Leveraging Social Media

Online retailers are adopting multi-pronged social media strategies and creating a unique brand identity in the bargain

By: Anees Merchant, Sr Vice President, Blueocean Market Intelligence

Gone are the days when setting up of shops was sufficient to do business, brands these days are not limiting to one particular channel be it radio, print, television or Internet alone. In the last two decades, rising mobile phone penetration and Internet has changed the way we communicate and do business. Indian eCommerce is projected to explode from $10 bn to $43 bn in the next five years, according to Nomura’s India Internet Report. In total, there are 11 broad categories, and within them 42 players are set to transform this blazing path. Learning from the West, eCommerce brands in India are adopting social media to interact, engage, and drive sales. Indian eCommerce companies at present are heavily leaning on the Internet and mobile app revolution to radically alter the way brands reach and interact with their customers. Several eCommerce firms such as Snapdeal, Jabong, Amzaon, Flipkart, and Myntra are either launching or enhancing UI for their mobile apps; some of them have set aside huge funds to acquire companies in the mobile space.
Flipkart has announced its launch of adopting Instagram
and is promoting it on its social media channels. For instance, Myntra has over 25 lakh Facebook fans. Myntra also has a fashion blog, ‘Style Mynt’, in which it shares latest celebrity fashion trends, the newest offerings, and so on. Another eCommerce giant, Amazon has more than 41 lakh fans on Facebook.
The presence on social media is not just the only practice
the eCommerce companies are following. They are using it
as an advantage to understand customer needs better and
drive better marketing strategies. The data from social and
other channels is being integrated and leveraging analytics
is helping the marketers drive better customer engagement.
The following notable social media analytics practices are being followed by eCommerce companies to drive better customer engagement and sales:
PERSONALIZATION & TARGETING
Research shows that personalization targeting can deliver five to eight times of RoI on marketing spent and can lift sales by 10% or more. If one happens to be on a top retailer’s page and sees or accesses the products but doesn’t make a purchase,
the same customer is being retargeted via social media channels like Facebook, Twitter or via Google display ads. These type of personal and one-to-one marketing initiatives are enhancing customer engagement and focus targeting efforts.
GEO AND DEMO-TARGETING
eCommerce companies are focusing on driving targeted ads to individuals at a specific location or part of a specific demographic group. Today, we provide each and every personal information about ourselves to social media channels which is further being leveraged by these channels to provide aggregated information to advertisers like eCommerce companies. This aggregated data is then leveraged and infused in their own customer segments to drive custom analytics solutions. The analytical outputs are pushed back to the social media channels in form of marketing offers to drive better advertisements.
MARKET RESEARCH AND EARLY FEEDBACK
Instead of spending millions on marketing, the eCommerce companies are gathering from owned and public data sources to find information around: Changing consumer habits, Unmet needs, Market white spaces.
The companies get early feedback on test advertisements on social which are propagated further on larger and expensive paid mediums.