Shreyas Kulkarni

Amazon lures small sellers in a new ad campaign

Around 75 per cent of offline sellers are open to the idea of trying online says Satish Upadhyay, head - marketing, Amazon India Marketplace.

"209 SMB sellers became crorepatis," said Amazon India's blog during Prime Day sale. With the participation of over 91,000 small traders, "this was our biggest Prime Day ever for small businesses," said the e-commerce giant. The sale began on August 6 (midnight) and ended at midnight on August 7.

Now, the e-commerce giant has decided to reach out to those sellers who're not on the platform through a three-ad campaign. Conceptualised by Ogilvy and directed by Sharat Katariya for Lucifer Circus, the campaign is called ‘Itna Aasan Hai'.

The campaign's focus? How easy it is for the sellers to come on board and sell on the platform.

Amazon's first ad aimed at sellers?

We wondered how the idea came up, and if it was the company's first ad aimed at sellers. Satish Upadhyay, head - marketing, Amazon India Marketplace, said that it's not and that the company’s vision is to help customers find, discover and buy absolutely anything they can think of on the platform.

Satish Upadhyay
Satish Upadhyay

"It does so through core pillars, like price and convenience," he remarked, adding that our statement (first ad communication geared towards sellers is factually incorrect).

Upadhyay revealed that the platform has been speaking to sellers about coming on board for a long time, and especially now... "We've done several campaigns around sellers, and they have been across the board, starting from driving awareness, being a little educative to talking about core benefits like 'Fulfilled by Amazon' and other things."

Speaking about the present times, he says that smaller businesses are looking at avenues to rebound from the effect of the pandemic and, "... some internal studies have shown that approximately 75 per cent of these offline sellers are open to the idea of trying online."

He talks about how the new crop of sellers are from Tier-II and III geographies, and to counteract any detractors, or misconceptions, it (Amazon), "... thought it was best to speak to our sellers in a form which brings out the fact that selling on Amazon is pretty easy."

On the nursery rhyme-like jingle in the ad

Speaking about the ad's messaging, Upadhyay spoke about the meeting with Ogilvy. The agency then came up with the brilliant insight of saying ease comes from something as easy as reciting a rhyme... "It shows the ease of selling on Amazon by juxtaposing it with a hummable childhood rhyme."

Troubles (apart from paperwork) that small traders face

Upadhyay said Amazon’s research revealed that the biggest misconceptions of people, who want to start selling on Amazon, are that, "... the process of getting started would be complex and it may be a little tedious in terms of whether manpower is required, the cost..."

On the improvements the company has made, he said, "... significant improvements in the registration process with reduced documentation, or introduction of Hindi as a language on the seller app."

He said that it's important for the company to drive out these challenges because it is seeing, "... search results for selling online has grown by 60-70 per cent", and new sellers are coming in.

"You come and list on Amazon, it doesn't cost anything. The only time you're charged is when you start selling."

Who is Amazon encouraging?

So, who’s Amazon encouraging and empowering to get on its ecosystem. Turns out, it's everyone. Upadhyay revealed specific curated programs that Amazon offers. For women entrepreneurs, Amazon Saheli, that impacts over 250,000 entrepreneurs across India today. For artisans, Amazon Karigar, that impacts around 800,000 weavers and artisans across the country, and so on.

Talking about the brief, Mahesh Gharat, chief creative officer, Ogilvy South, said, “The brief was simple. Change the perception of the sellers about selling on Amazon. They believe there are numerous barriers, like paperwork, to sell on Amazon. To communicate the ease of selling on Amazon, our campaign needed to be even simpler.”

“When I say simple, the first thing that came to our mind was a nursery rhyme. Wake me up in the middle of the night and I can still narrate you a nursery rhyme. Taking this device and the iconic rhythm, we communicated how easy it is to sell on Amazon. Thus, driving home the thought about how simple it is to sell on Amazon,” Gharat signs off.