Amazon India has recently had immense success with launching and promoting third-party products on its marketplace. Nokia 6 was sold out on the platform within a minute, and as many as 10 million people signed up to receive notifications of the sale of Xiaomi’s Redmi 4 and Redmi 4A. As part of the initiative to help brands create innovative campaigns, Amazon aids brands with services like media planning, media buying and sometimes also with scripting the creatives. This makes Amazon.in the one-stop-shop for brands looking to launch and promote their products on the marketplace.
“Amazon.in does not limit its role to being a sales platform, but we are really a strategic marketing partner to many of the brands,” said Ravi Desai, Director, Brand and Mass Marketing at Amazon India. He further explained that the work for Amazon.in starts with defining the right target audience, identifying the insight and proposition based on the brand and literally co-create the communication strategy for the brand. “Sometimes brands have even come to us without a proposition for the customer in India. In those instances we have almost worked as the marketing team for the brand,” he shared. Amazon.in has in some cases created the actual media asset, be it a TVC, digital film, or an innovative use of media.
Amazon.in is now acting as a publisher; aiming to earn a significant sum of its revenues from advertising. This is a tried and tested method, “The strategy is not new - Alibaba gets USD 19 billion revenue from advertising,” said Vivek Bhargava, CEO, DAN Performance Group. He said that Amazon’s foray into publishing will reduce the monopoly of the current walled gardens like Facebook/Google that control a large percentage of media. “Amazon’s entry is good for agencies as well as the media sector in general,” Bhargava said.
This function of Amazon.in works especially well for foreign third-party brands that seek to use the platform because in most cases they do not have a local marketing and media team. “In some cases they also do not understand the country well because they are foreign brands that are entering the country for the first time,” said Desai. The brands that have benefitted immensely from the services that Amazon provides are mostly mobile phone brands like Xiaomi, Nokia, OnePlus, and foreign clothing brand, Under Armour to name a few. Brands that sell on other ecommerce platforms, brands that sell exclusively on Amazon.in, global brands, and offline brands are all part of Amazon.in’s success stories.
Even though brands now get a whole array of services on offer from Amazon.in, digital marketing agencies will continue to be relevant to brands that seek a marketing plan beyond Amazon. “Amazon may want to play as critical a role as possible like Facebook and Google but by themselves none of them would be adequate. All of them will be skewed to their respective platforms,” said Sanjay Mehta, Jt CEO, Mirum India. That said, brands that are looking to launch on Amazon.in will benefit significantly because Amazon’s team best understands its own ecosystem and hence will be able to offer the most comprehensive plan. “For mid-level sellers who are looking at Amazon as a key partner, Amazon services do help in many aspects,” said Rajiv Dingra, Founder and CEO, WAT Consult.
Most of the brands that have utilised Amazon.in’s services so far are in the smartphone category that lend themselves to offers like flash sales. But Desai says that the launch and promotion services can aid brands across categories and is not just limited to mobile phones.
“At this point, flash sales might be the higher priority, because if Amazon has to invest resources from their side to do the media planning and buying, they will also do that for numbers that are substantial. These are also high growth categories, so they are the ones more likely to spend good money. However, as this moves forward, I believe even niche categories will start showing up,” said Mehta.