The Android app developed by Pune-based MobiTech Solutions curates products, reviews, deals and shopping links on one platform.
The concept of a shopping guide isn’t novel. The content and design might well be.
Earlier, traditional forms of media and advertising would let people know of products, deals, discounts, and offers. Shoppers would queue up outside stores and hunt down the best they could. Now, with technology taking over lives, there are a dime a dozen apps that act as shopping guides and throw up personalised suggestions based on users’ tastes, preferences and shopping habits.
Considering 60-70 percent of online shoppers worldwide use mobiles to make a purchase, a shopping guide app that first informs and then links to a shopping website makes good sense.
Riveto, developed by Pune-based MobiTech Solutions, is the latest such app on the block. It curates cross-category product information, expert videos, deals and discounts, community discussions and user ratings under one platform.
There are five categories to choose from - Tech, Beauty, Home, Lifestyle and Health.
Each category has multiple sub-categories. So, there are Phones, Gadgets, Gaming, Computers, Software, Audio & Video grouped in ‘Tech’, Make-Up, Bath & Body, Skin Care, Hair Care, Nails, Fragrance under ‘Beauty’, and so on.
For now, the app is Android-only. It launched in India last week and will release in the US and the UK in about three weeks.
Bharat Parikh, Founder of Riveto, tells YourStory: “We are seeing a good retention rate of about 75 percent, and aim to have 100,000 users in India in three months.”
Riveto pulls videos from YouTube, product listings from Amazon.in, and related reading material from blogs and websites.
“We are a collaborative platform for three things: Amazon products, YouTube videos, and articles/blogs that assist you in shopping. We did not want to create any content on our own. The aim was to engage a community of shoppers.”
The app is fairly straightforward.
First up, you can skip the login and continue as a guest. (Tip: Do not log in with Facebook. You know why.)
The landing page takes you to the ‘Watch’ tab that throws up category-wise videos.
There are three other tabs - Shop, Discover and Profile - neatly arranged on the bottom of the screen.
The ‘Shop’ tab lists products (with discounted prices) under each category. Riveto users can rate these products as per their choice.
If you click on a product, more information on it and extra images appear. This is directly sourced from Amazon.in. The ‘Available at Amazon’ call-to-action button is prominently displayed too.
Products from more ecommerce platforms will also be listed soon.
Next up is the ‘Discover’ tab that lists YouTube reviewers in each category. It is a bit like browsing through your Facebook friend list.
If you click on a name, you’re taken to the reviewer’s profile, and can browse through all its content.
“There are 40 to 50 reviewer profiles on the app now. We are adding more.”
The last tab is ‘Profile’ and it is the only exclusive-to-Riveto element in the app. To create a profile, users have to first sign up and fill in some details.
Creating a profile enables you to organise your content as per your taste. You can save videos and products, create playlists and wishlists, manage your subscriptions to favourite reviewers, share your own reviews and shopping experiences, comment on expert videos, and participate in Q&As with the community.
This “social layer” is what Riveto is betting on. It plans to add more features to it and allow users to make their activities visible to friends and followers on other social networks.
Bharat says, “We are also exploring exclusive content collaborations with some of the YouTubers.”
The pros and cons
Riveto as a concept scores. It helps shoppers cut the clutter of daily deals and information overflow and quickly get to their purchase. In the process, it also helps them make informed buying decisions by showing them product videos, tips, hacks, and so on.
Also, the app is storage-friendly, at about 5 MB, and could easily find a place on most mobile devices. The white-and-yellow design is easy on the eye too, and there is content in English and Hindi.
But, the content on offer is a tad below par. Riveto needs to choose its content sources more wisely. The app is currently targeting a broad 18-45 age group, but the content it displays would perhaps appeal to the 18-24 segment only.
Moreover, there seems to be an inordinate amount of focus on ‘Tech’. It could be a result of Riveto’s over-dependence on “celebrity YouTubers” — most of whom are creating tech videos. On the contrary, some of the other categories are barely there. Books in the ‘Lifestyle’ category has only one expert reviewer. Travel has two.
In a nutshell, Riveto has to scale up both in quantity and quality to make a dent in the minds of online shoppers. If not, it’ll remain another ‘me-too’ in the app universe.
Play Store: Riveto