“Quikr has seen significant upward trends in traffic, engagement & transactions”
Quikr, a leading cross-category platform, is today used by over 20 million unique users a month. It is present in 1,200 cities in India and operates several large classifieds businesses across C2C, Cars, Education, Homes, Jobs and Services. Quikr is accessible across mobile apps, mobile sites as well as the desktop, and allows consumers as well as small businesses to sell, buy, rent and find things across its multiple categories with great ease. Founded in 2008 and headquartered in Bangalore, Quikr has left a memorable footprint in over 1000 cities. They continue to work towards building the future of trading and e- commerce.
The pandemic has brought in a considerable shift in the behaviour of the customers as everything is moving towards digital. Digital became a new way of transacting business as many of them were working from home. Even the not so tech-savvy population also started figuring out their way around apps to adopt better digital experiences, so the fear factor associated with online transactions reduced considerably. Some of the categories like real-estate and auto which are typically more dependent on touch-and-feel factors are seeing significant interactions online. The platform has witnessed a significant rise in the traffic and engagement across categories and has exceeded pre-COVID-19 levels. With the second COVID-19 wave, online transactions and engagement will only be on the upsurge, which will definitely benefit Quikr in the future.
Speaking to Adgully as part of our weekly column Talking Insights, Vineet Sehgal, CMO, Quikr, speaks at length about the company’s strategy during the pandemic period, their engagement strategy for the brand with the rise in online transactions and much more.
The online engagement and transactions have shifted the change in the last one year. How has Quikr benefitted from this and what kind of trends you have noticed from both the buyers and sellers?
The pandemic has made everything digital-first than ever before. People who were otherwise not tech-savvy have also started figuring out their way around apps to adopt better digital experiences, so the fear factor associated with online transactions have reduced considerably. Even categories like real-estate and auto, which are typically more reliant on touch-and-feel factors, are seeing significant interactions online. We have witnessed significant upward trends in traffic, engagement and transactions on our platform, across categories and these already exceeded pre-COVID levels too.
What kind of categories or verticals showed more engagement and traction? Did you revisit your marketing strategy to leverage the opportunity due to the pandemic?
With the wealth of data that we have, Quikr is able to understand what consumers are looking for, and in that way, our fundamental strategy to focus on digital remains the same. We assessed market trends based on consumer buying patterns and associated triggers to drive initiatives that were relevant, topical, and needed by consumers at that very moment. For example: We scaled up focus on WFH related products such as laptop, WFH furniture, etc. Some of the vertical-level initiatives are listed below:
- In QuikrBazaar, we saw consumer interest rise sharply for WFH products such as laptops, office furniture like study tables, and home furniture like sofas. We focused on this segment, by scaling up our offering to provide a safe end-to-end shopping experience especially at retail stores, including safe, sanitized, and secure deliveries.
- In the Real Estate segment, we saw a surge in the interest to buy and rent properties with people looking to upgrade their home space since they are spending more time at home now than before.
- In the auto segment, we saw the rising interest in pre-owned cars & bikes, as consumers now prefer to own one over using shared/ public transport.
- In the services segment, we saw a surge in demand for painting/ interior services as consumers are more homebound since the pandemic.
- In QuikrJobs, the job applications on our platform are at an all-time high, especially the festive season as it generated demand for warehouse and delivery executive roles.
Executing a transaction must have been a challenge during the pandemic, so how was this addressed? With the second wave hitting the nation how are you coping with the various challenges?
As a company, Quikr is committed to customer-first and safety-first measures, and prioritises a safe shopping experience. For our customers, right from placing an order to delivery and installation at home, we implemented stringent measures including warehouse and stock sanitization, contactless online payment options, and low contact deliveries. To spread awareness on such safety measures, we communicated these safety steps using various tools like social media platforms, videos, emails and notifications and our own website.
Moreover, if this pandemic has taught us anything, it is to put second-hand first and considering the environmental benefits associated with reusing products, this concept is gaining popularity among consumers who are making a shift towards affordable options.
There are a lot of trust elements that one has to factor in the online buying and selling business. As a brand, how have you built the trust part with your customers so both buyers and sellers are reassured when they transact in your platform?
Pre-owned, refurbished and unboxed products come with exciting options like no-cost EMI, warranty, discounts, doorstep delivery, product installation, demo options, buy-back options and they’ve become major trust drivers for users. Quikr’s goods vertical, QuikrBazaar, for example, addresses genuine consumer issues of trust, payment and logistics. Below are a few basic measures taken to build trust and provide smooth, safe, and convenient experience for customers:
- Safe transactions: The escrow account provided by QuikrBazaar as a part of this service ensures that transactions are safe for buyers.
- Confidentiality: The feature QuikrNxt, allows users to chat on the platform. This means users can choose to make a listing private and hide their phone number and email ID to have a secure experience.
- Doorstep pick-up and delivery for convenience and security: A part of Quikr Assured, an offering through which Quikr takes the responsibility of completing transactions for customers, Doorstep delivery has grown to become a convenient and safe option for consumers.
We engage with users using channels like emails and social media platforms and it has worked well for us. As more and more people lean towards the concept of re-using, consumers believe in a trusted partner like Quikr and this is reflecting in this category as well.
What has been your engagement strategy with your customers? How do you keep your brand top of mind and continuously sustain the awareness of the brand?
Our engagement strategy since lockdown has focused on leveraging all owned and earned media channels across Quikr and its sub-brands. We’ve invested a lot of efforts in building our content marketing framework and engagement channels like email, SMS, notifications, site merchandising especially given our 20 million visitor base. Some examples of these are:
QuikrCars: Since its launch, we’ve built a strong association for QuikrCars as a destination for New & Used Cars. We’ve invested in content marketing, primarily focused on our Blog and YouTube channel, as platforms to engage with our consumers. Recent New Car launch reviews:
CommonFloor: Since lockdown our focus on content marketing has increased. We’ve ensured our content approach engages with our audiences, both consumers and builders. We have invested in rich content with different formats like Award, Surveys, Reports, Videos hosted on the CommonFloor Guide blog and LinkedIn. As a result of the overall effort, our traffic has grown more than 50% since April20 with zero spends on content marketing. We get ~4 lakh page views on the CommonFloor blogs today. Sample pieces of content:
Zefo: Retention marketing is a big focus area for our consumer durables business. For Zefo, we engage with inactive and active users via email, SMS, browser notification and cross targeting campaigns on Quikr. We have been building a strong brand for Zefo organically on social media by using engaging, smart content which will click with the millennial. We have seen engagement rate on Instagram as high as 4% with zero promotional spends, just driven by good quality content.
For some of our brands, we periodically run Occasional or Trend-based campaigns to directly engage with consumers online or offline. This is also part of our content marketing strategy to ensure brand sustenance. Some examples:
On World Environment Day last year, we gifted plants to more than 300 consumers who had shopped on Zefo.
On Father’s day, we created a video for CommonFloor that was hosted on our website, emails, social and other channels https://www.linkedin.com/posts/commonfloor_fathersday-fathers-commonfloor-activity-6680376969047109632-2E2f
How are digital platforms like Quikr helping brands with their specific requirements from a conversion standpoint?
Whether it is finding new homes through Quikr Real Estate, shifting to a new place using QuikrEasy’s packers & movers services, availing services for household necessities like plumbing, electrician, carpentry work, purchasing goods like dining sets, washing machines, refrigerators, bed sets, wardrobes, TVs, sofas from QuikrBazaar or finding maids through QuikrJobs, the cross-category benefits of our platform help consumers get a holistic experience and serves as the right place for advertisers as well. Here are a few examples:
Consumer Durables: A Dutch multinational conglomerate chose our platform to drive its reach and impact for promoting its product in top 10 metro cities. With rich media innovation, we created multiple touch points across our goods and real estate verticals and delivered a high impact through affinity audience targeting.
Automobiles: A Swedish luxury automobile brand had come to us to increase the reach and visibility for one of its car models. We created a high impact by targeting specific set of audience based on affinity across QuikrCars and Quikr Real Estate, and delivered more than what was promised.
Home Solutions: A home interior design and renovation platform in India chose our platform to amplify its presence and create a high recall value among consumers. With smart integrations and affinity audience targeting across Quikr Real Estate and QuikrEasy, we delivered high impact with a qualification rate above 60%.