Influencer-made products take centre stage in PopBox
PopBox features products that reflect the influencers' "world-view".
All sectors have shifted increasingly to digital as lockdowns kept the public at their homes. E-commerce has also seen growth in Asia-Pacific, with online retail sales penetration expected to rise to 18% in 2025 from 12% in 2020, according to a report from GlobalData.
Kosuke Sogo, CEO and co-founder of AnyMind Group, said that before, they are creating individual online stores for each influencer brand. But in late-July, they opened PopBox, which is an e-commerce retail store featuring brands created by influencers.
The tech company, AnyMind Group, founded in Singapore in 2016, is engaged in building an end-to-end commerce platform for influencers, businesses, marketers, and online publishers. Aside from this, the group is also providing various software for business analytics, cloud manufacturing, e-commerce enablement, marketing, and logistics.
“We have been helping influencers around the region to create their own brands and products and sell them directly to consumers. PopBox is a progression of that, where we have a consolidated store for influencer-created products and brands,” Sogo said.
“Most products can be purchased easily from a variety of online and offline channels today, but it’s difficult to find products created by social media influencers and content creators, especially products that reflect their own worldview,” he said.
PopBox is currently available in Thailand and Japan. Sogo said they chose these countries to house the retail stores due to the rise of the creator economy there.
There are about 50 million content creators globally, according to a report by venture capital firm Signalfire.
AnyMind Group, a business that has been digital, announced its move into the direct-to-consumer space at the onset of the pandemic. Sogo noted that the shift to digitalisation created “more familiarity and trust between general consumers and online commerce, which plays in well to our move into the direct-to-consumer space.”
Currently, there are 23 influencers and creators that are involved with PopBox, but Sogo said that the group has a “strong pipeline of influencer brands under development” and they are planning to add more.
“At AnyMind Group, we have one of the widest already-established offerings for influencers in the region, spanning brand collaborations through our influencer marketing platform AnyTag, content monetization through our Creator Growth business line, and also tools for influencers to create their own brands and products,” he said.
“This means we’re already working with hundreds of thousands of influencers across the business, from nano-influencers to celebrities,” he added.
AnyMind has its own internal analysis tools that determine if an influencer has the potential to be successful when they launch their own brands. They are also open to working with new influencers who want to work with them, aside from those in their pool, Sogo said.
The CEO noted that, initially, they placed influencer products and brands that they helped create through their direct-to-consumer offerings. The group is also working on connecting its cloud manufacturing platform, AnyFactory, to PopBox, he said.
AnyMind’s cloud manufacturing platform allows the influencers to design and create their products which range from clothing and accessories, such as jewellery, bags, caps, and keychains. Other items include AirPods cases, portable fans, puzzles, children books, stuffed toys, modelling clay sets, stickers, mugs, and e-books.
Prices of the items are determined in collaboration with the influencers but they range from US$5 for items like reusable face masks to US$150 for a complete set which includes two t-shirts, a tote bag, a mug, and a pair of acrylic stands.
Logistics are also being handled by AnyMind Group's logistics platform, AnyLogi, which is connected with other international and domestic platforms such as FedEx Express, Fuji Logitech, BoxMe, Keeppack, Otto, Boxful, amongst others, which help in the management of inventories, payment confirmation, shipping, and delivery.
Sogo said AnyLogi is currently used as a standalone platform, but they are working to connect it with their other platforms in cloud manufacturing, e-commerce enablement, and logistics “to increase data connectivity and automation for businesses.”
Sogo said they will continue working on developing various solutions that will help businesses and creators to grow more.
“Our mission is to make every business borderless, and we will continue to develop more solutions to help businesses, influencers, publishers, and more to grow, including driving more efficient and effective commerce and building increased data connections and automation across the business supply chain,” he said.