India's online firms eye aggressive growth via Facebook

Summary:Brand marketers in India are building deeper relationships with their customers and driving word of mouth at scale. Facebook, in recent past, has been continually evolving as a medium, and so are the opportunities for businesses.

Facebook

Over the last couple of years, Facebook has expectedly transitioned from being the largest and most engaged community in the world to a platform connecting people and businesses as well. Brand marketers are building deeper relationships with their customers and driving word of mouth at scale.

For many online businesses in India, Facebook is the next big, and sometimes the only, opportunity to grow their operations. While some brands focus on spreading awareness and showcasing their products and services, others prefer holding discussions about the ecosystem they do business in. The creative content and engagement around it are built with social goals which have been aligned with business objectives.

Founded in 2007, Myntra.com is an Indian online portal in the fashion and lifestyle space and ranked among the top three e-commerce companies in the country. The site uses its Facebook page as a marketing channel to acquire new customers and increase engagement with existing customers. It uses Facebook Ads to target the exact demographic of potential active buyers on Myntra, increase the number of fans on its Facebook Page, and reach friends of fans by using sponsored stories.

In last six months, there has been a 120 percent increase in transactions originating from Facebook and 75 percent increase in total Web site traffic from Facebook. Ashutosh Lawania, co-founder and head of sales and marketing at Myntra, attributes 25 percent of revenues directly to Facebook. "The Facebook platform now plays a very important role in our customer acquisition and brand building strategy," he explained. "Since ROI (returns on investment) from our Facebook spend is quite healthy, we intend to further scale up our marketing efforts using this channel."

Chumbak, a young startup that offers travel and souvenir products, banks heavily on building a community of brand enthusiasts. "There is nothing else out there that gives you the ability to reach out to your target audience the way Facebook does. Whether it's a product launch or a contest or even customer queries, it's honestly the best marketing tool a startup like Chumbak can have," explains Vivek Prabhakar, the Founder and CEO of Chumbak.

Chumbak uses Facebook as its sole marketing channel. The channel is used not just to drive awareness of product lines and announce new product launches but also to crowdsource ideas for new products. The company also uses Facebook Ads to drive new connections to the Page, increase traffic to its product catalogue, and promote special offers and discounts.

In recent times, Chumbak has seen 25 percent of online revenue coming from Facebook, with a very high degree of repeat purchases among Page fans. Also, the Indian startup claims of getting five-fold ROI on total advertising spend with Facebook.

The social networking giant has been continually evolving as a medium, and so are the opportunities for businesses. The onus now is on the marketers to create customer engagements and, of course, on Facebook to offer services and tools on the platform for more creative executions.

Topics: Social Enterprise, E-Commerce, India, IT Priorities

About

Abhishek Baxi is an independent digital consultant and a freelance technology columnist based in India. He writes on consumer technology and trends for several leading print and online publications.

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