Interview With : Sanjay Ramakrishnan, Senior Director & Head - Business development & Marketing, Flipkart
Updated on: 02 Jul 2016
It has been over a year since Flipkart launched its ad platform. Initially, it started working with the sellers registered on the site, however, in the last four months it has also started working with brands. Currently, this platform is used by thousands of sellers on Flipkart and some of the top notch brands of the country such as L'Oreal, Micromax, Intel, and others.
As per several published reports, the E-commerce brand is already generating over one million dollar in monthly revenue.
Flipkart has heavily invested in its ad-technology platform with an idea to drive high engagement for the advertising brands. The platform has been designed with feedbacks from the agency people, marketers and other stakeholders. The thought behind the design of this platform was to create an advanced advertising technology that connects brands with consumers, utilize the power of data to target the right customer at right times.
Over a period of time, this business has become extremely important for Flipkart and going forward, it seems to have some big plans with it. AdAge India caught up with Sanjay Ramakrishnan, Senior Director & Head - Business development & Marketing, Flipkart Ads to find out more about the platform.
Q. Flipkart Ad platform has been making a lot of news in recent times. How has it done in last one year?
The platform was launched over a year ago but since February 2016, we have started working with brands. Over 150 brands from different categories (fashion, lifestyle, electronics, auto, BFSI and others) have associated with us. We have been growing at an average of 50% month on month and registered good success.
Our seller product is still running and a large number of sellers are attached to it. However, from an overall opportunity point of view, the seller spends are smaller spends as compared to brands.
Although we are new to the digital advertising landscape, we bring a huge amount of data to the table. So when a client spends money on our platform, he registers a fairly visible impact. For example, our 'Click Through Rate' is above the industry average, and we also measure the engagement rate of the consumer with the brand messaging for every format running on our platform. We believe that going forward, 80% of revenue will come from brands and rest from the sellers.
Q. What was the key idea behind launching this platform?
In the last few years, there has been a strong increase in digital user base and E-commerce has become a part of life for the digital-savvy audience. Together, these two factors generate a huge amount of data on how the consumers are buying, and browsing on these platforms (especially Flipkart). So, there has been a fair amount of interest coming from brands on how they can leverage this audience to influence purchase, and perception for the brand.
We have a huge consumer base but not everybody comes to buy, but interestingly they come with the intention to buy. Other than buying, they review products, browse categories, generate interest, which leads to data sets that can be provided to the brand advertiser, which can help in engaging with the consumer in a better way.
The platform offers 2-3 ad formats - homepage premium widgets, native ad unit - brand stories and the usual ad space on the webpage. And these ads are seamlessly fitted without disturbing the consumer experience.
Q. So, what benefit does the platform offers to the advertisers?