Trendspotting: E-commerce players persuasively target 'sellers' not just 'buyers' in ad campaigns

Since both sellers and customers form the core of e-tailing platforms, mass media campaigns are now being launched by the likes of Snapdeal, Flipkart and ShopClues to educate and encourage sellers to adopt online selling

e4m by Sarmistha Neogy
Published: Jul 8, 2015 8:47 AM  | 5 min read
Trendspotting: E-commerce players persuasively target 'sellers' not just 'buyers' in ad campaigns

As competition stiffens in the e-commerce category, players are now aggressively trying to reach out to the sellers, as much as the consumers in their ad campaigns.  Since both sellers and customers form the core of these e-platforms, mass media initiatives are now being launched to educate and encourage sellers to adopt online selling. Snapdeal came out with its first vendor communication featuring Aamir Khan in April this year. It was then followed by Shopclues and Flipkart, who also came out with similar ads, targeting vendors and inspiring them to be a part of the online e-tail revolution.

Commenting on whether it is becoming a trend, Jagdeep Kapoor, Chairman & Managing Director, Samsika Marketing Consults said, “Wherever any business takes place, whether it is physical, offline, online or e-commerce, there is always a buyer and a seller involved. Hence, both the buyers, meaning consumers and sellers need to be addressed. The trend is picking up because sellers are also being respected and being communicated to. After all, from whom will the consumers buy if there are no vendors or sellers? Hence, supply is as important as demand, it is a healthy communication trend.”
Below are a few ads following the trend

Flipkart ad:

Snapdeal ad:

ShopClues ad:

Kapoor liked all the three ads done by the e-commerce players because each of them is distinct and different in their approach though the objective is the same.

According to Ashish Khazanchi, Managing Partner at Enormous Brands, the reason why e-commerce players are now coming out with campaigns targeted towards the vendors is because they want to enrich the ecosystem for the consumers. By encouraging more sellers, to join the platform, it will be the consumers who will get to choose from a variety of things. However it is doesn’t mean that, players have now started doing B2B (business-to business) initiatives, it is just that earlier it was done through personal contacts and now they are using more of mass media.

Sharing the thought behind Flipkart’s recently launched campaign ‘Apne Sapne Jeeke Dekho’, Ankit Nagori, Chief Business Officer- Flipkart said, “It is one of our first big scale seller campaign till date and our objective was to inspire more sellers to explore online selling. This one and half month long campaign focuses on creating more awareness about the market place model and online selling. Furthering our efforts to create a comfortable seller ecosystem, this campaign will offer entrepreneurs/SMEs the understanding and know-how about how to take their business online and benefit from it.”

This campaign, conceptualised by Lowe Lintas mainly targets the sellers from all walks of life; from a second generation business owner to small boutique owners and corporate professional to a college graduate, anyone who aspires to start a business of their own is our key target.

On whether Flipkart will be coming out with more such ads, Nagori added, “Our media strategy is based on in-depth research into our target audience, keeping in mind their media consumption habits. We have some exciting plans in store for the future.”

Talking about the insight behind the campaign, Rajesh Ramaswamy, Executive National Director, Lowe Lintas and Partners commented, “Behind every business, there is a human face. Our attempt was to bring that face in front of the consumers. We questioned that why do movies and ad films only show one kind of people doing businesses, those who have taken a different path and have decided to do something different. What about those, who are stuck to the traditional family business? We decided to profile these set of people in our campaign.”

Nitin Agarwal, Senior Director, Marketing, ShopClues pointed out that India is a land of traders with innumerable small businesses across the country with wide variety of great products. They are however, rarely able to expand beyond their immediate geographical area because of the high distribution costs and other impediments. “By launching our seller campaign, done by Enormous Brands, we aim to show them how they can achieve the pride of being national sellers and also discover the ease of online selling. This has been a very successful campaign and there is a second leg to it as well. It has generated a lot of buzz online and as a result of which, the general enquiry has shot up by almost 100%,” he cited.

Vishal Chadha, Senior Vice President – Market Development, Snapdeal said, “Snapdeal is an online marketplace and we enable businesses to either expand their existing business online or for new entrepreneurs to set up a successful online business. While it is extremely necessary to constantly increase the consumer base, it is also essential to have a healthy seller base. Sellers form an important part of our ecosystem and we did not make a shift from consumers to businesses, but progressed to involve sellers also in our brand communication. We want more and more sellers (entrepreneurs and SMEs) to understand the benefits of working with Snapdeal and come on board, aspiring to create a community of a million successful sellers in the near future.”

He further shared that while they chose TV as a medium, the planning of vehicles and programming is developed keeping in mind the interest of the sellers. “The target audience for ads are all aspiring entrepreneurs who would want to start selling online to grow their business. They may already be successful offline entrepreneurs, whether as retailers, wholesalers, distributors, or manufacturers. But we are equally interested in the first time entrepreneur. These could be artisans, craftsmen, homemakers, students or professionals who are considering becoming an entrepreneur can do so by becoming a seller on Snapdeal,” he said.  

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