brands have seen a sales growth of 5–8X in the past 6 months
> Grown our Advertising and Marketing Revenue by 60% UTD
- Growth in average spend per brand by ~60%
- % repeat on value basis stands at 60%
> Financial Health
- For FY 20–21, our revenue to expense ratio has been improved by ~70% compared FY 19–20
Finally, we’re super grateful to my colleagues- especially our core team- who’ve kept everyone highly motivated and determined through 2 Covid waves, multiple lockdowns and all the uncertainties the past 2 years have thrown our way.
Rising like a good ol’ Phoenix, Team LBB!