Tagged 'e-commerce'

Flipkart looks to change Indian perceptions of online shopping

The traditional Indian consumer is a touch it, smell it, feel it, wear it, think about it, discuss it and then finally buy it kind of person. Hence, online purchase calls for a huge behavioral change. In addition, these hesitations aren’t without merit, as the purchase experience can be a real nightmare. Online portals have tried to reassure consumers by offering everything from cash-on-delivery payments to liberal return policies (which end up more valuable in theory than practice as refunds are slow to arrive), but most are pretty unprofessional, damaging overall perception of the category.

An exception is Flipkart.com, which manages to do a decent job. The e-commerce portal is trying to speed up acceptance of online shopping with a series of commercials that aim to educate hesitant consumers about the ease of shopping on the site. The spots feature children acting like adults—the idea is that no one trusts you like children—and discussing how various things can be easily bought from Flipkart. The ads put a little twist on the classic format of consumer conversations.

In this spot, a grandfather and grandson are opening up a package. A curious father inquires about it, learning that it’s a new mobile for grandfather from Flipkart. When the father skeptically bursts out “Online shopping!” the son explains just how simple the process is. “But without seeing? … Just seeing one photo?” interjects the dad. His wife, who’s been silently toying around on her computer, notes, “Before marriage, all I saw was your photo only.” Everyone giggles at the father’s close-minded attitude. The ads end with the tagline, “Shopping ka naya address” (“New address for shopping”).

Argos’ aliens tout the ease of e-commerce for Christmas

U.K. retailer Argos is running a whimsical ad that suggests online shopping as an antidote to the year-end stress of navigating frenzied retail environments. The ad’s stars are a family of long-necked blue aliens on a visit to a mall. “It all feels a bit alien, doesn’t it, running around panicked?” says the father. “I thought ’twas the season to be jolly, but maybe not.” The daughter, sporting a stylish wool hat, points out that “The big man in red seems happy enough,” but Mom counters that “Everyone seems terribly stressy though. I don’t understand why they don’t just reserve their purchases online with Argos.” The ad pushes the idea of ordering on the Web—with alien mom using her mobile to do so—and picking up in store on the same day.

Britons are expected to spend £13.4 billion in online purchases this holiday season, according to one estimate—a good deal of it today, which is Cyber Monday in the U.K.; big numbers are expected. But a perfect storm of inflation, unemployment and the eurozone crisis are likely to dampen overall spending, and The Telegraph reports that retailers are carving into profit margins with price cuts and promotions in a grab for limited budgets. More retailers will need to avoid a race to the bottom by appeasing anxieties unrelated to price, as Argos does by suggesting a way for shoppers to preserve some sanity.