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Has Amazon lost the social media battle to Flipkart and Snapdeal?

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Has Amazon lost the social media battle to Flipkart and Snapdeal?

A recent analysis by research firm Meltwater says that during this year's festive season, Flipkart had nearly 50 per cent share of voice on social media as compared to Amazon and Snapdeal. The analysis says that 48 per cent of social chatter comprised of conversations discussing experiences and purchases through Flipkart with Amazon accounting for 24 per cent and Snapdeal accounting for 28 per cent.

In terms of news coverage, Flipkart had an overwhelming 53 per cent of share of voice as opposed to Amazon's 19 per cent and Snapdeal's 28 per cent. However, Meltwater also said that despite its much lower share of voice, Amazon saw proportionately higher sales than Flipkart and Snapdeal, a fact that the research agency attributes to the success of Amazon Prime. Meltwater says that Amazon could have accounted for 36 per cent of units sold in comparison to Flipkart's 37 per cent and Snapdeal's 27 per cent.

The analysis is based on the initial weeks of October at the time when Diwali campaigns and sales were at their peak.

Interestingly, according to Meltwater's research, Amazon dominates the North and West region of the country, while Flipkart is more dominant in the East and the South.

"On monitoring what people were talking about Diwali on social media, it was noted that the three most popular themes associated with Diwali were e-commerce followed by sales, discounts and shopping. Even cars, jewellery and to our surprise crackers were a part of the social chatter. In-depth analysis into the conversations, revealed electronics, mobile phones and used cars were other popular search terms," said Adele Coelho, Head of Marketing at Meltwater India, Middle East & Africa.

 The big three marked the start of the Diwali sale season by launching creative campaigns to derive a generous RoI of more than Rs 1,000 crore within the first few days, said Coelho. "Each platform offered distinctive value propositions like 24X7 customer service and 1 day installation of gadgets by Snapdeal, Amazon Prime ensuring that 1 in 3 sales was by a Prime consumer, Flipkart focussing attention on mobile phones and gadgets that led to huge numbers without eating into the competitors share," she further informed.

With every passing year, marketing and social media campaigns are becoming better and more innovative especially around the festive season. As the competition in digital and social increases for not only creating awareness but also in generating revenues, brands often save the best for last and in India for the most awaited Diwali season. There were some exceptional campaigns and strategies- with Snapdeal’s re-branding to ‘Unbox Zindagi’ and ‘Unbox Diwali Sale’ to Flipkart’s #BigBillionsale to Amazon’s #GreatIndianShopping festival. Besides elaborate campaigns we have come across some innovative adverts especially from smaller e-commerce players such as Jabong, Pepperfry , Urban Ladder, Myntra that became the talk of the town.

"E-commerce being a preferred shopping choice this Diwali, the infographic benchmarks the three dominant players in the start of the sale season for the initial months of October to derive on a census related to the industry trends and consumer preferences. All three brands have seen exceptional growth patterns in the Indian market with Flipkart recently reaching its 100 million customers to Amazon revealing a 5x growth in new customer base to 2015 and Snapdeal going in for a total brand re-vamp. In the coming years, retailers will need to understand the consumer buying patterns in the online space as this market is growing at an exponential rate," said Coelho.

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Prior to joining Madison PR in 2012 Chaudhary was Group President Corporate Communications at Reliance Industries Limited.