According to the latest Nielsen report, Amazon is the most preferred e-commerce website among the sellers, with the highest top of the mind recall. It is followed by Flipkart and Snapdeal among the other main players.
Among the few findings of the report, Amazon has the highest top of the mind recall (25%) followed by Flipkart (21%) and Snapdeal (20%). Talking about the overall awareness, 86% respondents in the study voted for Amazon, 82% voted for Flipkart and 75% voted for Snapdeal. The study was conducted between January-March quarter, across 16 markets with a population of more than 10 lakh and a sample size of over 1,100 respondents.
In the time period when the study was conducted, it was found that both Amazon and Flipkart have been quite visible on different mass media platforms with their respective advertising campaigns. Both their campaigns have taken similar creative strategy to be at the top of the consumer’s mind this year. They have also sponsored important sporting and fashion events till now.
The USP of Amazon’s campaign is its attempt to capture the basic human traits and use colloquial phrases to connect with the audience. It started with the brand’s #AurDikhao, #TryTohKar and #KyaPehnu campaigns launched in 2015.
Taking forward this line of thought, in February this year, the brand captured the dilemma of consumers who hesitate to do any kind of online purchase through their campaign ‘Apni Dukaan’. The ad put together relatable slice-of-life situations to highlight the important features of Amazon services like-one-day delivery, easy returns and Cash onDelivery.
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Flipkart pretty much took the same route in the month of March and launched their campaign ‘Flipkart matlab Bilkul Pakka’ by getting in popular actors like Amol Palekar and Namit Das. Using quirkiness in the dialogues and by infusing an element of fun, the brand took this strategy to highlight some key features about shopping on Flipkart. The commercials spoke about easy returns and exchange policy and 100% original products available on the site.
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These e-commerce players also sponsor important events which guarantee eyeballs and visibility. During IPL 9, Amazon, the presenting sponsor and Flipkart advertised extensively. According to the BARC data, Amazon took the second spot with its 4058 insertions garnering 10 billion impressions. Flipkart saw its 1780 insertions recorded 5.72 billion impressions.
According to a study conducted by Onspon.com, Amazon India secured the title sponsorship of the India Fashion Week, displacing Wills Lifestyle this year. India's giant e-commerce companies are now looking to take up sponsorships of major television shows, fashion and sporting events to increase their visibility. Case in point is Flipkart, which had splashed mega-bucks on the Indian Super League and the Pro-Kabaddi League to ramp up their brand quotient.
Exclusive launches & tie-ups
It has been a trend lately that mobile players are exclusively tying up with Flipkart and Amazon to launch their new handsets. It is usually seen that on the day of the launch, a unique hashtag is created and it trends across social media channels. This works in favour of both the platform and the brand getting launched.
Among the few phones launched exclusively on Flipkart this year are Swipe which came out with Elite Plus smartphone, Micromax backed YU launched their smartphone YU Yunicorn and LG G5, the company’s 2016 flagship modular smartphone, pre-orders for the phone were live on the platform. For the launch of Moto G4 Plus, exclusively on Amazon, the homepage of the e-commerce platform was taken over for more than 18 hours. It was for the first time, that Amazon.in had given their gateway or homepage for any launch until now in India..
Battling with losses
It also needs to be mentioned that these players are also currently struggling with losses. Snapdeal revealed a loss of Rs 1,328 crore. The company’s losses are roughly 5 times what it reported last fiscal. Flipkart, reported losses just shy of Rs 2,000 crore for the year ended March 2015, according to a filing with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA). Amazon, reported net loss of Rs 1,724 crore for the year ended March 2015. Agency heads and analysts expect them to tighten the purse strings further in 2016.
Commenting on the performance of these major ecommerce players, Hitesh Gossain, CEO of Onspon.com said, “Amazon has the ability to give the user good quality experience, even though sometimes the cost can be 2-3% higher than its competitors, but people don’t mind paying for it. Flipkart has over the years, burned a lot of money to introduce the consumers to online shopping. Amazon on the other hand has a mature supply chain and has the ability to respond to queries instantly. If you look at what the e-commerce players are trying to advertise today, it is based on trust. Amazon being a global company enjoys great trust and has a rock solid PR in India. It also doesn’t have the limitation of coffers as compared to the other players. As a result of which Amazon can spend, because it enjoys the confidence of the investors.”
He further added, “Snapdeal has taken a step back and I think it is a clever move. When leaders are burning cash, whatever you do, will not get noticed. This is like the standard branding philosophy, therefore to not advertise during that time period was the right decision.”