“This festive season pre-owned and refurbished goods are gaining momentum”
The great Indian Festive season has started amid the COVID-19 pandemic. We all know what kind of a washout the first half of 2020 has been when it comes to businesses and even personal lives being completely disrupted. Given the strict Government directives on maintaining social distancing, the huge crowds of shoppers that usually throng the markets during this time might be a lot less this year.
In normal circumstances, brands look at the festive season as an opportunity to gain maximum ROI, leveraging the consumer sentiments during this time. However, the unprecedented conditions have dampened the economy so far. While some are sceptical about businesses picking up during the rest of the year, we are also seeing a general mood of optimism.
Amid such a scenario, Adgully has reached out to marketers and publishers across India to gauge the sentiments during the festive season this year as part of our special series on ‘Festive Mood’. Over the next few weeks, we will be bringing the views and insights from various markets on how marketers and publishers are endeavouring to trigger a revival and give a boost to festive sentiments.
Vineet Sehgal, CMO, Quikr,
How do you see the consumer sentiments across the nation this year? Which markets are seen as leading the rebound and how? What factors will drive growth this festive season? How much do you see festive sales getting impacted due to COVID-19 this year?
The economic slowdown, along with safety and precautions associated with the ongoing pandemic, has not only changed consumer behaviour and buying patterns, but has made everything digital-first as more people will buy online now more than before. However, due to the financial constraints and reduced income, consumers will be careful in their spends.
This festive season, owing to the cost-saving benefits they offer, pre-owned and refurbished goods are gaining momentum as consumers can buy good quality products at affordable prices and marketplaces like Quikr are starting to see positive signs of growth. The engagement levels on our platform have started going up across several categories, including QuikrBazaar, with increasing demand for pre-owned goods, QuikrCars & Bikes is seeing a jump in interest for pre-owned vehicles as consumers switch to personal transport over shared/ public transport. In the Real Estate segment, we are seeing a surge in the demand for rental homes with people looking to upgrade their lifestyle as they are spending more time at home now than before. QuikrJobs is also seeing a spur in the demand and supply of jobs in the blue-collar industry. In our services vertical, which focuses on the on-demand home services, we are seeing a lot of SMBs on-boarding with us as they make the digital shift. Looking at the overall trends seen on our platform, we expect to see continued momentum ahead of the festive season.
What kind of integrated marketing activities are you planning for the festive season? On which platforms will you be investing your ad spends more and Why? What kind of digital push are you looking at?
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. Today, Quikr attracts about 20 million unique users a month and over 95 per cent of this traffic is organically sourced. With a jump in this organic traffic and user-base that we are witnessing on our platform, along with strong analytics, we are able to create cross-selling and up-selling opportunities for the short-term and long-term needs of our consumers. The power of a diversified platform like ours is that while we attract consumers in one area, they end up using Quikr in multiple adjacent areas as well.
Do you see retail footfalls increasing during the festive season, given that people are still not venturing out for shopping in a big way? What alternate routes are you looking at to shore up sales – such as e-commerce, online purchases, D2C initiatives?
With the phase-wise unlock plans and relaxations in the government rules, consumers have started venturing out in limited capacity. Because of this, retail footfall will increase vis-a-vis the last few months, however, it is expected to be relatively lower than in previous years. At Quikr, we assessed market trends based on such consumer behaviour patterns and associated triggers and we are already seeing them make the digital shift. Based on this understanding, we have created newer formats and solutions to scale up focus on our offerings. For example:
In QuikrBazaar, we saw consumer interest rise sharply for WFH products such as laptops and study tables. 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, as consumers adapt to the ‘new normal’, they are opting for the online route and we are helping the builder community make the digital shift to cater to their target audience on newer channels. Recently, we helped builder partners to showcase their projects and tap the NRI market with our first-ever online property show, Gruhapravesham. We also enabled a lot of their campaigns in renewed formats such as content marketing, online launches, blogs, 3D home visuals, and webinars.
Given the cross-category nature of our platform, we are able to identify such segments within specific categories where we as marketers could focus on. Our product, marketing spends, and logistic offerings are sharply focused on delivering the right experience in these segments.