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Shopsy plays key role in bringing e-commerce to more under-served markets in India: Madhuvanthi Ananth

Ananth, Head of Marketing and Growth, Shopsy by Flipkart, said that the platform consistently focuses on providing value-based products to the consumers and it has become the face of the next wave of e-commerce

As the e-commerce industry continues to thrive, consumers are increasingly seeking value-based products that align with their values and priorities. In an exclusive conversation with, Madhuvanthi Ananth, Head of Marketing and Growth, Shopsy by Flipkart, shared her insights on how the platform caters to customers who are new to the e-commerce space. 

Shopsy consistently focuses on providing value-based products to consumers and the platform has become the face of the next wave of e-commerce, she stated. 

She also spoke about its newly launched campaign, which is an extension of the main campaign named ‘Aaj Shopsy Kiya Kya’ launched in 2022, to highlight its value proposition of affordability, selection and availability of products across the country.

The campaign:

The campaign highlights Shopsy as the go-to hypervalue e-commerce marketplace

According to Ananth, the premise of the ‘Aaj Shopsy Kiya Kya’ campaign is to showcase relatable scenarios from an ordinary day of Indian shoppers, whilst highlighting Shopsy as the go-to hyper value e-commerce marketplace combining affordability, wide selection and availability across the country. 

With Sara Ali Khan as the protagonist, the campaign aims to reach women cohorts - especially in tier 2+ regions and bolster Shopsy as the ultimate value-driven destination, she added.

Furthermore, she went on to state, “We cater to customers who are new to e-commerce or whose first ever purchase on e-commerce most likely will be on Shopsy. So, we had a couple of campaigns on Shopsy, which were successful. At this time of the year, we thought it was extremely essential for us to tell the customer the story that we are a hypervalue horizontal platform. We will reach out to all audiences across multiple languages.”

“We have done very extensive customer research over the last year and Shopsy is an enabler to make sure that the message is very clearly heard that you are shopping at hypervalue and you are able to shop multiple things across multiple horizontals with ease. In this campaign also we very clearly wanted to communicate the unbelievable price, which is like a Rs 25 Kurti,” Ananth added. 

She further said that over 60% of the products offered on the platform are priced under Rs 200, “making it an ideal option for consumers who are looking for value-driven deals. So, price is our biggest differentiator.”

Ananth said that Shopsy aims to strike a chord with the masses specifically in Tier 2 and beyond cities by building on consumer insights that indicate a strong inclination towards budget/value shopping by consumers in India.

“The campaign brings to light the platform’s affordable pricing and the expansive product range curated especially for customers seeking value. The TVC is built on the insight that in Indian families, parents get annoyed when their children spend a lot of money on shopping. This campaign breaks the myth by showing how online shopping on Shopsy is very affordable and can actually give you better value across multiple categories such as Kurtis, Sarees, Watches and Home Products. By casting Sara Ali Khan as the protagonist, the campaign aims to bolster Shopsy's positioning as a value-driven shopping destination for the consumers of Bharat,” Ananth said.

Furthermore, she went on to say, “This is our third consumer campaign and the past two campaigns have been great successes for Shopsy and we have seen very good growth in the last two campaigns. It's a new platform so building awareness is going to unlock a lot of value in terms of growth.”

Speaking about the campaign, created and conceptualised by Leo Burnett Orchard, Ananth said it features an ad film that sheds light on the interactions that family members engage in while shopping online that most Indians can relate to. The TVC for 'Aaj Shopsy Kiya Kya' campaign will air on major TV channels, digital platforms, and YouTube in multiple languages.

“Essence is our media partner to take this into the market,” she added.

Speaking about how Shopsy is planning to allocate its spends across various mediums, Ananth said, “At every point, we need to understand that different mediums work differently. From a digital marketing perspective, I can start, for example, even with Rs 100. If today I have a D2C brand then I can start a campaign with very minimal investments. But certain mediums require a larger spend of money. For the campaign itself, TV will be the biggest media followed by digital and then influencers and so on and so forth.”

Shopsy grew by about 5X in 2022 over 2021

“Launched with the aim to make online shopping affordable, Shopsy with its expansive range of value-based products along with a zero-commission model has become the face of the next wave of e-commerce. As a platform, it is designed specifically for the value-seeking Indians across metros and non-metros,” Ananth said. 

“Shopsy has seen tremendous growth in the last year and a half. 100 million Shopsy users was a milestone we set out to achieve by the end of 2022. We hit that mark towards the middle of 2022,” she added.

Furthermore, she went on to say that Shopsy has grown by about 5X in 2022 over 2021.

About 40% of the Shopsy customer base is new to e-commerce and to Flipkart too and this is a testament of how Shopsy plays a crucial role in bringing e-commerce to the more under-served markets in India.

“Between July and December 2022, the platform doubled in overall size (sellers + customers). So overall, the growth trajectory for the business is very sound. Almost 70% of the demand was recorded from tier-2 towns and beyond with women's ethnic wear, sarees, and headphones topping the charts. Among tier-3 markets, customers from cities such as Bankura, Medinipur, Cuttack, Berhampore, Gorakhpur, Varanasi, and others make the most purchases on Shopsy. Our biggest key to success is that we have understood our consumers,” Ananth added. 

Furthermore, she said that Shopsy’s heightened adoption in Tier-2+ markets has been achieved by its Bharat-led technology initiatives such as image search, vernacular interfaces - in Hindi, Telugu and Tamil, and low app size (1/3rd of an average app) running on 2G and 3G.

Plans to ensure customer retention and satisfaction in the long term

Today, almost 70% of Shopsy’s customers come from Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities. Within a year of its launch, Shopsy’s share of Flipkart’s new customers is already about 40%. On Shopsy, this festive season customers scaled by 6X with a strong adoption recorded in Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities, Ananth said.

“A few common characteristics observed across Shopsy’s consumer cohorts in the past year were:  60% of them came from Tier 3 cities in India. They were largely internet users, but weren’t e-commerce shoppers. When they shopped online, they essentially bought either low-priced fashion or some other household goods,” she added. 

Furthermore, she went on to say, “All these traits put together created a consumer profile that indicated that the way to get these customers online is through a hyper-value e-commerce model. The entire Shopsy team comes together and delivers this brand. As soon as a promise is made to the customer, so many teams are working in the background to ensure that the selection opportunity is there, and the promise is kept in terms of delivery, quality and prices. We also have a customer care unit for feedback.”

“Our main focus is onboarding more customers and to continue our efforts in making their shopping experience more fulfilling and convenient. In this direction, we have launched the interface in Hindi, Tamil, and Telugu with other languages such as Marathi, Kannada and Bangla soon to be made available on the platform. In addition, we have also enabled voice search and high visibility filters to create a seamless experience for shoppers,” Ananth said.

“At the seller's side, we will continue with the zero-commission model, offering the lowest cost and the highest ease of doing business. This will further help accelerate the growth of these sellers while being able to provide the hyper value offering to the customer. We have invested in a lot of tech to ensure that our digital marketing side is good. We invested in making sure that we show the right products to customers and the ads will be completely different for two customers. So, we have customised a lot of tech to ensure that consumer preferences are taken into consideration before showing them any ad,” she added. 

So, growth and customer retention will be the key focus areas in the coming years, Ananth said.

Shopsy leveraged supply chain, technology stacks & selection from Flipkart

Ananth said, “Shopsy benefits immensely by being part of Flipkart. The first benefit we get is that we have access to EKart, which is India's largest supply chain organisation. Through EKart, Shopsy is able to get access to close to over 14,000 pin codes in the country.”

Furthermore, she stated, “We could just take the stack and build on top of it. Over the years, Shopsy has built its own exclusive selection to cater to the needs of its customers. A combination of the supply chain, technology stacks and selection are the three big benefits that Shopsy has by being part of Flipkart. In addition to that, we are also able to use all of the learning that Flipkart has gathered over the last 15 years as a very successful e-commerce marketplace in India to keep sharpening our offerings and our propositions going forward.”

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