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Our goal for this year’s The Big Billion Days is to instill a feeling of togetherness among our customers: Vikas Gupta, Flipkart
This year's campaign will feature Virat Kohli, Ranbir Kapoor, Alia Bhat, Amitabh Bachchan, Sudeep Kiccha and Mahesh Babu in double avatars
Flipkart’s Big Billion Days sale has gone live on October 16 and will end on October 21.

Our goal for this year’s The Big Billion Days is to instill a feeling of togetherness among our customers: Vikas Gupta, Flipkart

Flipkart’s Big Billion Days sale has gone live on October 16 and will end on October 21.
  • This year, Flipkart is going all out to attract consumers to its Big Billion Days sale, with a high-decibel campaign featuring actors like Virat Kohli, Ranbir Kapoor, Alia Bhat, Amitabh Bachchan, Sudeep Kiccha and Mahesh Babu.
  • It is also making sure that it has content that people will connect with, for better engagements and consumer experience.
  • Vikas Gupta - Head of Customer, Marketing and Digital Businesses at Flipkart tells us about the platform's marketing strategies during the TBBD sale to make sure all stakeholders are able to make the most out of the exercise.
With the festive season just round the corner, ecommerce platforms have launched their festive sales. Owing to the fact that this year has been challenging, most platforms are going all out to woo consumers with different offers, discounts, coming up with high decibel campaigns, and making the overall experience more engaging and interactive.

And there is reason for all the noise. A recent report by consultancy firm RedSeer suggested that there will be a huge jump in the number of online shoppers during the festive months. If RedSeer’s data is to be believed, it is expected that the number will jump to around 50 million from 28 million in 2019.It is also expected that sales from Bharat will drive the growth.

Therefore, its not surprising that ecommerce platforms have a strong plan in place to make the most out of these few months.

We recently caught up with Vikas Gupta - Head of Customer, Marketing and Digital Businesses at Flipkart to understand how the platform plans to woo consumers, given its competitors will also be going live with the sales.

Making communication around TBBD relevant for the new world order

The last few months have led to a huge shift in our country’s socio-economic situation. To get over the pandemic-induced environment, Flipkart says its been working relentlessly with its ecosystem partners to bring resilience back into the community and expects the upcoming festive season to accelerate growth across its business ecosystem.

“We pride ourselves in being close to customers and intimately understanding their needs and expectations. The role of engagement and communication has never been more important, especially in today digital-first world. Our goal for this year’s TBBD is to instill a feeling of togetherness among our customers. With the central theme of celebrating TBBD as a cultural event, our campaign this year highlights the ways in which the annual occasion is celebrated by the entire country,” shares Gupta.

This year, due to the pandemic, Flipkart’s marketing approach has hinged on rebuilding the confidence of customers, wishmasters, and sellers. “We have done that through transparent communication that let the authenticity of the brand and our deep care for customer needs and well-being shine through across all touch points. The strategy behind this year’s marketing efforts is to encourage participation from the customers and our media mix has been designed keeping in mind these crucial aspects,” he adds.

The lockdown led to people spending more time indoors which also led to them spending more time on various social media platforms. “This gives us the opportunity to engage the audience meaningfully on a platform that they are seeking to spend time on, daily. In partnership with Facebook, we are not only engaging the metro audiences but are customising campaigns in vernacular languages to reach consumers in Tier II regions and beyond. All this is driven through very personalized communication at scale, which drives efficiency from an engagement perspective. For us, the role of marketing is to deepen our relationship with customers through hyper-personalized experience across various touch points in the customer journey. This is enabled through deep technology integrations and a bias towards innovation,” explains Gupta.

Expectations from the festive season and TBBD this year

A lot of hopes rest on this year’s festive season. While consumer sentiments have slowly been improving, there are many who are still cautious about spending a lot in the year. However, Gupta expects the festive season to be a good one this year. “We expect that the upcoming festive season will usher in economic revival. An increasing number of brands, customers and sellers are embracing e-commerce for new opportunities as well as business continuity. Our ecosystem collaborations and upcoming special festive launches will help various businesses make a strong comeback through e-commerce. Another important factor that we believe will add to the consumer excitement is The Big Billion Days Specials which was launched first in 2019 to create curated special collections, that are thematic or have industry-first innovations, to make the consumer shopping experience a memorable one, while meeting their growing aspirations. This year, we have 100 Big Billion Days Specials brands with 200+ customised products, across categories such as fashion, electronics, mobile phones, large appliances, personal care, handicrafts, and others”, shares Gupta.

Since the lockdown restrictions were lifted in June, Flipkart has also been working on expanding its offerings across categories to make sure its consumers are equipped with not just essentials but even the non-essentials. “Besides essentials, the demand during the past few months has been driven by the growing need of kitchen, home improvement, work-from-home requirements and health and safety equipment. Moreover, by swiftly modifying our approach in terms of scaling up the supply chain, taking precautionary measures to ensure safe delivery and providing various affordability constructs, we were able to meet our consumers’ evolving demands,” he shares.

About whether consumers are ready to splurge this festive season, Gupta says, “The consumer sentiment towards festive is positive. This includes a good mix of all categories including mobiles, large appliances, fashion, furniture, home improvement products and you name it. And our teams have worked very closely with sellers and brand partners to bring the selection and offerings as per consumer demand. Industry reports suggest that this year as we kick off the festive season, 40-50 million new users will come onboard the ecommerce platform, and majority of these will be from emerging Tier III and IV towns. The constructs that Flipkart has worked on or we can say differentiates us have been built over years as we are totally committed to bring forward India-first innovations that keep these users in the centre stage.”

So how is Flipkart working on ensuring they break the clutter during the sales days this year? “Over the years, TBBD has transformed from a calendar to a cultural event that is celebrated across the country. From forging strategic partnerships, to the externalisation of the Big Billion Days, to curating Big Billion Days Specials, enabling easy pre-ordering and convenient wishlisting - we are focusing on exciting and novel offerings in partnership with the best brands and sellers in the country,” he shares.

Going all out with this year's TBBD campaign

This year, Flipkart has collaborated with McCann and the campaigns would see numerous celebrities and influencers in a unique double role, sharing endearing human stories about TBBD. The aim was to make sure the audience was able to connect with these stories.

This year’s campaign theme is designed to showcase how TBBD brings together families and friends and will feature Virat Kohli, Ranbir Kapoor, Alia Bhat, Amitabh Bachchan, Sudeep Kiccha and Mahesh Babu. The platform has also partnered with 20 influencers across categories including tech, fashion, beauty and entertainment as a part of its Big Billion Days Muqabala celebrations on both YouTube and its platform where they will be competing against each other to win exciting deals and offers.

Speaking about what this year’s high-decibel campaign would entail, Gupta shares, “This year’s campaign comprises a series of TVCs showcasing India’s most-loved celebrities in unique ‘double avatars’. They are bringing to life engaging personas that the entire Indian audience can relate to, especially during a much-awaited shopping festival. The campaign leverages the underlying element of friendly competition and light-hearted rivalry between near and dear ones, to get the best deals and outdo one another,” he elaborates.

Engaging with consumers through gamification

Over the past few years, more and more platforms have been experimenting with gamification to ensure they build a deeper connect with an engaged audience while also adding a fun element to the entire experience.

This year too, Flipkart has launched a gaming show, ‘BBD Muqabala’ which is hosted on the Being Indian channel on YouTube. The show has a two-pronged approach where selected influencers will be participating in a quiz to answer questions and earn interesting deals during The Big Billion Days. The same quiz show will also be available to our customers on the Flipkart app. By answering questions, consumers will be able to earn SuperCoin and use them to avail benefits on their purchases.

Throwing light on some of its other plans for the year, Gupta says, “Flipkart Video and Games is going to be a part of the Big Billion Days experience in a bigger way this year, giving consumers access to enjoy video content and play new games with great rewards, while providing an elevated shopping experience. For the upcoming festive season, we have an array of interactive shows and games lined up. By participating in these on-app offerings, users stand a chance to win rewards that can be redeemed by shopping on the Flipkart app itself. This way, we are giving them the best of entertainment, rewards and shopping, all on a single app.”

Besides gamification, Gupta shares that tech innovations has played is the backbone of the platform and it has worked hard to make sure that first-time users are at ease while shopping on Flipkart. “We launched two new technology features to handhold first-time users through the purchase journey – a search and voice assistant, and regional-language interfaces. These features were launched on the back of intensive research and data-driven insights on aspects such as e-literacy, consumer behaviour, and consumption patterns,” he adds.

Flipkart’s Big Billion Days sale has gone live on October 16 and will end on October 21.