According to a recent report, 92.4% of consumers use reviews when deciding to purchase products. It’s understandable. They want confidence in their purchase choice before buying a product online.
A Seoul-based startup called Indent wants to help these shoppers through access to video reviews and product ratings, while also helping to drive sales for e-commerce merchants by providing them with this same precious customer feedback. Its video review marketing tool is called VREVIEW, and it works by sending a chatbot to a merchant’s customers to collect their video reviews and product ratings. The merchants can then upload these customer-generated video reviews and product ratings to their websites to attract more potential shoppers and consumers.
Investors like Indent’s conversion rates, seemingly. The startup just raised $8.1 million (10.5 billion won) in a Series A led by SV Investment, with participation from strategic investor LG Uplus (a telco unit of LG), Korea Investment Partners and Crit Ventures, among others. The round brings the outfit’s total funding to date to $13.7 million and it will be used to continue developing its video platform.
According to Indent CEO Morgan Yoon, Indent already has about 40 clients in the U.S., China and Japan and intends to enter the U.S. market in the second quarter of this year to attract more users overseas. Within those geographies, it works with 3,800 online merchants, mainly direct-to-consumer brands. In addition, South Korean corporations, including LG Uplus, Korean cosmetics brands maker AmorePacific and MLB Korea use Indent’s services, Yoon said.
Indent claims it has more than 12 million registered users, accounting for about 60% of total online shoppers in South Korea. According to tests conducted by Indent, consumers using the video review platform showed, on average, a 6x higher order conversion rate.
The company has plenty of competitors; other marketing tools also let merchants showcase their reviews on their websites. To stay ahead of its rivals, Yoon says the company is about to launch a new service designed for B2C users called Spray, which the startup unveiled in beta version last April. Spray is a TikTok-like video review service that allows individual consumers to upload their customer-generated video reviews and share feedback, Yoon said, adding that spray users can get monetized if new shoppers purchase products via the Spray service.
In addition, Spray analyzes users’ shopping behavior and preferences and recommends to merchants (or influencers) which products fit best for them to sell, Yoon explained.
Indent, which has been gathering data on the actions of buyers, can recommend about 66 million products, Yoon added.
The company currently generates revenue via VREVIEW subscription fees from its merchant clients. It also charges licensing fees from D2C brand merchants when they buy user-generated content (UGC) from their consumers.
The company employs 27 people in South Korea.