It’s 2015 and the eCommerce bubble is yet to burst in the country. Reporting losses every year is the norm for most major players while consolidation has been the key for others. Nevertheless, eCommerce company founders and their investors alike are forging ahead undeterred by the present state of affairs in India. And that steely determination can be seen in their advertising.
Beginning with digital promotions and then moving onto Television commercials, most etailers began talking to all consumer segments in India – the young and the old, the urban and Tier II, III cities, and most importantly highlighted the benefits of shopping online. Heavy discounts in the form of Big Billion day sale, Diwali Bumper Sale and the likes tempted first time e-shoppers to give it a try. The product was the hero while the discount served as the ultimate call to action.
Of late there seems to be a tweak in the advertising. Ecommerce communication in the recent times has shifted from product or deal benefits to celebration of the product itself. A used goods online platform wants buyers and sellers to acknowledge the ‘emotional value’ associated with its used items, rather than its price. An e-reading device is heavily banking on celebrating the joy of reading. An online furniture seller wants furniture to be given its right due for bringing families closer.
Celebrating the ‘flipkarts’ in your life
Recently, one of India’s leading ecommerce player, Flipkart rolled out a series of four web films where the focus is on connecting with consumers beyond the product and celebrating the experiences associated with it. Hashtagged as #FlipkartThanksYou, the films pay tribute to the ‘flipkarts’ in your life before Flipkart - the mom who always made sure you had variety, the dad who taught us the value of money, the sister because of whom you were always ‘on trend’ and of course the unforgettable ‘abroad wale’ uncle and his imported brands that earned you the envy of friends.
“As individuals, while growing up, each one of us, has learnt some of our “life’s valuable lessons” from our closest relationships. These relations have come to define who we are and what choices we learn to make in life. And what better way to celebrate “the Flipkart Brand”, than with a campaign that pays a tribute and a heartfelt thank you to all such relations!,” Shoumyan Biswas, Senior Director, Marketing, Flipkart stated in a company press release.
The brand teamed up with online influencers to promote the web films, with the help of contests woven around the central theme.
Furniture that ‘brings you closer’
Online furniture and home decor company, Urban Ladder launched its first television campaign this year titled ‘Brings you closer’. The campaign places emphasis on furniture and the shared memories associated with them. The TVC starts with a couple on the brink of separation, but it is the sofa that unites them at the end.
Subtle branding is pushed in the voiceover at the end, “Kuch cheezein aise hi..jo paas le aathi hai…Urban Ladder.”
“Home is where people connect with each other, and furniture plays an important role in it. Furniture is no more just a functional element; it’s a representation of one’s identity and also of moments shared together with loved ones,” Rajiv Srivatsa, COO and Co-founder, Urban Ladder said in a company press release.
On the digital front, Urban Ladder began by inviting furniture stories from the community. Instagram fans needed to share moments at home that have brought them closer to their family using the hashtag #BringsYouCloser. The picture that captures the best moment could win furniture from Urban Ladder.
Online classifieds site, OLX is now shifting focus on the real value of its platform based on user insights gained over the last four years. The new campaign, ‘‘Keemat Bhi, Kuch Keemti Bhi’ is driven by the deeper benefits experienced by the buyers and sellers on the platform, benefits that go beyond monetary value and enable healthy people bonding.
“The products we own are closely tied to our stories, passions, and dreams, and OLX is a means to extend those dreams by the way extending the life-cycle of the product, Amarjit Singh Batra, CEO, OLX India said in a company press release.
As part of its campaign, the brand launched two TVCs that focused on the friendly bond created between a buyer and a seller over the product, or let’s say ‘shared passion’ that is being exchanged.
On the digital front, engagement was driven by contests that invited people to share memories associated with first cars, etc.
Indians are an emotional consumer mass, a cultural trait that is also evident in other Asian countries. Both local and global brands have tried and tested ways to connect with the Indian consumer mindset and have found success after adopting an emotional approach in their brand communication. Ecommerce players are also walking the same path, from the days of building a market and grooming regular shoppers towards e-shopping with an array of discounts, most brands are now looking to build deeper emotional bonds with their consumers.
This is perhaps phase two in Ecommerce branding where existing and new players are looking to build brand affinity and emotions play a large role in that.