Twitter's Neha Sharma on how e-commerce brands have been amplifying their digital presence to communicate
- Over the past year, e-commerce brands have truly transformed their engagement strategies in the digital space.
- Neha Sharma Katyal, Business Head – West & South,
Twitter Indiashares some best practices followed by e-commerce brands on Twitter while highlighting the trends in the space.
When we speak of digitisation, the e-commerce industry shines as a silver lining in the midst of a dark pandemic past. With offline businesses facing the brunt of 2020, consumers moved to the online space to cater to their shopping needs. This shift also elevated the ushering of many new customers who were otherwise unversed in digital purchases. With increased activity came new conversations, and people logged on to the digital space to talk about their shopping needs, seek suggestions and information, and discuss their experiences. Prompted by this influx of consumer attention and needs, e-commerce brands have been amplifying their digital presence to communicate and establish a sense of reliability in their consumers’ minds.
Decoding the pulse of the online shopper
While fashion and lifestyle have been the drivers of the e-commerce industry for a long time, recent years, especially 2020, saw many new purchase categories pick up pace with consumers. Right from groceries to gadgets and home appliances, the Indian shopper has been adopting digital transactions with ease. For example in a survey conducted via Twitter, 24% plan to increase purchases of home appliances through mobile. Brands need to be on their toes and preserve their customers as there is an increased tendency of seeking more feasible alternatives. With more and more small-scale businesses bringing in a range of options to choose from, staying connected with consumers is the key to retaining them.
Addressing customer sentiments through engagement driven solutions
Initially, e-commerce brands looked at the digital space to grab eyeballs, increase their following and engage with existing or prospective customers. Their focus has now shifted to establishing reliable relationships with their audiences, driving purchase behaviour and converting shoppers to loyal customers - things that have, for long, been a challenge for most e-commerce brands. A key driver that turns intent into purchase behaviour is the prospect of rewards and discounts. Brands like Amazon India leverage this insight to lure customers in via the prospect of exciting discounts.
While customers are actively seeking to know more about brands, brands too have been starting conversations to engage their audience with what they have to offer. When Flipkart hosted its flagship annual sale #BigBillionDays in 2020, the brand launched a campaign to gather an audience for the massive event and convert their attention into purchase behaviour. On Twitter, positive sentiment for Flipkart grew by 14% during the campaign dates as compared to 10 days before it. The brand accomplished this by leveraging conversations - getting customers to engage with the multi-phased campaign - and rewarding them for this engagement with direct baits that led towards the point of purchase. In fact, Flipkart’s 2020 #BigBillionDays sale was their biggest sale ever done virtually, selling goods worth $2.5 Billion.
Leading the way through technology-driven communication
Technology, the very backbone of the e-commerce industry, has also been its saving grace in a year of unmatched challenges. Accessible internet, rising smartphone usage and increased online traffic have substantially contributed to the growth of Indian e-commerce. Through systematic use of artificial intelligence and machine learning tools via chatbots, online assistance services, virtual trial rooms etc., brands have been able to establish reliability in providing seamless experiences, instant support and grievance redressal. Moreover, the rapid incorporation of voice control and voice recognition as well as the integration of payment solutions have further eased the shopping experience, giving people all the more time and reason to make purchases online. With everything happening online, building the right digital strategy thus becomes indispensable to their business model.
The Indian e-commerce industry is expected to be the second-largest market in the world by 2034. It is also expected to boost the employment scenario of the country by creating nearly 1.45 million jobs by 2021. With a strong presence and a promising future, e-commerce brands stand in front of a massive opportunity to tap into the Indian market. Amplified digital outreach via strategically chosen channels and communication designed to engage audiences will pave the way forward for these brands.