The round table meeting primarily discussed on topic– internet as an alternate sales channel: How can brand replicate their offline success online?
The meeting has seen some finest panelist from the industry viz Alok Bharadwaj, Senior Vice President, Canon India, Manoj Chandra, Vice President – Marketing & Customer Services, Bata, Akhil Minocha, Head Marketing, New Product Development & Innovations, and Rahul Marwaha, Vice President Interactive Avenue. Discussion was moderated by Muralikrishnan B, Country Manager, eBay India.
Discussion was kicked off with Muralikrishnana note about ecommerce growth in India in last 2 years. He said “In last 18-24 months India has witnessed extraordinary growth in ecommerce as many of the brands including small retailers have shown their conviction in coming online”. Discussing the online channel as additional sales channel Manoj Chandra, VP Bata, said that online is a channel which can be used to reach greater consumer base. Internet has equipped Bata to register its presence in geographical areas of country where virtual offline store is not possible. Chandra also pointed out “ecommerce platform is not only a platform to boost sales rather it is a platform to showcase your energy and synergy for driving future sale “. According to Chandra, after registering online presence Bata India is all set to foray in to mcommerce (Mobile commerce). Bata India is working aggressively to develop mobile applications on I phone as well for android based mobile phones.
Shedding light on apex challenge before online enterprises has to map consumer’s behavior said Alok Bharadwaj, Vice president Canon India. Responding on query of single piece delivery of merchandises in online space Bharadwaj reiterated “It has to happen but will take some time as ecommerce industry in India still in early stage. Integration of supply chain along with efficient logistic services will pave the way of single piece delivery. On question of what holding brands to hop on to online bandwagon, he said “as I have pointed out earlier ecommerce still in early stage, on the contrary, channel conflict seems to be greatest challenge in their way of coming online”. However, he added that it could be handled with integration of offline and online channels through organized approach and conviction. Bharadwaj expressed satisfaction over sales of canon’s cameras through online channel, speaking more about overall online sale by all camera manufacturers in India Bharadwaj said ” at present almost all camera brands sell around 10 percent of virtual sell through online platform and we at Canon India experiencing similar percentage of sale online. By looking at present appetite of customers to buy camera online, I am confident that camera industry will witness 80 to 100 percent growth in sales year by year.
Rahul Marwaha, Vice President Interactive Avenues said “it is immensely difficult for brands to stand out in terms of advertisement as already internet became crowded place”. On other hand, he also stressed that social media’s scope is not limited to acquiring 16 years old on Facebook; instead of this brands should focus more on engaging social media channels in engaging potential customer base. In addition to that online B2C enterprises leverage social media tools to address consumer’s increasing demand for value of transactions they enable.