The state of ecommerce in India is largely a dip in the unknown. Top brands are constantly finding a connect, a way to reach out to new e-shoppers while struggling to not let go of existing shoppers. Funding was pumped into convincing Indians – who are already satisfied with their weekend shopping trips that let them touch and feel the product – that online shopping is safe, easy and the future, through a systematic advertising and brand building approach.
The most effective push, however, was giving away deep discounts on many popular categories of goods, bringing in the first time buyers. Although, the top three – Amazon India, Flipkart and Snapdeal admitted that deep discounting is not a feasible longterm solution, it continued to eat into their funds and beef up the losses in annual reports.
Well, that is not going away anytime soon. The top ecommerce companies are still trying to convince shoppers to buy more and more online, extolling the virtues of e-shopping with them. Authentic products, timely delivery, hassle-free returns and now lucrative membership offers.
Amazon India launched Prime, a membership programme offering 1-day and 2-day delivery for an initial fixed price of Rs.499. Flipkart announced a “no-cost EMI Scheme” and also launched an Amazon Prime-like initiative: Flipkart Assured. Snapdeal could not be left out, the company launched Snapdeal Gold. Each company wants you to be a member and an active one at that, much like Facebook compelling you to be an active user of the social networking giant, (even if that means you become inactive in real life).
The problem, however, is that new users aren’t coming.
Livemint reports that per industry executives, the number of people who buy things online on a fairly regular basis, jumped to 50-60 million at the start of 2016 from 12-15 million shoppers at the end of 2013. And this number hasn’t grown so far this year!
Flipkart has been more aggressive compared to its competitors, in this mad rush to gain consumer loyalty. It even brought the Flipkart kids back in a series of ads conceptualized by Lowe Lintas. This one hopes to encourage smartphone buyers to take advantage of the ‘no cost EMI’ offers on exclusive deals.
For Flipkart Assured, the ecommerce brand has rolled a trio of ads featuring kids again, each talking about quality checks and fast delivery.
On the digital side, the etailer hosted a riddle solving contest so users could discover Flipkart Assured products on the site. One had to identify the product by solving the riddles and post a screenshot of it, for a chance to win vouchers.
Can the kids work their magic again?
The Flipkart kids are always at the brand’s rescue when it comes to convincing Indians that shopping with them is a cakewalk. From the time they made their debut to the rare moment they were back in a one-off video, the kids always made a memorable impact. Back in 2011, the brand created a sensation with its trio of kids as adults ads in the ‘No Kidding’ campaign.
Then a spoof on The Newshour Debate in 2013, where the nation wanted to know the pros and only pros of shopping on Flipkart. This was a relevant and witty concept to appeal to all types of audiences.
Snapdeal, after announcing the Snapdeal Gold service, has been taking it slow. Amazon Prime is not very keen on spending advertising dollars to get members either. The company is busy with its #AdjustNoMore campaign, an extension of its ‘Apni Dukaan’ positioning. Flipkart, on the other hand, seems keen on procuring new users and retaining its regular ones.
We do not know whether the kids coming back to Flipkart is a desperate move by the brand to build brand affinity, ahead of the festival season, or merely just a marketing campaign with a fresh approach using a tried and tested brand formula, but we do know that the Flipkart kids can really communicate an idea in the simplest and most adorable way. The concern, however, is a logical one. The new Flipkart Assured campaign makes you feel rather unsafe about non-assured products on the site!
Looking forward to watch out for the Amazon Prime and Snapdeal Gold ads in response to Flipkart Assured.