Festive season, which usually sees a buying frenzy, is likely to see subdued spending this year, given the steep increase in prices and the high inflation. As per a recent Assocham survey, 51 per cent of the respondents plan to spend less on account of hike in prices. Moreover, 54 per cent respondents said that they will buy only on sale or discounts.
Amid such muted market sentiments, e-commerce sites are wooing customers with a plethora of attractive schemes, discounts, products on offer and promotions.
Shailen Amin, Co-Founder and CEO, beStylish is optimistic about the market sentiments picking up and a surge in sales on account of its “distinct promotional schemes, strategic promotions and better product line-up”.
As a prelude to the festivities, Crazeal is celebrating its first anniversary and inviting users to join the party with zero-priced deals, said Ankur Warikoo, CEO, Crazeal. The e-commerce site is launching an exclusive microsite, Diwali.Crazeal, which will offer multiple options for buyers on items such as gifts, sweets, chocolates and more. “With Diwali falling on a Tuesday, there is a long weekend coming up and we have a host of city getaway deals waiting for people who wish to take a break,” Warikoo said. He claimed that Crazeal got an “overwhelming” response in its first festive season in India and intends to repeat the success this year as well.
Indiatimes Shopping has divided the festive season into three distinct periods – Navratra, pre-Deepawali and post-Deepawali (leading up to New Year). According to Subhanker Sarker, COO, Indiatimes Shopping, “Households typically spend the most during the first period, which is also the time of maximum clutter in terms of offers and advertising. However, it is the pre-Navratra or Shraadh period, which has immense opportunity for e-commerce as bookings can happen with deliveries being done in Navratra.”
“We are launching a massive site-wide promotion during this phase. This time we are doubling this up with a season-long celebration with contests and lucky draws,” he added. Electronics and jewellery will be the focus categories for Indiatimes Shopping, with their recent launch with Godrej giving them a strong presence in the former category. “We will also be launching one of the biggest jewellery brands through a mega campaign,” Sarker further said.
beStylish’s Amin sees a spurt in business for fashion portals during the festive period. beStylish is using innovative marketing strategies to aid in brand recall, build greater connect with consumers and eventually drive sales. On offer this year is a wide range of styles in footwear fashion.
Creating the right noise
Inspired by Germany’s signature Oktoberfest festival, Indiatimes Shopping lined up its own Oktoberfest, wherein one customer got to win a high-end smartphone everyday. Along with that, one customer got a complete cash-back for his purchase every two hours. This offer ran from October 5 to 15. “The intention is to give the whole shopping experience this festive season a celebratory feeling and not just do drab ‘discounting’,” Sarker explained.
For Crazeal, the communication starts with its birthday bash celebrations and continues right up to New Year’s Eve. “We will be refreshing our messaging so that it resonates with the festive mood. Along with Diwali, Christmas and New Year, too, will bring a host of celebration options for our customers. The birthday bash will see us giving out gifts to anyone who joins the party by simply logging on to One.Crazeal,” said Warikoo.
Along with multi-pronged promotional activities, beStylish is also focusing on digital engagement, which will highlight the widest range of styles on offer this festive season.
E-commerce portals are using digital and social media, along with traditional media options such as print, radio and on-ground activations for promotions.
Commenting on Indiatimes’ strategy, Sarker said that there will be a higher than usual mix of print as we intend to tap into the offline retail base, while social is the “central piece” in all the communication plans.
For beStylish, the focus is on online channels along with on-ground activations. Social media will be a facilitator for the on-ground activation programme.
The media mix will primarily be digital and social media for Crazeal, while radio will be used tactically to give it an extra push especially during the birthday bash and closer to Diwali. “This is because we feel that just before Diwali people are out and there are huge traffic jams that increase radio listenership,” Warikoo explained. Social media will be used both, as a broadcast and engagement medium.
Most e-commerce companies are increasing their ad spends by some X times this year rather than percentage increase, especially those rife with fresh fund infusions, observed Sarker. He added that ‘frugality’ is a core value they believe in and hence, the focus is mostly on passing on the benefits to the customers rather than going overboard on media spends. “Having said that, it is a complete gear shift for Indiatimes Shopping this year and that would mean an increase of at least three times in our spends this season,” Sarker added.
In comparison, beStylish is planning to keep its spends flat as compared to last year, said Amin.