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Amazon, Flipkart, Snapdeal top e-tailers with highest brand equity: Nielsen

Findings from Nielsen’s newly launched E-commerce Sellers Study Q1 2016 (January-March 2016) indicate that 39 per cent online sellers explore two or more e-commerce website as an option to sell products on and grow their business.

This study launched by Nielsen aims to understand the inclination and experience of selling products on e-tailing platforms. The study also gauges the brand equity of e-commerce websites amongst connected online sellers, and of those who intend to sell their products online in the next few months. The first wave of the study was conducted in 16 markets with a population of more than 10 lakh, and a sample size of over 1,100 respondents.

“With the e-commerce industry growing in double digits, there is surge in demand by customers, and an evolving online seller category that is fuelling supply on portals. To ensure the equilibrium of demand and supply, it is essential for e-commerce portals to focus on developing an inviting platform for online sellers in India. Sellers are also increasingly discerning when it comes to reaching their customer and meeting business needs,” noted Dolly Jha, Executive Director, Nielsen India. “Considering the juncture at which the category is, it is now very critical for e-tailers to understand push and pull factors that make sellers pick one website over the other. This pioneering study that measures brand health will also help understand the impact of marketing activities,” she added.

A high level of familiarity, along with in-depth knowledge of an e-commerce website, is the most important factor that drives brand equity. Other key factors that impact brand equity are certain perception of the e-tailers – “They help the sellers stay relevant and ahead of competition”, “Provide new market opportunity” and “Help minimise costs to reach out to more customers”.

At a micro level other important attributes include potential of reaching out to customers from the same locality, ensuring publicity for the shop, and those websites used by peers and competition. Helping sellers save on in-store and inventory management, as well as a platform that would be most profitable to sell products on are critical when looking for new opportunities and markets. The ability of reaching out to a pan-India customer base, savings on logistics and requiring minimal investment are other considerations sellers look for while choosing e-tailers.

The sellers polled indicated that Amazon (1st), Flipkart (2nd) and Snapdeal (3rd) have the highest brand equity amongst e-tailing websites. Familiarity, which had come up as the top driver for building equity in the category, is demonstrated by top of mind recall. The top three players among the first brand spontaneously recalled were Amazon (25 per cent), Flipkart (21 per cent) and Snapdeal (20 per cent). In terms of overall awareness, Amazon (86 per cent), Flipkart (82 per cent), and Snapdeal (75 per cent) were leading among the others. Intent to sell on the e-tailer is also an important parameter to demonstrate familiarity, where the leading brands were Flipkart (58 per cent) and Amazon (55 per cent).

“This study outlines the need gaps in the ecosystem, and opens avenues for e-commerce platforms  to support sellers. E-tailers can play a big role in helping sellers develop their category and build businesses – thus also becoming a preferred brand for sellers,” said Jha.

Nielsen’s E-Commerce Sellers Study is based on face to face surveys conducted with Internet-connected owners/ key decision makers of multi-brand/ unbranded businesses in 16 cities – Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Ludhiana, Lucknow, Jaipur, Rajkot, Indore, Nagpur, Coimbatore, Kochi and Patna – to understand their inclination and experience of selling their products on the Internet.

The sample of 1,184 businesses in either Fashion, Apparel, Consumer Electronics, Household Products, Groceries/ Gourmet, or Automotive Parts businesses were split between those currently selling online and those intending to sell online in the next six months. By surveying evenly across businesses with annual turnover of under Rs 1 crore per annum (50 per cent) and above Rs 1 crore (50 per cent) between March-April 2016, the study outlines the current seller mindset and landscape towards e-retail. Nielsen uses Winning Brands as the brand health measurement framework. Winning Brands is a holistic brand health management tool which integrates multiple data sources to measure brand equity and health, identify threats and opportunities and provide actionable insights and foresight.

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