As the festive season approaches, there is an immense pressure on the e-tailers to offer good discounts and make most of the Diwali season. Also with many of these players getting a good round of funding, from their current investors and few others eyeing big investments, there is money in the market, which will be used to fuel ad spends as we approach the Diwali season.
Usually campaigns for Diwali are launched in November, but now the run up to the festival season has shifted. E-tailers are coming with campaigns and offers well in advance to lure the customers into buying now instead of later.
Swati Bhargava, Co-Founder, CashKaro.com & Pouring Pounds feels that in the race to be the first one has already started. “Today the idea is to capture the shopper before they get shopped out, so the sale and offer period have also shifted. So in my opinion, majority of the e-commerce players will come in with their offers from September. Similar trend we have noticed in UK for our site Pouring Pounds as well, earlier Christmas offers use to start on 25th December, then it shifted to early December and now it starts from mid-November. Now we are using festivals as a reason for shopping and this trend is going to remain,” she said.
Furniture portal Pepperfry has launched their recent campaign titled ‘Don’t wait for Diwali’, wherein it urges customers to buy immediately and not wait for the Diwali offers. For the last two weeks, Snapdeal has been running their ad campaign titled weekend Home offers. It is enticing the customers to make all their purchases now by asking them ‘Kab Tak Aisa Chalega?’ (How long will you continue like this?)
The three films for Pepperfry which are currently running on TV showcase three different examples of customers in need of a particular furniture piece, but they have been delaying the purchase. The reason behind this is that, each of the customers-the one looking to buy a recliner, bookshelf or bed, have been procrastinating thinking that they will buy it during Diwali. However, the campaign acts a gentle reminder to these set of customers, and tells them not to delay their purchase, because they can get similar great deals and offers now as well. The company has recently raised $100 million in a Series D funding round from Goldman Sachs Group Inc and Zodius Technology Fund.
Kashyap Vadapalli, Chief Marketing Officer and Business Head, Pepperfry.com said, “Our new campaign hinges on three main things. Firstly consumer insight, which tells us that people have the tendency to put off buying expensive or large ticket purchases. Secondly, the attitude of the consumers have changed today and as a result of which even Independence Day is also considered as an event today, around which players give discounts and people buy. So the attempt is to create as many events as possible because retail today is all about events. Thirdly, the underlying message of purchase is all about value, people postpone the buying because they look for great value. We are trying to address all the three things in the latest campaign, which will be running for the entire month on all the media platforms.
Commenting on whether another campaign right before the Diwali season will make sense because high ticket purchases are not that frequent, he said, “The furniture market in home products is as strong as 32 billion and the online furniture market is only less than 1%. So there is immense headroom for growth. There is demand and it is all about encouraging them with the right discounts and offers. We will be coming with another campaign probably during mid-October,” he said.
Snapdeal which keeps on introducing new offers and deals for its customers all throughout the year, has launched the new Snapdeal Home Weekend sale, where they are giving attractive discounts on furniture, furnishings and decorative products. The campaign is highlighting the plight of the customer without the product and the urgency to buy it immediately. According to recent reports; the company has closed a funding round in which it has raised $500 million from Alibaba and Foxconn.
Snapdeal Home Weekend:
Nitin Agarwal, Senior Director, Marketing at ShopClues said, “Yes the run up to the festive period has shifted and many players are trying to lock-in customers with their offers and deals by being the first one in the race. But at the end of the day, it is all about hitting the sweet spot, because customers will compare and will always look out for the best deals. Usually from 30th September to 12th October-the Shraadh period, is not considered auspicious according to our Hindu calendar and people usually avoid any big ticket purchases during this time. Customers will again start making purchases from the Navratri period.”
Commenting on whether players joining in late, will lose out on customers, he added, “It depends, because there are usually two sets of customers. One, who will buy right at the beginning if he spots a good offer and the second kind of customer, will compare and typically wait for all the others to come out with their respective offers. Shopping happens at the convenience of the customers and the kind of deals, the players have to offer. I won’t be able to reveal when you are coming out with our Diwali offers and the campaigns, because it involves research and a lot of competition mapping.”
Echoing similar thoughts, Sameer Parwani - Founder and CEO, CouponDunia highlighted, “Everyone wants to make a big splash and be the first one. It will be interesting to see when Amazon does their Big sale and if they will do it before the Big Billion Day. Snapdeal will also try to their bit. Other players will also do their sales. So, you obviously don’t want to be the second one in this race. . To add to this, you do have the natural calendar limitation of ’shraadh’. Maybe everyone will start doing it all within the same couple of days. Naturally, overtime the big sales will happen earlier. In travel sector, some airlines have already begun offering festive discounts. Many OTAs have also started offering discounts on hotels. Usually, airlines and OTAs give these discounts early so that people can plan their travel during the festival season. We are yet to see major e-commerce brands give festive discounts. In India, we expect e-comm brands to give discounts by mid October. Some discounts may come during Ganesh festival as well.”