Five days that glued Indian online buyers to their screens

Three major e-commerce firms, thousands of deals, millions of products


Photo: Hemant Mishra/Mint
Photo: Hemant Mishra/Mint

From 13 to 17 October, Indian consumers were tempted with deals to shop online through print ad wars, television commercials, and outdoor and digital drives by e-commerce giants Amazon, Flipkart and Snapdeal. While there are many sales by e-commerce firms through the year, this particular sale period overlapped, making it easier to compare.

Hugely talked-about in social media

In the social space, this was one of the most talked-about business activities (typically only a big festival or cricket would generate more buzz). Netimpact (a social analytics specialist) tracked over 200,000 conversations around the topic in a 10-day period around this sale for Mint, and some of the trends are shared below, which make for interesting reading. The major hashtags of all players (#AmazonFestiveSale, #BigBillionDays and #SnapdealDiwaliSale) trended on Twitter at different points in time during the sale period. Consumers took to social media to share their experiences of shopping during the sales. High levels of participation were seen in the contests organized by each firm on social media.

The big talking point

The No. 1 conversation cluster was about the amazing deals and great savings made as a result of the festive sales and expression of gratitude for them. Clearly, the extent and width of discounts resonated very positively with consumers. Across the three platforms, people shared their delight when the goods arrived and were pleasantly surprised on receiving their orders before the expected dates despite the rush.

“An analysis of the conversations reveals the key winning drivers as well as some opportunities for future. All three companies focused on attractive and genuine discounts spread across categories and a strong delivery focus,” said Rahul Saighal, managing director, Netimpact. “This year, all the three e-commerce players seemed to have got their back end and overall management much more in place”.

For a sale of this magnitude, the extent of positive comments as a percentage showed that the firms were running well-oiled machines. The most talked-about category was mobile phones—consumers were busy checking if some of the latest models were available. There was some angst and complaints were aired about some items running out and errors in placing orders but the numbers were minor given the overall scale.

And the winner is...

If we compare the share of voice on social media around 13-17 October bumper Diwali sales, Flipkart emerged as the clear winner as it managed to generate social chatter in a big way with 63% share of voice. Amazon was in second place with 20% and Snapdeal close behind at 17%.

The chart shows the share of conversations around the sale period (13-17 October) for Amazon, Flipkart and Snapdeal.

The marketing push

Besides the attractive offers and seamless deliveries that generated a lot of chatter, some marketing interventions were also woven, in the form of contests and celebrity involvement.

Flipkart hosted the Big Billion Hunt contest, Amazon had the Try for Gold and Dubsmash contest, and Snapdeal ran a quiz contest based on the Diwali sale.

Flipkart witnessed a conversation between actors Genelia D’Souza and Riteish Deshmukh (also her husband). Amazon had videos posted by actress and television presenter Mandira Bedi and Rannvijay Singh (television host and film actor). Snapdeal saw brand ambassador, the actor Madhavan, tweeting about the sale.

Snapdeal leveraged on its association with Aamir Khan and posted around 11 television commercials on YouTube. Being the sponsor of Bigg Boss, a promotion was also done on the television show, which got it a share of the conversation on social media too.

In sum, a blockbuster

The sales push, in a nutshell, was unprecedented in scale and well executed and won consumer endorsement. Genuine discounts and good logistics, with no major platform breakdowns, ensured the key drivers for consumers were taken care of. It would be interesting to see the evolution and differentiation in strategies in the next round.

For further details and methodology, go to www.netimpactlimited.com/recent-reports/

Methodology:

The no. of conversations have been arrived at with the following methodology:

1) Time frame taken: 5-19 October 2015.

2) Conversations are defined as tweets, mentions, comments, retweets and shares.

3) Conversations measured are those which could be captured by various tools and packages. These are not exhaustive but strongly directional given the numbers captured.

4) These conversations are the ones that had a mention directly or indirectly to the sales.

For more details, visit www.netimpactlimited.com

NetImpact Solutions is a digital marketing agency and consultancy founded in February 2014.

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