A happy festive season to Indian e-comm as tier 2, 3 shoppers grow

The industry is using digital media and the power of regional language content to spur the growth further

e4m by Simran Sabherwal & Mansi Sharma
Published: Oct 27, 2021 9:06 AM  | 7 min read

Indian e-commerce players are revelling in festive cheer. As per RedSeer, e-commerce platforms are expected to potentially clock over Rs 675 billion in gross merchandise value (GMV) during the festive season this year as against Rs 555 billion last year. 

Lyxel&Flamingo Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer Shreyansh Bhandari notes, “The festive season typically is the best time to buy electronics and appliances which will gain higher traction like always. Apart from this, a few categories that are expected to do well are Fashion and Beauty, Furniture and even Packaged Specialty Foods. These categories are buoyed by new launches, influx of new brands (Natural, Organic, etc.) and heavily driven by customer sentiments. Festive & wedding season lifestyle brands are also expected to have good traction. With the economy now showing signs of recovery, a recent report by Dentsu shows that ad spends are also expected to grow by 10.8% this year to reach $9 billion. Also, to bring back the positive sentiments in the market, a lot of brands are also launching their festive campaigns.” 

Myntra Chief Marketing officer Harish Narayanan shares, “Given the excitement and sentiment among shoppers and the fact that people have started to step out with some semblance of normalcy setting in, we are betting big on the festive season and are spending a sizable share of our H2 budgets on it. We have been witnessing a positive response from the shoppers and among the many outcomes of our marketing efforts, the recent one has been our customers buying nearly 4 million products on an opening day and recording the highest-ever day 1 traffic on Myntra in its latest and ongoing edition of Big Fashion Festival. Our efforts that are spread through the season continue to bring us solid responses from our customers from all parts of the country. In fact, 20% of the customers who shopped at the Myntra Big Fashion Festival were first-time users.” 

As shared by a Snapdeal spokesperson, the first sale of the season on the platform recorded a 98% hike in volume as compared to the previous year. “This year, nearly 60% of total orders came from Tier 3 towns. Tier 1 & 2 cities accounted for nearly 26% of orders, while metro buyers accounted for the balance 14%. The total value of sales from Tier 3 towns has increased by 74% over last year, while the total value of sales from Tier 2 cities is trending nearly 90% more than last year’s festive sales.” 

High Street Essentials Pvt. Ltd. VP - D2C Anurag Murali highlights, “There’s definitely pent up demand for apparel and in particular, occasion wear. Our daily website traffic numbers and in-store footfall have already displayed a 30% increase and while the shopping sentiment is poised to reach its peak this week, these numbers will only go up. So yes, our metrics are definitely pointing towards revenge spending.”

Galore of Splendid Marketing Efforts 

The surge of consumers on online platforms for shopping has also resulted in a spike in marketing efforts on and by these platforms. Sharing his projections on ad spends this festive season, Bhandari quips, “On an average, we are seeing a 50% increase across accounts which were present in 2020. There are outliers that have shifted their entire budgets to digital and more than doubled their spends. As per one of the industry reports, digital will play a very crucial role across the purchase journey as around 80% consumers journeys will be ‘digital’ influenced while 77% of endemic journeys will involve amazon.in. Also, multiple touchpoints will be leveraged like Connected TV, Video & Search Advertising etc. to drive active/passive brand discovery as well as conversions. To connect with around 177 million online shoppers, brands are willing to spend heavily on digital.” 

Highlighting Myntra’s marketing strategy for the season, Narayanan says, “The strategy for us during any large event is to gradually build up our user cohorts, pre-event, which happened this time through our brand campaign events in August and continued until mid-September. As a result, we had enough salience build up because of the reach and frequency of the exposure. So people have seen our communication multiple times allowing us to prime them for the event about 10-15 days in advance and then increase the frequency of specific strong calls to action (CTA) led by fantastic offers, event date reveals, category-specific callouts and so on. 

“Another important part of this strategy has been to get together the biggest group of our celebrity ambassadors, known for their acting and fashion prowess, for us to be able to strengthen our foothold among their large fan base across the country, and especially in regional clusters down south. Together, with 100+ high-impact celebrities and influencers driving awareness through pre-buzz and event days, we expect a 3X jump in social media impressions for the campaign.” 

Murali shares, “Looking at the positive consumer sentiment, we’re concentrating heavily on product offerings and digital initiatives to delight our customers.  We’ve launched two occasion wear lines – an in-house collection, and a Diwali special capsule in collaboration with designer Payal Singhal. Since this festival is all about community and sharing, we're creating a gifting page for our customers replete with gift sets that have been specially curated by our designers. We’re also revamping the website with occasion-based shopping pages, engaging gamification, and special sales and will be pushing engaging festive-special content and contests on social media.” 

For The Regional Markets 

The industry is also focussing highly on content and promotions in regional language to attract the whole new league of first-time consumers that are primarily emerging from tier 2 and tier 3 areas. As per ShareChat’s ‘Brands & Bharat: Decoding the Language-First Festive Shopper’ playbook, 60% of the total shopper base for this festive season will be from tier 2 and tier 3 cities, and 90% of new Indian internet users prefer to access content in a familiar language. For ecomm giants like Flipkart and Amazon, a great deal of consumers are emerging from these geographies; 45% of Flipkart’s demand during this year’s festive season sale came from tier 3 cities and there was a 21% increase in Amazon sellers orders from tier-2 and 3 cities as compared to last year. 

ShareChat & Moj CCO Ajit Varghese notes, “Covid 19 stimulated the growth of e-commerce channels and the non-metro cities adopted this trend to become major contributors to its success. Consumers from tier-2 and Tier-3 towns indulge in luxury purchases Via eCommerce is a trend we revealed in ShareChat -Neilsen report last year and we expect a great festive season ahead with more consumers from Bharat adopting socio-commerce.  ShareChat and Moj have a collective community of over 340 million monthly active users and at this tremendous scale, we are well-positioned to understand the evolving Bharat shopping behaviour of these consumers. Our festival playbook will serve as a guide and give brands a glimpse into ways of engaging with the next drivers of digital growth. ” 

Several brands are using the platforms to promote their festive sales, including Myntra and Meesho. The recent Myntra campaign had several elements including creators sharing looks that could be purchased from Myntra in under one thousand rupees. “Factors like larger access to designs and styles as compared to offline markets, high engagement, and an improvement in supply management by ecomm platforms has contributed to this growth,” a Sharechat spokesperson noted. 

Snapdeal too is betting high on its regional promotional plans, “Seeking value is an integral part of an Indian customer’s purchase consideration. Our brand campaign, 'Brand Waali Quality, Bazaar Waali Deal' is about nudging consumers to find the best value for their money and trust their own wisdom to judge what’s value and what’s hype.  This festive season we continue to reinforce this message with region-specific video campaigns, collaborations with social media influencers, and moment marketing. Currently, we are running campaigns in Gujarat and West Bengal, where we've partnered with trusted celebrities like Aarohi Patel and Shubhoshree Ganguly, to communicate our core brand offerings, assortment depth, and festive special offers. The campaign is currently live in select markets on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and OTTs such as Zee5 and MX Player.” 

Apart from fashion, other key categories that are popular among regional markets include groceries, beauty & grooming, home furnishings and decor, mobile phones, computer accessories, books & stationary, etc.

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