Accelerate e-commerce sales using social media marketing for Indian Spices / FMCG industry

In the world of digitalization, It is essential for Indian Spices Industry to understand how to convert today’s digital media audience into tomorrow’s buyers.

It is estimated that the value of FMCG e-commerce will double in the next 5 years (Source IGD.com).

Why Indian Spices Industry need to focus on e-commerce for the next few years?

1.With the growing indian mobile Internet revolution, most of the customers started purchasing via smartphones.

With the dominance of mobile internet in India, there is a direct proposition with online sales. Many of the super market chains have already introduced their own digital marketing strategies to attract/ retain customers such as Tesco’s ‘scan as you shop’ device ( https://www.tesco.com/scan-as-you-shop/). The current Indian retail environment ( Kirana sales, General trade, Supermarket chain ) & shopping pattern will definitely change in the next 5 years as internet penetration continues to rise and the brands should prepare themselves to utilize this properly. However, stores like Big Bazaar are experimenting with the ‘ faster billing’ method by incorporating digital media strategies to retain their existing customers ( By ordering online & collecting the packaged items from the retail shops) — https://www.bigbazaar.com/fast-billing/).

2. A growing customer base that enjoys online grocery shopping- Delivery time period plays a vital role in meeting customer expectations.

There is a population who really enjoys online grocery shopping. One of the key factors that impress them is the speed of delivery. These customers make decision to shop with the brand again based on this.Most of the Indian online shopping sites like Amazon, Big basket, Grofers etc started delivering the products in less than an hour or two to meet customer expectations.

4. Helps brands to collect the customer database.

Since the customers are buying directly from the brand, they are expecting a better experience.When you sell directly to your customers, you can easily collect customer database which will help you in proper understanding about the audience & improve your further sales.

Even though, e-commerce has opened new opportunities for the Indian Spices Brands, most of the brands are unable to utilize this properly because of the following reasons:

1. Lack of proper research/planning

This is one of the important factor when it comes to online sales. Brands need to do proper research by doing online surveys and analyze their digital media insights. Most of the social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest have the insights brands needed for conversion such as key demographic information about your audience (age, gender, country , city, language , interests etc),

In India, women are the primary decision makers when it comes to grocery category. And brands should target Generation Y &Z ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Millennials, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Generation_Z)

2. Logistics challenges

Most of the brands are struggling because of various reasons such as reliability on logistics partners and high cost. Since most of the e-commerce sales are done through COD ( Cash on delivery)in India, logistics fulfillment is one of the major challenge faced by majority of the sellers. And if return/ COD failure happens, the loss faced by Spices/ Food industry is high when we compare it with any other industries. Because of this, leading online generalist players like Amazon & Flipkart Stopped taking high-value orders from few Indian states such as UP & Bihar.

Ref : ( http://trak.in/tags/business/2014/09/24/amazon-stops-high-value-orders-uttar-pradesh/, https://www.amazon.in/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=201708070, https://www.gadgetsnow.com/it-services/Just-for-fun-orders-trip-Flipkart-company-stops-goods-delivery-over-Rs-10000-to-customers-in-UP/articleshow/20468254.cms)

4. Costing challenges

Spices items are generally low priced commodities. The delivery and packing charges are significantly higher than the product itself. The profitable way is to introduce combo offers after doing proper financial research & trial and error methods.

5.Lack of proper infrastructure/talent

Few leading FMCG brands are building dedicated teams to build their own digital media integrated e-commerce strategies.Digital media experts predict that at least 50% of online buying will take place through mobile device in next 5 years. Brands need to build strong e-commerce team and focus on consumers, do proper research based on their digital media insights, build smooth customer experience platforms, allocate e-commerce marketing budget, run necessary digital campaigns.

How to leverage social media platforms for increasing your sales?

  1. Identify your target customers and enhance your reach

This is where brands can make use of the digital media insights as well as the customer database.

Let’s see which all insights can be used for better conversions:

Facebook Insights :

The ‘people’ tab in the insights section of your Facebook page shows the important demographic information regarding your audience such as Gender, Country, City, Language etc.

Twitter insights :

You can track the twitter insights from https://analytics.twitter.com/

Twitter provides insights regarding your followers such as overview, demographics, interests, gender, device category etc.

Similarly, brands can utilize insights from other social media platforms where they are active.

2. Listen & monitor conversations about your brand

People are using social media platforms to express feedbacks about brands & services. When it comes to the food industry, it is very important for brands to monitor conversations happening about your brand. Brands can utilize social media listening tools like Google Analytics, Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, Social Mention etc.

3. Do proper competitor research

It is very important for brands to do proper competitor research to know where you stand in the market and what the competitor’s are doing, what are your competitors e-commerce business strategy etc.

4. Personalize & Promote your content

For penetrating into your target audience, it is important to generate & promote more personalized content. Building personal relations with the customers play a major role in increasing the conversions. Create interesting and engaging content on your social media platforms and this will automatically attract more customers.

5. Launch an online store & Integrate your social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest etc.

Through social media, you can also directly sell products. Also, you can integrate your own online stores into all your social media platforms.

The Facebook store is very easy to set up, and a great channel where your customers can directly interact with the brand. ( Learn more here: https://www.facebook.com/business/help/912190892201033)

6.Improve your advertising strategy by trying different types of ads, changing bidding style.

Try out running different types of ads, different types of bidding styles & keywords. Also, use Google Adwords so that when people search using specific keywords, your brand will show up. Experiment with different types of ads & styles on different platforms and identify what works for you and not.

To identify which ad drives conversions, you can add conversion pixels on Facebook.

7. Generate user- generated content.

User-generated content drives a lot of engagement for brands. Humans are highly influenced by celebrities/ trust other customers before making purchase decisions.User-generated content can be paid or not. So make your customers as your brand ambassadors.

Instagram Shout out campaign

8.Focus on e-mail marketing

E-mail marketing is very cost effective and this helps in building strong relationships with your customers if utilized properly. It is important to create a series email marketing campaign when it comes to e-commerce for building a strong customer relationship.

9.Increasing the ranking of your products by improving SEO

Nowadays, before making purchase decisions/ even before consulting a doctor/ for a recipe, people do Google Search. So it is important for brands to increase the ranking by improving SEO. Also, brands need to do a comparative study using relevant keywords.

10. Build up consumer reviews

It’s normal that we all check for customer reviews before buying a particular product through online. Especially when it comes to a food brand, we all take care of the online reviews. More positive customer reviews bring credibility and brands need to focus on building up credible & trustworthy customer reviews.

11. Provide better product content

Customers always check the product content before they arrive in purchase decisions especially when it comes to edible products. So make sure that you are including the ingredient list, usage instructions, nutritional values, manufacturing and expiry date, importing/marketing related details, storage instructions, batch number, license number & MRP. This is very crucial for spices industry.

12. Provide a better user interface

Make sure that you are giving a mobile-friendly & smooth consumer experience.

13. Provide customer support by implementing direct chat facility

Most of the customers have used a company’s social media pages for customer service. By implementing direct chat facility with your brand, you can personalize your communication and built a strong relationship with the customers.