Big sale: Flipkart targets customers with personalised ads

Solid base Flipkart has over 100 million registered customers, and over 70 per cent of its business comes from its a pp   -  Bloomberg

Optimistic on large appliances and electronics, expects 250% jump in sales

Bengaluru, Mumbai, September 18

In addition to taking the traditional approach to advertising with its national TV campaign, Flipkart has taken another innovative approach to target 40-45 million unique customers, urging them to shop during its annual Big Billion Days festival sales that will go live from the September 20 to 24.

To do this, the e-tailer has partnered with US-based video-personalisation platform AdGreetz to create 100,000 personalised video ads that are based on the 40-45 million customers’ browsing history on Flipkart, Instagram and Facebook.

Customers who have browsed on Flipkart over the past six months are being targeted. The e-tailer has over 100 million registered customers, and over 70 per cent of its business comes from its app.

“We started sending out these personalised video ads to 58 different customer segments based on data points such as gender, age, location, categories they have browsed, debit/credit card users, app/desktop customers etc, five days ago,” Shoumyan Biswas, Chief Marketing Officer, Flipkart, told BusinessLine.

“These customers will continue to see these super-targeted, hyper-segmented personalised video ads until the end of the sale, on Instagram, Facebook and Youtube, which covers over 90 per cent of the digital ecosystem in India.”

Biswas claims the ads have received a phenomenal response, generating a ‘View Through Rate’ that is 3x the industry average and 2x of last year’s sales.

The ads could urge customers to switch over to digital payments or urge desktop customers to download the Flipkart app or buy the shoe they were browsing for at great discounts during the sales.

Jump in sales

The company, which recently raised $2.5 billion from Japanese internet giant SoftBank, expects a 250 per cent jump in sales this year compared with last year.

Sandeep Karwa, Flipkart’s Category Head for Large Appliances, told BusinessLine that the company expects about 20-25 per cent of the overall sales this year to come from large appliances compared with 10 per cent last year.

Karwa said the firm is optimistic on the large appliances category despite the fact that pre-GST, several retailers were able to push discounts and offers to clear their inventory.

“We have found that many retailers in small towns have not been able to avail themselves of the pre-GST benefits in this category as many were not aware about the GST implications and had stopped stocking products. As a result, consumers in small towns are looking forward to the online sales. We expect about 65 per cent of the sales coming in from small towns this year,” Karwa added.

The online marketplace will also be launching about 13 new TVs and 18 new appliances, and have doubled its exclusive partnerships with brands to 10.

It has also increased its penetration in smaller cities in terms of delivery centres and warehouses exclusively for large appliances


Biswas said that while the marketing budget this year is the same as the last year’s, it packs much more punch with traditional and innovative messaging routes this time around. “We are being frugal, precise and innovative. Another creative initiative is the launch of The Big Billion Hunt 3.0 on the Facebook Live platform, to give customers a sneak peak into the biggest offers during the sales, to create a buzz before it goes live,” he added.

Packaged as a game show, the Big Billion Hunt is a dumb charades game played live on Facebook to reveal the top offers of the sale, where comedians enact the offers and the audience have to guess them on the spot to win gift vouchers.

The e-tailer has also reached out to lure potential customers on Mumbai local trains, Spicejet and Indigo with its message for this year’s sale — Ab Mehengaai Giregi (now prices will fall) — integrated into the railway announcement system and the airhostess’ message after aircraft landing.

Published on September 18, 2017


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