E-tailers in India take on to Twitter for customer engagement and brand building


June 24, 2014: Online retailing in India is in a very interesting phase with players like Flipkart, Jabong, Myntra and Snapdeal trying to make their presence felt in the already cluttered market. There are international players like Amazon as well who are trying to get a share of the pie. As the Ecommerce companies battle it out by using every trick in the book for brand building, it has been observed that companies are increasingly taking on to Twitter to connect to the customers directly and for brand building. E-Tailers are trying to express themselves on the Twitter platform where the challenge is to express it in 140 characters.

According to Ravi Vora, Senior Vice President-Marketing, Flipkart, “Twitter plays a 360 degree role for us. We work on creating a destination where our customers can have fun, with witty replies and engaging contests, instead of using it just as a sales platform.” Flipkart recently did a campaign on Father’s day where they posted a picture of a boy who is shown using a landline to call his dad asking him for poster colours, chart papers and so on Twitter. Such was the effect of the picture and the tile “The original on-line shopping” that it immediately went viral and instantly stuck a chord with its 135,000 followers. They had done a similar campaign on Mother’s Day as well.

Kishore Thota, Head of Digital Marketing, Amazon India says, “It serves both as a tool of engagement as well as a pressure instrument.”  He further adds, “We need to be sure that our customers are not embarrassed accidentally in front of their followers and piracy is not hampered.” The social media team in Amazon is specially trained to address complaints and give support to customer queries in the 140 character limit on Twitter.

Jabong is also trying a hand on Twitter but in a different way. According to Praveen Singh, Founder, Jabong.com, “We get feedback from our customers from Twitter and try to bridge the gap between what our target audience and the management.” He adds, “Twitter is very immediate, pithy and very edgy. It’s a great place to track what’s happening and comment on anything and everything.” There are 20 people focusing on social media presence in Jabong.

Online fashion portal Myntra which recently signed a deal with Flipkart is also working to create a brand on Twitter. They recently launched a 12-hour TreasureHunt contest on Twitter which prompted participants to visit the portal and engage in shopping.

Twitter is increasingly been used as a platform to connect to the customers so as to engage with them. The online retailing companies are trying to aggregate users with this platform and then monetize them. Twitter also helps in influence opinions and provides targeted offers. The platform allows companies to connect to customers with whom earlier they didn’t have an access. The E-tailers are slowly realizing the importance of engaging in social marketing and to bring about a strong differentiation and this field is going to get even more interesting when Twitter would launch a selling platform in India. Recently Twitter announced its partnership with Amazon which allows users to link their Twitter handle to their Amazon accounts.




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