Here’s how Smytten has been bridging the demand and supply gap for premium products using consumer trials

  • Sampling and trial has been a tried-and-tested method for brands to target consumers and give them an experience of their offering.
  • Smytten is a platform that offers discovery, trials and purchase of lifestyle brands across multiple categories like beauty and grooming, food and beverages, health and wellness and fragrances, among others.
  • Siddhartha Nangia, Co-founder, Smytten walks us through the platform’s journey so far and how its helping brands achieve more targeted sampling.

For years, product sampling and trials has been a tried-and-tested method of getting people to notice your products. It is a marketing strategy that helps brands create awareness about themselves and it gives consumers a chance to experience, taste, smell or feel the product.

With the advent of social media, we have seen many brands created on the digital ecosystem. However, for many of these brands, it is difficult to reach out to consumers in person and help them sample their products.

That’s where a platform like Smytten comes in. Smytten is an app platform (Android & iOS) that offers discovery, trials and purchase of lifestyle brands across multiple categories like beauty and grooming, food and beverages, health and wellness, fragrances, smart technology, accessories, services and experiences and is targeted towards the upper middle class.

The platform, over the years, has been bridging the gap between brands and consumers, Siddhartha Nangia, Co-founder, Smytten. “Smytten is changing the way products and services are discovered, experienced and purchased by digitising the whole pre-purchase experience for both consumers, at the same time building a very efficient go-to market channel for premium brands,” says Nangia. Currently, Smytten delivers about half a million product samples to consumers every month.

Consumers are always on the lookout for upgrading their daily lifestyle by moving to premium and superior quality products. However, there has been a gap in their discovery and decision-making process which usually happens through accident or is dependent on third-party sources of information online that often aren’t trustworthy. Till now, there hasn’t really been an official platform that can offer them trials before they purchase the products.

Over the years we have seen most brands targeting people offline. However, this is usually random targeting and often doesn’t translate into purchase. There is also hardly any measurability or post trial engagement.

“Smytten solves this problem by being India’s first and only request-based trial platform, where users get to try products on demand at the comfort of their homes. Brands get to engage with the right users based on a very accurate behavioural targeting reducing their CAC and engagement cost,” explains Nangia.

The Indian premium/lifestyle product market is at $10 billion with over 1 billion premium products sold annually. The segment is growing at 15-20% CAGR. With an increase in disposable income in the country, people are aiming for higher and better. To cater to this growing aspiration and demand, over 1000 new premium brands have been launched in India in the last 3 years. “Therefore, the consumers will be increasingly looking at assistance in the pre-purchase phase which leads to potential opportunity of a 10 billion+ units of pre-purchase product sampling across premium lifestyle categories. And with Smytten’s proven model of monetizing about $0.5 per product sample from users the overall market can pegged at $5 billion in the next few years,” he says.

So how does it work? Users coming onto the app can see multiple products across different categories. They get to try and get 6 trial points. Once the users choose the products, they have to check out by paying Rs 199 out of which, Rs 169 is transferred to the Smytten wallet for users to make a purchase of full size product post trial. Once a user buys a full size product, they get 6 points again to try a different set of products.

The platform has been witnessing good growth too. Since June 2020, it has been growing between 30-40% quarter-on-quarter. Meanwhile, brands on the platform have seen up to 10X growth.

But what exactly is it that makes Smytten unique? Nangia shares the three ways he feels the platform is different.

– Bridging the demand and supply gap for premium products using consumer trials: It has been proven that Product Sampling is on the top of the ladder when it comes to drivers of product considerations, higher than friend/family recommendations or product price.

– An audience that premium brands die for! : With data of millions of high earning consumers and insights on their actual pre-purchase behavior, it is one of the most efficient channels for brands to acquire new users, gather product feedback and launch new products.

– Comprehensive data-driven user engagement: Rich content, expert opinions on the platform enable Smytten to keep users engaged and get more information about their preferences. It has 30+ Affinity Groups through which gender and location based targeting is done through native ads, engaging content, notifications etc.

Since its launch, Smytten has seen a good uptake. So far, it has seen over 3 million downloads. It had been adding 150-200K new users every month before Covid. Currently, the platform has close to 600 premium brands across 15 categories and it says that it is adding around 1-2 new brands onto its platform every day.