Google partner - Vibes
The Indian Ecommerce Industry has been focusing on price points and deep discounting rather than service differentiation and customer experience. Finally they are being punished for this approach. The bottom-line for any business is to make profits, losses will only logically lead to a business shutting shop. In this age where – start-up and venture capital buzz words, entrepreneurs seem to have forgotten why is that we do business. The reason to engage in business is basic as old as time itself to create livelihood and to result in profits. Erstwhile president and COO of Softbank, Nikesh Arora, went on the record to say that, if 2015 was a year of tremendous funding, it also witnessed shake-out. The Indian E-commerce Industry has scaled down from 500 firms to 10, in the last year. Businesses such as Flipkart, Snapdeals and Jabong need to concentrate on customer experience and service differentiation rather than deep discounting. Since the inception of the industry a decade ago players have focused on two aspects of business – attracting more consumers and increasing the total value of goods sold. To do this online retailers have discounted products, out of their own pocket, to attract buyers. Investors have finally started asking tough questions and raised their concerns around the practise of deep discounting. Flipkart's story: Flipkart was founded in 2007, and is headquartered out of Bengaluru. It has established itself as the home-grown player in the Indian e-commerce space, with a reported gross merchandise value (GMV, or the total value of goods sold) of $10 billion. Flipkart is one of the most funded technology start-ups in India, having raised a total of $3.15 billion, according to CrunchBase, a start-up database platform. In the ninth year of business, Flipkart now has over 46 million registered users, 33,000 employees, 14 warehouses, and gets 10 million daily page visits. The company has recently witnessed several negative developments. These negative developments are the classic symptoms of what ails the Indian e-commerce industry. Earlier in the year the company's valuation was trimmed by investor Morgan-Stanley by $4 billion. This move came earlier in the year when the company posted another year on year loss of Rs.2000 crores. The valuation of the company was cut from $15 billion to $11 billion. The share prices came down from $103.97 per share from $142.24 in June 2015. Also the company has seen many changes in leadership with Binny Bansal replacing Sanjay Bansal as CEO. They have also other key senior players like Mukesh Bansal – once rumoured to be the next CEO. Another senior leader, Punit Soni, has left. Soni came to Flipkart from Google last year, but was not given a defined role following management changes in January. With these numerous changes in leadership one can only say that the climate at Flipkart will be volatile and strained .The company also seems to struggling with a clear cut strategy. The company decided to shut its mobile site, however later went back on its decision. Post that there were rumours that the company planned to shut their website altogether. This was a strategy that Flipkart’s subsidiary, Myntra, had opted for in May 2015 and abandoned in December. For now, Flipkart is available across all channels. Snapdeal's Story: Snapdeal, trails right behind Flipkart as India's second largest e-commerce platform, in terms of GMV. Snapdeals has long been looking to dethrone Flipkart for the elusive number one spot. Kunal Bahl, Snapdeal CEO has gone on the record to say that the company was on the verge to overtake Flipkart. The target date that was set was March 2016. However as of March 2016 Snapdeals reported a GMV of $ 7 Billion and a financial loss of Rs.1326.01 crore, shooting up five times from 2014-15 loss of Rs.264.6 crores. In terms of comparing Flipkart and Snapdeal valuations the score is $11 billion vs $6.5 billion. The company seems to be facing the same problems that are biting at the heels of Flipkart. Kunal Bahl also seems to want to focus on a strategy of increasing number of users. The company reports that they have a million transacting users daily, which is greater that both Flipkart and Amazon (India) put together. However Snapdeal is not making the cut when it comes to wooing mobile app users. The company did not make it in the list of 15 most installed mobile apps in India .The study was released by Jana, a Boston based mobile internet company. If these woos were not enough, the company also ran into trouble with its employees. The company has faced alot of negative publicity with layoffs running rife. Is the tide turning ? : These developments at Flipkart and Snapdeals are a signal for the entire e-commerce sector in India. Get your strategy straight and run a tight ship. There are trouble waters ahead. Major players including Shopclues.com are finding it hard to raise money with VC s, these days. The VC s no longer have confidence in the Indian e-commerce sector. E-commerce sector in India, in 2015, saw an investment in tunes of $9 billion. The new year has seen a series of disinvestments like Rocket internet wanting to cut its losses in Jabong and Foodpanda . Softbank has also seemed reluctant to invest in e-commerce, let's just say $100 million cheques from Softbank are harder to come by. DST and Naspers has also been quiet in the e-commerce space. The valuation bubble seems to be on the verge of bursting. A recent survey carried out by VCCircle has indicated that the interest in e-commerce is waning. 46% of the participants indicated an interest in investing in start-ups in the consumer service space. Only 23% still have confidence in investing in the e-commerce sector. Over the last few years, e-commerce start-ups have received largest investments from VC s. Kashyap Deorah, serial entrepreneur and the author of In The Golden Tap: The Inside Story of Hyper Funded Indian Start-ups, a book about India’s start-up landscape said. “Doing business in that space had become territorial warfare with funding being the biggest weapon .The fake economics created by the e-commerce unicorns had created some bad habits in the ecosystem. Those will go away now and we can start building a more sustainable ecosystem.” The Flipkart and Snapdeals of the industry are facing apocalyptic dooms day scenarios is because they seem to have forgotten the basic principles of business – profiteering. The buzzwords of day seem to be gross merchandise value (GMV or total value of goods sold) and company valuations. Investors have been myopic in the past and only looked things like registered users and daily page visits. However these are of no consequence if the business does not make profits. The flaw in the business plan is at a basic level.

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Digital Marketing strategies for businesses during the Corona Crisis

Current Covid-19 Pandemic and Digital Strategy around it

 

The current unprecedented Corona Virus pandemic has left everyone's life stagnant and is testing everyone in its' own way. While people has started working from their homes, maintaining social distancing and awaring others about the disease while keeping hopes up for this to end soon, it's important for business owners and marketing teams to adapt their strategies according to the current scenario.

 

In such a crisis like situation, marketers need a proactive plan to adjust and adapt how they evolve as a team, speak to their customers, and manage their brands. Whether you as a business owner are on the back foot or the one dealing in any product/service included in essential services, tread lightly and operate with integrity.

 

In these ever-evolving times, marketers must not wait for problems to develop or solutions to reach market, but rather stick to the below plan and #BeatCoronaDigitally:

 

1. Re-Plan and Re-Evaluate

 

Define common case scenarios that could play out during the crisis with respect to your business, customers and partners. Marketing experts must drill down to identify the specific challenges that the community could experience in each scenario and identify actions to take.

 

 

2. Understand Customer Sentiment

 

The current crisis has amplified the distrust people already have in the brands these days. In Fact, the brands should rise to the occasion and re-establish Customer Centric policies

 One must engage with the customers, monitor their changed behavior and analyses change in search pattern by them. Marketers need to support customers and protect their relation with customers. Also, avoid leveraging short term gains at the expense of customer trust.

 

3. Have a Plan in place

 

This pandemic will end very soon. We'll step out of our homes, attend concerts, go out for munching food. Prepare for this transition thoughtfully and actively. The next few months will bring many societal changes that trickle down to the marketing plan. Use the best-, worst- and moderate-case scenarios to anticipate possible and likely changes and take alternative actions.

 

4. If you haven't already, Go Digital

 

Right now, almost everyone is sitting home currently. It's time to leverage the power of digital media, as consumption of this content is far more.  Digital gives a chance to understand consumer mindset in these testing times. Go for it today!

20 Apr 2020

5 Digital Marketing Tips to Beat Corona Digitally

Businesses have been harshly impacted by Covid-19 Pandemic and has severely dented marketing roadmap for many brands. Grocery stores have left with empty shelves and restaurants are completely shut for visit, this is tough time for Small & Medium industries.

Whether or not to go on with your existing marketing strategy during this pandemic is a tough question. Do you throw out your plan altogetherin trashand start over, or just make modifications? What digital marketing strategies should you continueand what we should abandon, is really the question of hour.

For those opting for a COVID-19-themedcontent and digital plan, following best practices remains necessary without fail.

 

1. Connect with your audience through social media

We are dealing with a pandemic which has affected our lives regardless of the fact that we have tested for Corona or not. Everybody is just locked up in their homes with minimal sources of communication. Nobody can stroll outside, nobody can go pubbing, nobody can hop in their favourite restaurant. This is the time to show empathy and be sensitive to others and help wherever we can. Consider is an opportune time for brands to stand out during difficult circumstances. More people are on glued on social channels, stuck at home, trying to remain connected in this suddenly isolated world.

 

2. Make sure your business can be found online

In case you haven't realized, more people are their online right now than on streets and in cars. Search traffic has significantly increased over the last couple of weeks and are showing a steep increase further. People are glued to their phones and computers, looking to educate themselves, get aware or might be just for entertainment purpose. Anything online right now will be consumed more than ever. It's not the time to derail marketing efforts but rather strengthen them. You should be using SEO strategies and search ads to gain maximum traction.

 

3. Stay Ahead of your Competition

SEO helps your business climb up the Google ranking and further help in bringing more traffic to the website. To climb up the ladder of Google rankings takes time, patience, consistency and strategic optimization strategies It’s important to stay ahead of the curve and do whatever is possible to keep your website updated and optimized, failing to which you can loose valuable ground in the search results post impact of Covid-19. It's not the time to push back your SEO efforts, but rather an opportunity to rigorously work towards surpassing those who have pulled back right now.

 

4. Focus on Local SEO and Online Reviews

Currently, the travel is minimal, and everybody is confined to their homes. In these rare times, once anybody leaves home, they look for nearby services and supplies. So, make sure your website is optimised for "near me" searches. Another way to boost local SEO right now is getting more positive reviews for your website. And in this time of lockdown, it's a golden opportunity to persuade your customer for putting a review in free time. If you are providing any essential services crucial to the consumer in these stressful times, your customer will be more inclined towards leaving a review commending your product or service.

 

5. Unique circumstances need unique offers

Show a positive intent and support towards your customers in these uncertain times by offering exclusive discounts and keep the revenue flowing. This is the most appropriate time that people are facing a little heat of crash crunch and are browsing at home for discounts and offers. Push out special offers through Pay Per Click (PPC) and social media channels. Since people are sitting at home spending a huge chunk of time on their screens and searching for relevant service providers, this is an opportunistic time to connect with customers and gain advantage over competitors. It's being considered that on an average, cost per click has decreased six percent across all verticals, reducing the average page the advertiser pays per click.

Be prepared to jump into action with new strategies to help your brand come back to a ‘healthy market' with a sound and a stable roadmap ahead. It’s a great time to continue your digital marketing activities as many of your competitors may go offline during this global pandemic and businesses can capture traffic and conversions because of reduced competition.

We at Vibes Communications are team of marketing specialists working religiously during these eventful times to help you sail the tough waters using digital mediums effectively.

We keep clients’ best interests in mind and work to provide extraordinary marketing solutions to maintain maximum engagement and positive sentiment for the brand, while executing budget spend judiciously.

 

Consult us today for holistic digital services in this changing market to capture your audience in a perfect way.

16 Apr 2020

How can SEO help your business grow?

SEO: The term implies ‘Search Engine Operation’. This technique is used to rank a website in search engine results. It helps in improving the volume and quality of traffic to a website from different search engines. These search engines perform different activities in order to deliver better results. This is how we explained you how Search Engine Operation works. In real terms, SEO plays a very significant role in promoting the growth of your brand. Without the use of proper SEO, your brand can never succeed. You need to have a strong SEO team who can function and monitor the SEO which will further generate you more business.

Search Engine performs different activities in order to deliver best results. Like for example.

Crawling: This is a process of catching all the web pages which are linked to the website. This procedure is performed by a software called Crawler.

Indexing: The entire method of creating an index for all the captured web pages and storing them in a database from where it can be found later. Indexing is basically identifying the words and expressions that describe the page and assign that page to the keywords.

Processing: When you receive a search request, the search engine compares the request with the database indexed pages.

Retrieving results: In the end, the results which are best-matched will be taken out.

In order to make your own mark in this competitive world, you need to have strong SEO. There are lakhs of users who search for something or the other every day to find out the answers they are looking for. Most of the Internet users click on the top five suggestions which display on the top of the screen. In order to gain more website customers, you need to keep yourself in the top position.

SEO is very beneficial for the social growth of your website. A lot of people who visit your website through google, chrome or Bing, might promote your website on Facebook, twitter, Instagram etc.

SEO also plays a key role in the effective running of a website. With good SEO your website can reach to the top position. Like for example if two websites are selling a same product, the SEO will have many clients and sales.

Internet users trust search engines. If you have your brand in the top list for the keywords that users are searching, it does increase your website’s trust. Because of the growing popularity of internet and Social Media a lot of companies are spending huge amount of money on building their SEO. These companies believe if they don’t work on their brand’s ratings through strong SEO, then their competitors might overtake them in business.

If your website’s ranking starts popping up, then there are chances that more traffic will be diverted to your website pages. Customer Engagement also plays a very crucial role in promoting your brand. When your website page or blog is SEO friendly, then you will be in a better position to engage with your clients.

Follow these simple tools to boost your SEO and it will take your brand to new heights.

06 Mar 2020