Opinion: How e-commerce platforms play an important role in digital marketing

Rajni Daswani, Director of Digital Marketing at SoCheers, shares that while digital marketing brings attention to your brand, e-commerce allows you to actually sell.

The Indian e-commerce industry is booming and how! India’s e-commerce sector is expected to grow to US$111.40 billion by 2025 from US$46.20 billion in 2020, growing at a CAGR of 19.24%, which is expected to outpace its overseas counterparts. Likewise, digital marketing has also seen a huge evolution over the past few years, not only in India but globally. Much of the industry’s growth has been triggered by an increase in internet and smartphone penetration. The number of Internet connections in 2021 has increased significantly to 830 million, thanks to the “Digital India” program. While growth in all aspects of digital has been steady and steady, there’s no denying that the trajectory has been dramatically accelerated by the pandemic.

With such a presence, it is essential for brands and companies to have a digital presence in order to mark their existence and their growth. It is a fact that when a consumer goes to an online shopping platform, he certainly intends to buy, but whether he does or not is secondary. Take a supermarket, for example, we usually end up buying a lot more stuff than we expected. Personally, I can’t go to the supermarket and not come back with a ton of things that weren’t on my shopping list. It’s not that I didn’t need them in the first place, it’s just that I didn’t think to add them to my list.

Buying more things than on your list in a supermarket is a universal phenomenon called the Gruen effect. Interestingly, a similar concept applies to advertising your products on an e-commerce platform.

In retrospect, the pandemic has driven sales-focused brands across industries to make e-commerce a primary platform for sales, unlike previous ones as an awareness or reminder platform. During the pandemic and still today, the majority of brands are seeing targeted sales through e-commerce, becoming a safe haven for them. While the focus on e-commerce has seen a surge from both brands and consumers, these marketplaces have also diversified their functionality to boost sales.

There is a high probability that a consumer has come to the platform looking for a type of product and not a brand of product, but with the right advertisements, presented at the right time and in the right place, he may be persuaded to experiment with a new brand.

If brands strategically deploy a clickbait strategy, the chances of hitting the intended sales target increase.

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Overall, promoting your brand or product on such platforms speeds up the process from first contact to final sale and brings you closer to the end goal. Having a strong presence in the e-commerce space is no longer a talking point, but rather an important part of a brand’s marketing plan. Some unique facilities in which e-commerce justifies a digital marketing strategy are:

It’s all about data

Including e-commerce in your digital marketing strategy allows brands to take a data-driven approach. The platform’s algorithm also works to support advertisements, enhancing brand marketing efforts. For example, if a consumer searches for shampoo, chances are the platform will show them ads for a hair conditioner, hair spa treatment, or maybe a combo pack. This allows even products that the user has not directly requested to appear in the foreground and increases the likelihood that the consumer will click on the ad and purchase the product.

Data from these platforms also allows brands to bolster their retargeting efforts, whether through email marketing, push notifications, social media marketing, or any other avenue. Apps like Swiggy and Zomato play along here. When they notice a pending order in someone’s cart, they send an interesting notification to grab the consumer’s attention while offering them additional discounts (on some occasions) and encouraging them to place the order.

Additionally, by collecting data about your presence and performance on a particular platform, brands also have the ability to judge where they stand against their competitors, as they are all in the same space.

Visibility + Discoverability = Reach

When it comes to product inventory, e-commerce platforms act like complete search engines. This makes them essential for any brand aiming to increase its visibility and discoverability with its target audience. Consumers may not even know that a brand or product that perfectly matches their needs exists in the market until they can discover it on their favorite online shopping platform.

The biggest example is SOEZI, the press nail brand owned by Sonakshi Sinha. Although it is a celebrity-owned brand, it was launched on Amazon shortly after its launch in the market. The reason? To strengthen brand presence and win new customers.

The same goes for Priyanka Chopra-owned hair care brand, Anomaly. The actress recently launched the brand in India and opted to partner with Nykaa for the launch rather than launching it on her own website. E-commerce platforms such as Nykaa and Amazon already have a customer base looking for similar products. So when a new choice is available which is also a celebrity owned brand, it tends to stand out from the competition.

Huge digital footfall

Big names in the e-commerce space have set up big sales “events,” with Flipkart’s Big Billion Days and Amazon’s Great Indian Festival being the most well-known names. A large part of the Indian population looks forward to these sales for their bulk or luxury purchases. Digital footfall is further amplified if it falls during the holiday season. In fact, a recent report by Redseer Strategy Consultants stated that in the first 4 days alone of this year’s festive sale (September 22-25), e-commerce platforms saw a sale of INR 24.5k Cr or 3.5 billion USD. . Such huge traction definitely justifies brands including a strong e-commerce presence in their digital marketing plans.

Well, without a doubt, the days of consumers rushing to their nearest store to buy the basics are over. Now it’s time for Dunzo, Zepto, Swiggy Instamart, and of course, Amazon! While commodities are also preferred to be purchased online, it is important for brands to be present where people go for multiple things to buy. This is especially true for new names in the market.

I strongly believe that while digital marketing draws attention to your brand, e-commerce allows you to actually sell.

The article is written by Rajni DaswaniDirector – Digital Marketing, SoCheers

Disclaimer: The opinions shared in the article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the publication.


Cathy W. Howerton