Shopclues: Calling Merchants Aboard

By Sohini Sen , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | June 24, 2015
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Shopclues' new film is targetted at small businessmen, explaining to them the benefits of bringing their businesses online, while the OOH campaign shows the ease of doing so.

For the digital-savvy, trips to the neighbourhood store are passé. Shopping for groceries and daily needs online is a rising trend, especially in the metros. Getting stuff home-delivered, without moving an inch from the sofa, and selling goods to consumers in any part of the country are not impracticable. Shopclues, in its latest campaign, dwells on this insight.

The TVC shows lamp shades being accidentally broken in homes - by a kid playing cricket indoor, by a mischievous pet, a careless maid and a clumsy man. The local shopkeeper is happy that all these people have to come to him to buy new lamp shades. He becomes ecstatic when told to imagine the number of lamp shades in demand across the country, urging him to get online on Shopclues.

Shopclues tries to talk to the trader

Ashish Khazanchi

"E-commerce companies now want to get to the next level and that is possible by bringing in more and more merchants on the site. While Shopclues has around 4-5 lakh merchants registered with them, it is also one of the few sites which stocks a whole array of products. This gives it a proper 'bazaar' kind of feeling. Our aim was to let the merchants know that if they have the capacity to produce, then they also have the capacity to sell," explains Ashish Khazanchi, managing partner at Enormous Brands.

The call-to-action TVC is accompanied by digital, print and OOH campaigns. While the television campaign focusses on the benefit of being online and reducing geographical boundaries, the OOH and print campaigns specify the ease with which a merchant can bring his business online and that too in just five minutes.

Shopclues OOH campaign

Shopclues OOH campaign

Shopclues OOH campaign

OR Radhakrishnan

"I have noticed that a lot of traders resist coming online. They may feel scared of online transactions; they might even have a comfort factor with communicating with buyers face-to-face. So, while we wanted to show what they can gain by bringing the business online, we also wanted to focus on their current scenario. Only then was it possible to show them what they are missing out on," says OR Radhakrishnan, executive creative director, Enormous Brands.

Radhika Aggarwal, co-founder and chief business officer at, says, "India is a land of traders with innumerable small businesses across the country with wide variety of great products. They are, however, rarely able to expand beyond their immediate geographical area because of the high distribution costs and other impediments. With this campaign, we aim to show them how they can achieve the pride of being national sellers and also help them discover the ease of selling online."

The target group for the brand comprises smaller businessmen across geographies in India who are selling low-ticket items in unstructured product categories, regional products that are unique and highly sought-after and those who have scale of production but not adequate reach. The objective is to show them that offers a hassle-free on-boarding process and will enable them to sell in the 25,000 cities it serves and to its over 50 million monthly visitors.

Additionally, the advertisement illustrates that customers look at ShopClues as the ultimate destination for a vast product portfolio across 5000+ categories. Therefore, no matter which category one operates in, he will find a ready market on the platform.

Nitin Agarwal

"For any e-commerce player, sourcing is a big thing. If we take care of that, we can have control in the market. Therefore, we are trying to raise awareness, followed by a recruitment drive for merchants. We will also follow this campaign with a consumer campaign in one or two weeks," adds Nitin Agarwal, senior director, marketing at ShopClues.

It is not just Shopclues which has started speaking to traders and merchants in its communication. Recently, Snapdeal came out with the 'Dil Ki Deal' campaign, while OLX shifted focus from buyers to sellers. deserves a mention too, as it tried to shun the sell brigade and promote itself as a platform for all. Given that the Indian e-commerce industry has more buyers than sellers, the effort of these players to grow the market by inviting sellers is not surprising. However, how impactful is the communication?

Pravin Shah

Pravin Shah, MD & CEO, Six Inches Communications, agrees that it was only a matter of time that the B2C focus of e-commerce platforms shifted to B2B. Shah believes it is a good strategy for various reasons.

"E-commerce portals are already having high traction of audiences constantly looking for various needs and, therefore, these portals know what's being searched more and what is not available. This helps them to understand the need gap. Moreover, the timing is right as internet empowerment is growing across the country. Again, more sellers mean more varieties and choices for a country that's always wanted more to compare," explains Shah.

The TVC, according to him, can work well if it is backed by a strong strategy. He adds, "The prime objective of B2B communication should be to make sure that a seller 'relates' to the communication in a way that it shows a bigger opportunity. This TVC captures this need in the simplest way with a touch of humour. Also, the tagline 'ding se leke dong...' is a memorable one."

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