Product cluster of beauty products from online research platform Smytten

Founded in 2015 by ex-Googler, Swagat Sarangi and ex-Unilever executive, Siddhartha Nangia, Smytten is an online product discovery and trial platform. By allowing online shoppers to try products before they buy, Smytten aims to help brands reach new customers, without onerous acquisition costs.

Solving for a Low-Trust Culture

There are approximately 10 million Indian customers who shop online today, and Swagat Sarangi, co-founder, Smytten, says their basket is increasing at a rate of 20% year on year, expanding head-room for new brands to enter the market. 

At the same time, customer acquisition is becoming increasingly difficult. Average conversion for a new brand is roughly in the range of 0.5% to 1%, he points out. One of the biggest reason for this is low trust – brands must help customers traverse a wide trust-deficit chasm, before they can tempt trial. The ever-increasing flood of digital advertising doesn’t help.

Smytten aims to solve this by creating a trusted aggregation source, where customers can discover and experiment with brands.

Today, Smytten claims to have more than ten million users who can try products from over 700 brands at a low cost before they buy. This includes new brands like Wow, Plum, Mamaearth and mCaffeine, as well as as older players like Sebamed.

The company raised Rs 100 crore in a Pre Series B round in May, 2022.

How Trials Work

While Smytten also allows regular online shopping, this is how the Trial function works:

  • On signing up, users are assigned points, which they can exchange for six products.
  • To ship the products, they must pay a flat fee of Rs. 199+GST, regardless of the products they have chosen
  • With every purchase, their trial points are replenished

“The small fee is critical to ensure a high quality audience,” says Sarangi. 

How Sampling & Research Solutions Work

Smytten offers a host of brand solutions that include digital sampling, advertising, concept testing for new product development, consumer research and trend predictions.

There are five reasons that companies should invest in sampling, says the Smytten team:

  1. Test the efficacy of new products
  2. Get consumer feedback to improve product experience
  3. Capture market share
  4. Drive recall
  5. Gain deeper consumer insights, involving competition benchmarking

A fully automated system also lets brands set up surveys, which can then be delivered to a hyper-targeted audience.

On Smytten, brands can do product testing, concept testing, and usage studies in just 72 hours, engaging with more than 10,000 users in that time.

Swagat Sarangi, co-founder, Smytten

Plum Goodness, a beauty and personal care brand, says they have seen success with sampling on Smytten. Says Shankar Prasad, CEO and founder, Plum, “Sampling on Smytten has allowed us to deepen our reach into a very relevant audience. The consumers’ engagement with the brand happens in the right context and consequently, is of high quality.” 

To explore products on Smytten, you need to download the app.

You can explore brand solutions on Smytten here.

4 COMMENTS

  1. I checked out Smytten after reading this to try trial but I found it confusing to pick from new brands. How does one decide what to try? All look same

  2. Very valid challenge of e-commerce being solved by Smytten it seems.
    Glad to learn about their model. Did not know about this 🙂

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