Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Point of Sale has moved - from the store to the consumers’ home.

Traditionally FMCG brands have focused their marketing efforts on ensuring high brand visibility at the stores & while that is critical – there is an aspect that might be getting overlooked.

Home Delivery!!

The new point of sale is the consumers' home.
Home Deliveries are the backbone of the general trade in India. Our research has revealed that some of our AaramShops have as high as 55% of their business from home deliveries, while the average home delivery business across urban stores is a high 32%.

The prevalence of such a high level of home delivery across urban centers of India warrants a strategic rethink by brands.  The challenge with home delivery is that the consumers are just not walking-in to the store, as the orders are getting placed on the phone or online. Obviously the last mile visibility & communications strategy is not working for these consumers.

The solution lies in reaching the consumers in their homes, and influencing the buying decision right where it is made.   

At AaramShop, we have custom created unique solutions to tap this huge opportunity – we have the network, the coverage & reach, the technology and fine-tuned processes to ensure that brands can influence consumers to get a place within the home delivered orders. 

Talk to us if you need help in reaching your brand communication, offers and promotions directly to consumers and have them serviced via AaramShops.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Hybrid Commerce at work - effective commerce.

In a first of its kind of initiative, AaramShop Pakistan undertakes hybrid commerce to enable consumers across the city of Karachi to order their preferred grocery products and have their orders delivered at the doorsteps within hours.

A store specific promotional FSI.

So why is this special?
  1. Its the ideal local commerce solution - leverages the strengths of retailers in the neighborhoods and power of the brands. A solution that extends the opportunities offered by the web to stand-alone stores. 
  2. It rides on the existing infrastructure rather than re-inventing the wheel - with deliveries at the doorstep within hours (not days).
  3. It uses multichannel marketing strategies - web, mobile apps, calls, FB store and physical stores - all rolled in; and that too in an evolving environment like Karachi.
  4. AaramOffers, specific to the store help ensure the consumers in the locality get to take advantage of local deals.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

AaramShop's Mobile Coupons.

Happy to roll-out our end-to-end mobile coupon solution for FMCG brands. The solution leverages the strong network of AaramShops across the country to ensure ease in redemption. 

AaramShop’s Mobile Coupons enable brands to deliver their promotions directly to the consumers mobile, targeting the right audience with the right offer. Our mcoupons, are proven to deliver higher redemption rates and reduce operational costs in Indian retail environment.

Coke's - pedal your way to a discount & fitness activation.

The more you pedal the higher the discount. Coca-Cola Chile wants you to burn off a few calories. And then, presumably, cool down with a refreshing Coca-Cola. 

I liked the engagement idea, but somehow did not find the idea connecting with a the brand and felt it to be too much of a force fit.

Also trying to access if it was custom created for awards or was done on scale.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

If it is dark, please let it stay dark.

I started my day with reading an article written by Mr. Manish Tewari in the morning paper titled “Is virtual civilisation the breeding ground for anarchy?

This blog is about marketing & not politics, so why should I even bother blogging about a politician’s personal PoV. I have a few reasons:
  1. My business is directly impacted by the consumers’ usage of Internet, or restrictions there-in.
  2. Social media plays a very important role in my life and that of my community at large.
  3. The writer happens to be the Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting, Government of India and hence his views could end up framing policy.
  4. And frankly, it just got my goat.
I would recommend that you read the article in full. It did take me 4 attempts to fully decipher the English, but it was worth it.

The long and short of it is that Minister views the freedom of expression on the internet as a possible problem and says the Internet today represents the largest ungoverned space on Earth” and it a space which can cause a lot of harm & anarchy and “hence it is the responsibility of the stakeholders to deliberate the need to strike a right balance or in other words find that ‘equilibrium’ between ‘Right to Privacy’ and ’Right to Anonymity’.”

The article is a smart play of words to try and project a neutral stance, however, I think the leanings are for everyone to see.

My view is that there is a very large number of folks in position of authority (and lots of editor types of traditional media formats) who have not been able to come to terms on a media format where:
  • The audience has an independent view, talks back, voices disagreements openly and does not shut up when you ask them to.
  • The audience actually creates the conversation without waiting for a role for the formal "know it all" moderator.
  • The audience listens & believes more to the views of other like-minded audiences, rather than to “well drafted & controlled releases / media bulletins”.
The folks who profess end-of-world scenario and fear “anarchy”, are mostly media usage experts of yesterday’s media. They are too used to a “in-control” media and hence are unable to come to terms with the vibrancy of the newer formats of social media. I believe most do not understand the social media in not new. After all social media is just conversations amongst folks using the preferred "locations of conversation" of the day – which today happens to be Twitter, FB, WhatsApp, SMS, etc. as much as the neighborhood chai shop, beauty parlors and a barista.

Folks are doing on a Twitter what they are also doing at a coffee shop – talking, sharing, expressing – all of it freely – and about everything from movies, to music, to cricket, to politics. Of course the newer technologies, allow conversations over greater distances and faster.  

The fact is that we Indians are an expressive and opinionated bunch – we always have been. It is just that earlier our conversations was not “readable” – today they are.  Voice has changed to text, images and videos – as they tell a better story.

Social media is all about 2 way conversations, it about listening and talking – in fact it more about listening. However, when I glance thru’ some of the social profiles of the doomsayers, I can spot at least one, fairly obvious issue. These guys don’t seem to be interested in listening to “social conversation”, or even having a conversation, they just want to talk. A one-way speech syndrome; similar to writing a “safe” column in a national daily, is the kind of controlled engagement that they seem to prefer.

Above is a snap shot of the Twitter profile of Mr. Manish Tewari, the author, who follows NO ONE. I guess no one has anything to say that he is interested in.  Of course it is his social profile and he can choose to use,  not use, or how to use Twitter, however, what worries me is that he will influence, if not take the decision, which might impact the freedom to use SM.

I would be equally worried if a bald guy was to take a decision on the need of combs in the world. 

The other aspect that the Minister talks about is the propagation of hate by faceless virtual folks and the danger that poses to the society at large. Now normally these are viewed as areas of “national importance” and I do not have expertise to write on this, however, I will stick my neck out on this (at least a bit) and make two points: 
  1. It is well understood that the best way to address the hate speech is to fight it with more speech, not less. I think in this video Mr Eric Schmidt of Google does a better job of explaining the context than I could ever do.  In my personal experience, I have mostly found the discussions / conversations on SM to be passionate, personal and balanced. And just like it would happen on the streets, once in a while one comes across content which is malicious, trashy or just obnoxious – and one does what one should do, either ignore it, or retort or discuss and warn others about it. To handle that kind of content, what is needed is mostly common-sense and a little education -  definitely not the big brother on the back to validate what one should or should not see. 
  2. I remember years back, when the mobile phones were a new add-on to lives, there was a lot of debate on how terrorists and anti-social elements would end up using them and hence they should be disallowed in sensitive areas. However, overtime, it is the same devices, which are enabling crimes to be tracked by locking on to GPS location of the users, and monitoring content. On similar lines, anti-national social media users can be traced far more easily than if the activities where being done without the use of technology. Yes, there would be challenges, but footprints on the internet are far more traceable. What is needed is relevant expertise and SOPs to handle such a menace. 
What was good to note that the media house that carried Mr. Tewari’s article, its sister publication had an article on the same day about India’s declining Internet freedom and how any blow to the Internet’s free functioning is a blow to individual freedom.  

I firmly believe that the governments need to use social media to communicate more and bring about increased transparency, rather than create a fear psychosis about a potential need to clap down. We are better off with it being the largest ungoverned space in the world. 

Unlike some, I love a healthy conversation; so will be happy to respond to your views, even if they are not in sync with mine. Do share your views. My twitter handle is @vijaysingh and I do follow.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

What is AaramShop? Explained!

Have questions or suggestions ? Lets talk. Happy to discuss opportunities to collaborate.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Consumer activation in the traditional last mile.

As against at modern trade outlets, undertaking brand activations at traditional trade outlets is tough to undertake and even more difficult to measure for impact and ROI.

AaramShop can not just help your strategize with creation of last mile campaigns, but also undertake the comprehensive program, including reaching-out to partner retailers, rolling-out consumer engagement and measuring the impact of your marketing initiative. 

We have fine-tuned our solutions to specifically engage with independently owned, A category, neighborhood outlets. It is with these outlets that we help drive tertiary sales for your brands. Our on-ground activations are backed up with digital initiatives to ensure that your product gets into the shopping list of consumers.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Reviews Ensure Buzz which can be tapped.

Online Consumers Reviews are a powerful but under-utilized opportunity, especially within the FMCG brands. All researches indicates that consumers listen to and believe other consumers; real people with real brand stories. 

AaramShop presents a great opportunity to generate reviews, share and help consumers acquire brands that they love. It is the last mile connect enabled by AaramShop with its unique web to doorstep model which ensures that the online consumer reviews have a higher RoI, wherein brand advocacy can be put to effective use.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Change in focus of IT spends.

Interesting to note a shift in the focus on IT spends with the CPG companies. While CPG companies have traditionally viewed technology as a necessary business expense to be managed in the most efficient way possible, during the past few years, CPG companies have grasped the commercial potential of the burgeoning supply of information about customers’ behaviors, needs, and wants. 

The volume of data emanating from point of sale, in-store engagement, mobile platforms, and social media is exploding and unleashing value from technology in ways that go beyond operational efficiency. This is leading to a fundamental change in what businesses expect from technology. 

Read the full article here

Thursday, September 26, 2013

The most shared sectors on Facebook is FMCG.

Fashion-savvy brands have the strongest and most social communities on Facebook, according to an infographic from Socialbakers.  They arrived at this by Measuring activity from 5,000 Facebook users during one month, the graphic shows that fans of fashion, automobile, and e-commerce pages take the top three spots when it comes to total interactions, total “likes,” and total comments.

Not surprising, as new lines & products are introduced virtually every day in these categories, however, what did interest me was that when it comes to total shares, fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) led the pack, followed by the nonprofit and travel sectors. FMCG brands a reason to smile on their FB walls.

How to get your content shared.

Came across this Infographic that I thought was really neat. 

View the original here

Friday, September 20, 2013

Customer Journey to Online Purchase (for CPG / FMCG brands)

The customer journey has grown more complex. Before making an online purchase decision, a customer may engage with your brand through many different media channels over several days. 

However, for all the focus on "social", it is interesting to note that "email" as a marketing channel plays a more effective role in "assisting" the customers in their purchase.  Assisting channels build awareness, consideration, and intent earlier in the customer journey or “purchase funnel.”

The chart below looks at CPG (FMCG) buying behavior.

The info above is part of Think Insights of Google.