Industry POV

How E-commerce Brands Are Gearing Up for 2016's Festive Season in Indiaā€¯ - Harsha Joshi, Mauresh Dubhashi


It is that time of the year when marketers spend majority of their annual marketing budget on campaigns to attract customers. Come October 1, leading E-commerce players will line up their annual sale giving bumper discounts and lucrative offers.

As per a recent report by TAM Media Research, Amazon topped the list of top advertisers in the e-commerce sector in the first half of 2016. The leading e-commerce player secured the place of No. 1 advertiser on not only television but on print as well. Another major player in the category, Flipkart, recently came up with a remarkable accomplishment of having 100 million registered customers on its platform.

Ahead of Diwali, the festive quarter of the year, e-commerce players will be seen spending crores of the money on marketing. In August, a major e-tailer Snapdeal announced that it would spend around Rs 200 crore on marketing and advertising, especially for the biggest shopping festival of India. To start with, the brand recently unveiled a complete brand make-over and rolled out 360 degree marketing campaign to announce the same.

Shopclues, another player in the category is yet to roll out its festive season campaign that will include a series of digital films. However, Nitin Agarwal, AVP Marketing, Shopclues, shared, "We will be launching 10 digital films for our campaign #ItneKamMein for the festival season. 40% of our overall budget will go for digital platforms as most of our consumers are on digital."

The online furniture and home products marketplace, Pepperfry, too has joined the bandwagon with its new marketing campaign. Designed and conceptualised by Law & Kenneth Saatchi & Saatchi, the campaign aims to establish the brand's positioning of 'What You See Is What You Get'.

Not just this, but the e-commerce industry is on its toes to make the month-long festive season a big hit in terms of sales and revenue as players in the category had also witnessed a sales dip in recent times.

While sharing views, Harsha Joshi, Executive Vice President, Group Trading, Dentsu Aegis Network, said, "As compared to 2014 and 2015, spends on advertising and marketing will be low this year. Earlier, with spends of around Rs 50 crore, we expected growth of 15-18%. However, this year because of 10-12% dip in sales, spends as well as growth will be less as compared to the previous two years."

"Earlier, if you would have noticed, e-commerce companies would sponsor reality shows, launch campaigns on across platforms etc. And all these activities would begin after the end of August. However, this year, the scenario is different," she added further.

2016 Special

Like every year, this year too, all the leading players are gearing up to give consumers a new experience with fresh offerings.

Amazon spokesperson while sharing the plans, said, "This will be the biggest, best and the most delightful shopping season ever for our customers across India. We have 200% more sellers; we have thrice the selection and we have 1.5X more fulfilment capacity. continues to be India's largest store with over 80 million products, having added over 150,000 products a day since January this year."

The leading player in the category launched a campaign #BadeDilWale last week. While Snapdeal, days after its brand revamp, launched a campaign #UnboxZindagi.

Snapdeal, on the other hand, is aiming to woo consumers with its deep discounts, exchange offers and EMI options. In another move, the e-tailer had also started its expanded Data Centre earlier this year. Along with the brand revamp, services like free shipping, next day deliveries, enhanced quality checks and extended return period through its premium service bundle, Snapdeal Gold, might also play a game changer.

Flipkart, which made headlines for acquiring leading fashion and lifestyle e-tailer Jabong earlier this year, is banking on its exclusive partnerships through Myntra as well. Two digital films were released last week for Flipkart's Big Billion Day Sale. Industry experts believe that the Bangalore-based e-tailer would not spend too much on the advertising and marketing of its Festive sale.

Better Than Before?

The e-commerce fever touched new heights in the past 2-3 years. As per the published reports, Flipkart recorded sales of $300 million during its five-day Big Billion Days sale in October last year. While Amazon's sales grew 10 times during its five-day Great Indian sale in the month of October.

Snapdeal, on the other hand, grew over three times as compared to 2014 festive season. The month-long festival was lucrative enough for ShopClues as it sold 4.5 million items during that time. Notably, this is two times higher as compared to its sales in regular months, confirm the reports.

Read our entire coverage on Festive Season

The D-Day for the entire e-commerce industry is about to come and those who have been waiting for the year's biggest shopping festive would have blocked their calendars also. Now all that we are waiting for is the month of October as the month is going to be really exciting for not only the entire e-commerce industry but for the consumers as well.