Namah Chawla

eBay India takes a subtle dig at other e-comm players in its new ad

Pavan Ponnappa, head of categories and marketing, however, says eBay competes with vertical specialists and not other e-commerce marketplaces.

eBay, the American e-commerce multinational company, was launched in India through in 2004. Although it was one of the early e-commerce entrants in the country, eBay faced stiff competition from its competitors, like Amazon, Flipkart and Snapdeal. 

Over the years, eBay’s marketing campaigns in India have focussed on showcasing it as a ‘seller-first’ platform and how it has helped domestic sellers to grow their businesses internationally. As per the platform, eBay's marketplace currently has 19 million active sellers and over 138 million buyers spread across 190 countries. 

In its latest campaign, eBay takes this narrative forward by comparing itself to other marketplaces and highlighting the advantages it offers to its sellers. Titled ‘Export Ka Expert’, the campaign aims to highlight the ease of exporting through eBay. It touches upon the challenges that the sellers face, while working with other e-commerce platforms. 

Curated by eBay’s partner agency Clevertize, the ad features actors Amol Parashar and Raashul Tandon in a yoga class. When Tandon ponders over the perils of managing an export business on an e-commerce platform, Parashar offers eBay as a solution, while comparing the platform to another leading e-commerce player. 

The pan-India digital and OTT campaign explains how eBay charters a successful journey for each exporter with the right kind of tools, account management and support. 

Speaking about the campaign, Pavan Ponnappa - head of categories & marketing, eBay India, says that understanding the challenges of Indian sellers, which is to build their cross-border trade, is important. 

“There are multiple differences, when it comes to selling internationally, than just being limited to the domestic market. We have been trying to understand the challenges that the sellers face by interacting with their community,” he adds.

Pavan Ponnappa, eBay India
Pavan Ponnappa, eBay India

The brief to Clevertize for the campaign, was to bring out the challenges of an e-commerce platform through the journey of a seller and show that how working with eBay can help provide solutions. 

What differentiates eBay from the likes of Amazon is that the former doesn’t deal with its private label products. In the Indian context, eBay has been associated with exports, but with its latest campaign, it wants to focus on its sellers. It claims to have solved most of the challenges that the sellers may face, while selling their products online. The campaign aims to bring the ‘Export Ka Expert’ (eBay) and product experts (the sellers) together.

Highlighting why eBay decided to launch the campaign now, Ponnappa says that this is a part of the year when many sellers are through with high-octane domestic shopping season and preparing for next year. “Internationally, this is a great time to visit a marketplace, as the peak shopping season for most countries is just around the corner."

Each marketplace is known to specialise in specific product categories. For Amazon and Flipkart, it is electronics and consumer durables, while Myntra is an online fashion destination. The categories that eBay focusses on differs from other marketplaces. 

“Hence, we are competing with the vertical specialists, when it comes to categories like luxury jewellery, automotive parts and accessories, home interior and décor products, etc. The categories that eBay operates in is a big differentiator for both the sellers and buyers on the platform,” explains Ponnappa. 

The US continues to be one of the mature markets, where many cross-border transactions happen through eBay. Additionally, there is a lot of interest that the eBay sellers get from Germany, the UK and central European countries. 

Ponnappa points out that a lot of these markets still remain untapped for Indian sellers, as they don’t have the typical English-speaking audiences (except the UK). eBay has some tools for the sellers so that language barriers can be removed and a seamless transaction can take place. 

Consumer attitudes have changed, when it comes to shopping on an e-commerce channel. Ponnappa elaborates that a major shift is that the buyers are now more comfortable buying expensive products. 

“Luxury (products) category continues to witness growth. Second, Indian sellers have started seeing export e-commerce as an important avenue or channel of their business. Many business houses that were only dealing with traditional B2B export earlier, have now shifted their focus to B2C exports,” mentions Ponnappa.

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