With social media and direct commerce making shopping experiences simpler, you can now shop live online. Live commerce, combining instant purchase of a featured product and audience participation through a chat function or reaction buttons, is a part of the next big leap in retail, and one of the best ways to pull in GenZ shoppers.

Heralding this in India is Kiko Live, started in 2020 by Alok Chawla, Virendra Kumar and Neeta Rijwani. It has signed up over 10,000 stores, and enabled over 120,000 buyer-seller interactions, powering upwards of 100 deliveries a day.

“Live commerce is a rapidly growing space in India, and estimated to touch $4-5 bn by 2025, as per a Redseer report. Additionally, Quick commerce is expected to grow 15x in the next three years to reach $5 bn. Kiko Live addresses both these opportunities, using Live commerce to enable Quick commerce for retail stores,” says Alok Chawla, co-founder and COO, Kiko Live.

The startup seeks to replicate the traditional shop buying experience by using technology, enabling local sellers to be part of the Live and Quick commerce trend. “Commerce, since the beginning of civilisation, has been social, with buyers interacting with sellers to complete a purchase. As early internet technology could only allow for web pages, e-commerce began with shopping without interaction. With internet speeds getting faster, Live commerce is the future of online commerce,” he stresses.

Apparel, electronics and cosmetics work best for influencer-led Live commerce, which involves impulse-based purchases. Watching a product’s features being explained by a user builds trust and pushes viewers to purchase it. On the other hand, one-to-one Live commerce is intent based, and works across categories. “For example, if you have broken the cooker at home, you can discover utensil shops near you, speak to a seller, ask for options, check them out on a video call if required, and then place an order to receive one within 30 minutes,” says Chawla.

In one-to-one Live commerce, the stores one buys from regularly enjoy high transaction repeat purchase rates and loyalty. Some categories where Kiko Live is seeing high repeat purchase and loyalty are fruit/vegetable sellers, chemists, paan shops, cosmetics stores and even pet food shops, he adds. An influencer on the platform is called a Kiko Buddy. Anyone can become a Kiko Buddy, and besides regular influencers, the firm is working on training its store sellers to do live streams to promote their products.

As a B2C startup, Kiko Live is primarily building a solution for small stores. Once it has gained substantial traction in the domain, it may look at getting anchor large stores on board, says Chawla. “Stores across India can get calls from buyers and accept online payments. But we have enabled deliveries for some pincodes in Delhi/NCR and are growing the delivery radius across NCR, before launching in other cities,” he says.

Kiko Live’s revenue comes from multiple sources: virtual store subscription, payment gateway charges, delivery charges, clicks on Live Streams and priority featured listings for stores. It is funded by marquee early stage investors including 9Unicorns, Venture Catalysts, SOSV and GSF and angel investors including the CEOs of IndiaMART, Spotify India and Nazara. It raised $1 mn in its last round and plans a larger round soon.

With internet speeds going up, Live commerce is the future of online trade”
Alok Chawla,
Co-Founder, Kiko Live


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