E-commerce, all sweat and passion

HARISH BIJOOR | Updated on January 24, 2018

Caption/Keywords: ecommerce, trade, e-commerceCredit:

What’s different about Indian e-commerce companies?


Shamy, Indian e-commerce companies are sweat efforts. Efforts spearheaded by pure passion, backed by entrepreneurial zeal.

Many have been small clones of models that worked in the West, and they have taken off. On the way, the local entrepreneur has tweaked the Western model and has introduced items which have resonated well with Indians at large. Cash on delivery is one such.

The edge over the global player is the fact that they know local markets better than anyone else in the ecosystem of business, trade and e-commerce. The ability to tweak their own models to local advantage is the flexibility local players have shown thus far.

E-commerce companies are spending very heavily on advertising. Is this really brand building?


Joshi-ji, the mega campaigns are really portal awareness-building formats at play. The idea is to ensure that portal awareness scores are very high and top of mind.

E-commerce players are essentially wanting to emerge in the top three set when it comes to consumers. If that initial battle is won by them, they hope that the rest will fall into place. Therefore you have a Flipkart, Snapdeal and Amazon, all fighting hard to stay relevant, original and innovative in their brand awareness building programmes.

To that extent, all the advertising we see today is generic and basic. Remember my name. Think of me as a biggie. Think of me as popular. That seems to be the individual and collective scream.

Who is the catalyst for innovation in brands, really?


Jayanthi, there are many stakeholders in brands, really.

In eight out of 10 cases, the inspiration behind innovation in FMCG is competition. And remember, competition is a very important stakeholder in your business as well. Marketers, who are normally besotted with the product they have on hand, suddenly jump out of the box (a coffin for sure) when prompted by competition. When competition nudges in and edges out your USP, the marketer gets onto an overdrive mode to think new and ideate new.

Real good innovation though, is innovation that bases itself on the primary stakeholder in a brand, the consumer. Innovation that keeps the consumer as the centre of the universe, and needs no other nudge than consumer need, want, desire, aspiration and even fantasy.

Good innovation is also not anecdotal. Good innovation bases itself on real consumer need and offers solutions in this space.

What’s the point of an innovation that looks sexy on paper, gets reported widely by media, but sells nothing? The ultimate test of a good piece of marketing innovation is sales volume and value and the longevity of both.

Harish Bijoor is a brand strategy expert and CEO, Harish Bijoor Consults Inc. Mail your queries to

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Published on June 04, 2015
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