Flipkart looks to online content initiatives to drive traffic, sales

Flipkart has launched gadget guide Fliptech in partnership with Digit.in, and Flipkart Hobby Hub, to help users discover new hobbies and products to pursue them on its platform


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

New Delhi: Flipkart, India’s largest e-commerce firm, has identified content as the next big lever to drive growth and traffic on its platform.

Flipkart has launched a host of content initiatives including Fliptech—a gadget guide—in partnership with Digit.in, a tech platform, and Flipkart Hobby Hub, to help users discover new hobbies and the products to pursue them on its platform.

It has also sewed up partnerships with viral content creators like The Viral Fever and ScoopWhoop for video series and branded content initiatives to enable its content-to-commerce strategy, the company said on Monday.

More than 50% of Indians look for product reviews online before making a purchase. “Get the look” guides for fashion, “How-to videos” around beauty and home and “Unboxing” videos for gadgets are the rage on YouTube, the company said.

“Reading this trend Flipkart, in its continuous effort to enhance customer experience on its platforms, has announced a series of content initiatives around its electronics, fashion, mobiles and home categories to help customers discover relevant products and be better informed before buying,” Flipkart said in a statement.

The move follows rival Amazon India’s launch last month of its Prime membership programme, under which it is offering one-day and two-day delivery on hundreds of thousands of products for an initial fixed price of Rs.499.

Amazon has said it will also offer video content later under Prime, although it didn’t disclose its proposed launch date.

In the US, Prime’s video streaming service is the only major competitor to Netflix.

“There are multiple ways in which you get people to buy online—prices, advertising, selections and delivery. Content will be the new lever to drive more traffic to the platform as we educate consumers about what to buy and how to decide what’s the best suited product for them,” said a top Flipkart executive who declined to be named. “They will no longer need to go to Google to check product reviews, etc. Through these initiatives we will get people to visit our product pages and in turn increase sales.”

Flipkart will provide this content free of cost. It will, however, be ad-supported. All the content initiatives can be accessed on Flipkart’s mobile app and website.

According to Samardeep Subandh, chief marketing officer at Flipkart, these new content initiatives are aimed at helping e-commerce shoppers with understanding and buying products that they are interested in.

“In the first few days of launch, we have seen more than 1 million visits to our new content pages with strong conversion numbers,” he claimed.

The first of such initiatives is Fliptech, the gadget guide powered by Digit, to help customers choose the gadgets that are best for them.

Fliptech is available as an app for Android and iOS as well as on the company’s website. The guide helps users scan the latest launches of gadgets, from cameras to laptops, recommends the best buys of the day and provides product reviews based on actual usage tests, the company said.

Flipkart Hobby Hub will allow customers to discover a hobby they would like to pursue. For instance, someone interested in photography will be introduced to the various facets of it—taking pictures of wildlife, people, nature or food. Hobby Hub will direct users to products related to the hobby and lay out the best deals available on them.

Next month, Flipkart will launch four more partnerships as part of its content-to-commerce programme, under which it will team up with The Viral Fever, the online creators of popular shows like Pitchers and Permanent Roommates, ScoopWhoop, India’s Buzzfeed clone with a user base in excess of 20 million users, film magazine Filmfare and PING, a multi-channel network on Google.

The Viral Fever’s founder Arunabh Kumar said it will produce Buzzfeed-like videos for Flipkart.

“TVF has always collaborated with brands like Flipkart and Airtel to create sustainable content marketing for the brand which generates a lot more value compared to the crores spent on TV commercials where the brand vanishes in 20 seconds from the viewer’s mind,” added Kumar. The deal with The Viral Fever is for three to six months and different formats will be experimented with.

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