The next horizon will be deep integration of the physical and interactive worlds.
The future of online is offline. – CyriacRoeding (Angel Investor in many e-commerce companies)
E-commerce, a sector that created a buzz in the late 90s, has bounced back. India has emerged as the fastest growing and largest Internet market in terms of a number of users. However, the strongest argument against e-commerce – the buying behavior of Indian customers is non-virtual, is forcing the e-commerce industry to go offline. This time, it is showing a lot of interest in outdoor advertising and BTL.
The aim of these companies is to take online shopping to a wider audience – especially customers from B grade cities, who perhaps haven’t experienced online shopping at all. The non-virtual attitude of Indian customers being the biggest hindrance, BTL or experiential marketing again plays a very crucial role in their marketing strategies.
It is seen around the corner, eCommerce companies involving extensively in outdoors BTL campaigns. Flipkart, for example, has adapted to a mix of mediums in its outdoor campaign – billboards, ads/wraps on buildings, branding on buses/trains along with BTL/experiential marketing activities.
E-shops have also tried using smart outdoor media plans for mass visibility over the recent times. eBay India had undertaken a high visibility outdoor campaign after a period of two years for a duration of two months by investing 25 percent of its budget only on outdoor advertising. Apart from the traditional outdoor buzz, the e-commerce brand had tied up with PVR Cinemas in more than 20 locations.
In this activity, eBay India gave discount coupons with every PVR ticket purchased. Branding across these locations was also a part of this partnership. In addition, eBay also collaborated with a popular coffee chain Cafe Coffee Day to exploit in-cafe branding opportunities. Since youngsters are their soft target and show maximum adaptability to online shopping, the corporate & colleges become their obvious choice for touch points, when it comes to BTL activations and experiential marketing.
In-retail promotions are also coming handy for these e-commerce brands. The data indicates that the footfall across the electronic stores like Croma & e-zone is increasing by the day. Advertising in 20 odd TVs of these stores becomes a lucrative option for these marketers. This apart, setting up touch & feel zones for the walk-ins can be another activation that can be tried at these stores.
When it comes to further targeting Tier-III & Tier-IV cities, Van Campaigns are the tried and tested activation modules, applying with the same efficiency to the e-commerce companies.
Apart from this, TG based activations at touch points like colleges can also be fruitful. Given the current scenarios, Outdoors BTL are the best foot forward for any e-commerce company trying to expand its user base.