Deja Vu of legendary cola wars engulf when e-commerce ambush marketing sets out to entertain. While channels raked moolah from the cola battles, Times of India seems to be having the last laugh this time around. Social media platforms aren’t lagging behind either.
Social media right now replicates the early 80s offline retail market where shop owners strived day in and day out to meet the festive season demand. How offline retail performs now is a different story all together. But the festive feels aren’t being missed with e-commerce players creating the same ambience virtually.
As e-commerce stalwarts – Flipkart, Amazon and Snapdeal gear up to embrace the festivities, we at Social Samosa try to comprehend the battlefield for you.
‘Flip’kart side of the story
We wouldn’t be surprised if you still wince at the mention of #BigBillionDay. But, if Flipkart continues with the tempo, hurtful memories of the previous sale should get washed away.
Flipkart has 448k followers on Twitter, which has also been the major engagement platform for Big Billion Day.
The e-commerce giant set off with the pre-buzz a few days prior to the sale.
#TheBigBillionDays was used to give users a peek in the big preparations going on for the big sale. According to data by Topsy, #TheBigBillionDays received 12, 116 tweets in the last 16 days. Content around the hashtag mainly created awareness about the sale.
— Flipkart (@Flipkart) October 8, 2015
The idea around both the hashtags seemed to be making users a part of the entire journey.
Nearly a week prior to the sale, Flipkart was also featured in a web series by TVF. The video took consumers through the entire purchasing process in typical TVF style.
TVF however, maintained that the video was not a paid plug for Flipkart. What can we say? Guess Flipkart got lucky.
Flipkart also managed to rustle up a conversation with Red Bull – the usual ‘fun banter’.
— Red Bull India (@inRedBull) October 12, 2015
There was also a video, which took users through the entire process of Flipkart prepping and executing Big Billion Day. It received over 200 views during – this can be given to lack of push. On the D – Day Flipkart used #BigBillionDays for all communication around the sale. It received over 65,074 tweets in last 7 days, says Topsy data. #BigBillionDays majorly garnered a positive sentiment with audience speaking about their pleasant experience.
And of course, tweet from an influencer never hurts.
This reminds me that the Big Billion day begins today. So Flipkart should thank Snapdeal for advt on thr behalf pic.twitter.com/TcC79Si2OT
— Gabbbar (@GabbbarSingh) October 13, 2015
Snap strategy Out of Flipkart, Amazon and Snapdeal, the hindmost player resorted to most direct ambush marketing. It has 202k followers on Twitter.
Snapdeal majorly used #DiwaliDilKiDealWali featuring a series of videos by Amir Khan to create buzz around its upcoming sale. The hashtag received almost 1600 tweets stated data by Topsy. However, Snapdeal’s pre-buzz communications didn’t stand out as much as Flipkart or Amazon’s due to parallel marketing of Bigg Boss 9. The e-commerce site’s feeds comes across as a bit haywire during this phase. A contest for each day In sync with the sale, Snapdeal rolled out two contests for each day so far. First day was #SnapdealElectronicsMonday which received 17,624 tweets in the past 2 days. Questions in the contest were mainly around the products in the sale.
#CheckSnapdealToday adorned second day of the sale. It received 12, 475 tweets in one day. This contest too urged users to look deeper into the sale for answers.
— Snapdeal (@snapdeal) October 13, 2015
A tweet from actor R. Madhavan came across as one of the high points for Snapdeal –
Amazon has 175k followers on Twitter and has been actively engaging with them for #AmazonFestiveSale.
The e-commerce website kept it simple with countdown posts during the pre sale period.
It also ran #TryForGold contest – which presented users with a chance to win a 1 kilogram gold bar.
Prior to the sale, Amazon witnessed two major tweets from @WeAreMumbai, a leading Twitter influencer.
— WeAreMumbai (@WeAreMumbai) October 9, 2015
On the day of the festival, Amazon launched a Dubsmash contest which invited users to perform on their ‘Try Try Try’ jingle.
Struck by the festive fever? Dubsmash some cool dance moves to our ‘Try Try Try’ jingle. Rs 10k vouchers up for grabs #AmazonFestiveSale
— Amazon.in (@amazonIN) October 13, 2015
#AmazonFestiveSale received 4, 306 tweets during the last 15 days. Snapdeal – Flipkart: And here they go again A day prior to the legendary standoff, Snapdeal’s Chief Product Officer, Anand Chandrashekhar took to Twitter to take a dig at Flipkart’s mobile servers which were down then.
Punit Soni, holding the same designation at Flipkart took a very professional approach explaining the reason for the technical breakdown.
@anandc Anand, my friend :) we were testing our servers to prep for BBD. Sorry you had issues. Best of luck for the festival season!
— punitsoni (@punitsoni) October 11, 2015
This however, could not keep the condescending tone off in Chandrashekhar’s revert.
Whether this was a spontaneous question or a planned assault, it could have panned out in a much fun way had Flipkart taken a dig in return. Or maybe, Flipkart is trying to keep it clean?
Is creativity running out?
With only a day in, Flipkart, Amazon and Snapdeal are ready with all ammunitions up; however, the spirit of it seems to be missing.
While Flipkart managed to stir up Twitter with different hashtags and behind the scenes dope, Amazon and Snapdeal come across as tad bit repetitive. Play on the word billion for contextual marketing was something consumers saw last year as well.
Are e-commerce sites losing out on the oomph factor as advertisers?
Lagging Facebook communication
While Twitter went abuzz with a flare all the three sites seem to have taken Facebook marketing leniently.
Facebook posts mainly consist of banner ads and TVCs – content which is already available across other platforms.
As opposed to a marketing tool, Facebook comes across more as a redressal platform where each of the sites is seen answering queries and solving problems.
With three more days to go, users can expect a lot more dramatic marketing stunts from our favourite e-commerce players.
While who won the social game is going to be a wait and watch game, we wonder if e-commerce wars too will eventually settle down like cola wars, with each competitor happy in their own zone?