TechManch 2019: Influencers to greatly impact sales: Suhail Sameer, RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group

Suhail Sameer, CEO, RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group, on how e-commerce is often confused with digital, the 5 phases of digital evolution and more

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Jun 29, 2019 9:14 AM

A spotlight session at TechManch 2019 by Suhail Sameer, CEO, RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group, highlighted how the digital media was not yet being used to its full potential and how influencers would greatly impact sales going forward.

Sameer began the session by encouraging brands to look at the digital space more seriously as a medium to influence sales and consumers. “Some companies make half-hearted attempts towards digital. They look at digital and say e-commerce is only 1 per cent of sales, so why even bother. Sometimes, people confuse e-commerce with digital. They are related but not necessarily close to being the same.”

He shared how often he is asked about sales percentage vis-a-vis e-commerce, which he believes is an irrelevant question. “Whether your sales will come from e-commerce or not, where is your consumer? He is on his phone, he is on his laptop and he is not necessarily watching a saas-bahu serial on TV and therefore digital becomes important.”

Citing forward-looking data to prove that digital is not only influencing spends but also buying behaviour, he presented the example of the beauty, wellness and personal care industry. “It is a 17 billion dollar industry in India. In 2020, 70 per cent of this will be influenced digitally. Which means that it will either be bought online or researched online before you buy it in the store.”

According to Suhail, there are 5 phases of digital evolution from the old world thinking of looking online but buying offline, leveraging own websites and other platforms to sell online, identifying target audiences, connecting engagement into sales and lastly using influencers to drive sales.

Borrowing from brand MamaEarth to establish the use of influencers, he said, “Eight per cent of MamaEarth’s marketing budget is spent on influencers. They work with communities of moms, they have some thousand moms network going, where each new product is tried by the mothers and the feedback is given to MamaEarth and product is changed accordingly. And these are the people who are selling it. They have used the product, tried it on their children and are selling the product through their social media handles and they get a percentage of the sales.”

Wrapping up the session, Suhail stressed on how even though the world realises that the influencer market is going to be critical, money being spent on it was still very small. He finished his address with a peak into the future towards vernacular video commerce and predictive analysis in the digital space.

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