As Chief Marketing and Business Officer of Yebhi.com, Nikhil Rungta has been at the helm of marketing and PR for the e-commerce portal. He has additional responsibilities of managing the business P&L, corporate strategy and product management (UI and UX).
Prior to joining Yebhi.com, Rungta was Country Marketing Head at Google India, where he was responsible for managing the Google brands, including YouTube, Android, Chrome and Google+. He also launched ecosystem-shaping initiatives such as Get India Business Online (GIBO) and the Great Online Shopping Festival (GOSF).
In conversation with exchange4media, Rungta speaks about the growth of online shopping in India, the Google Online Shopping festival and more…
In the new age multi-platform digital world, how well have the Indian customers adapted to online shopping?
In the current e-commerce scenario, India is seen as a country of high potential. International players are gearing up to take a plunge as they see an untapped market waiting to be explored. The internet user base continues to grow, but the real game changer will be m-commerce. Currently, India has a mobile customer base of 951 million, of which 87 million Indians are accessing the internet through their mobile phones. Yebhi.com receives close to 15-20 per cent traffic from mobile phones. This further indicates how consumers are using different platforms to shop online.
What made you and your team at Google initiate the Google Online Shopping Festival (GOSF) last year?
When I was with Google, we initiated GOSF to grow the whole online ecosystem in India. More than 50 per cent people buy online in the US and in China, whereas in India it was less than 5 per cent, In order to fill this gap, we initiated a new shopping festival. We wanted to build something similar to other global events such as Cyber Mondays, Single Day, etc., and that’s when we came up with the concept of the Google Online Shopping Festival. The idea is that if there are good offers, people will do more shopping online and will stick to it. Keeping in mind the success and high rate of acceptance of Cyber Mondays, we were confident that with GOSF we can encourage more online shoppers to come onboard in India as well.
In India, the percentage of online shoppers may be marginal, but there is a lot of potential to turn consumers towards e-shopping. We realise that everyone recognises a good deal and would like to benefit from it. Therefore, an online shopping festival correctly brings all the good deals under one roof, making it far more user friendly.
How advantageous have the e-commerce sites been for this initiative?
One of the key motivations behind the GOSF has been attracting first time consumers. We have put together really interesting offers and this year, Yebhi.com saw 50 per cent hike in traffic during the festival time. We believe a lot of first time users did experience online shopping through GOSF and increase in visitors impacts the sales, numbers of orders and user base of the portal.
How has the GOSF grown since its inception? How many visitors do you get per day? Which are the most selling categories in the GOSF?
GOSF 2012 was a 24-hour shopping festival, while GOSF 2013 was a three-day festival, which had to be extended to accommodate the demand. So, GOSF has definitely grown and is much anticipated by the consumers. GOSF 2013 saw participation from over 200 e-commerce companies. This year, it was reported that GOSF attracted 2 million visitors, a figure that has doubled since its introduction in 2012, and Yebhi.com saw a 50 per cent increase in visitor traffic. The top selling categories were shoes, apparels, home furnishing, electronics and accessories.
What are some of the innovative marketing techniques used to attract customers?
At Yebhi, we created GOSF buzz by using our social platform by putting promotional posts, emailers and banners on our website for continuous awareness.