Digital Transformation Cheil India Ecommerce

Cheil India ventures into ecommerce to help brands looking beyond marketplace strategies

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By Taruka Srivastav | Reporter

September 11, 2017 | 6 min read

To take advantage of India's growing e-commerce industry, Cheil has now ventured into ecommerce as advisors, aiming to be the go-to service providers.

Cheil India ventures into e-commerce to offer technology and creativity

Cheil India ventures into e-commerce to offer technology and creativity

According to a Forrester report , Indian market is expected to reach $64bn by 2021, growing at a five-year CAGR of 31.2% which will further empower Cheil's initiative.

The announcement comes after it rolled out, Cheil Designs to move towards customer-centric strategies.

Cheil ecommerce will span across ecommerce business consulting, design thinking and platform transformation, mobility and omnichannel solutions, performance marketing and big data analytics.

The Drum spoke with Varun Jha, head of Cheil ecommerce to find out if more brands are discussing this trend.

What made Cheil India venture into ecommerce?

We know the next decade will be around data and technology-driven solutions for businesses. Owing to this, clients have moved beyond traditional digital solutions and are looking for new ideas, products and innovations leveraging technology solutions to drive business growth. Cheil’s genesis has always been a tech-driven creative agency that can deliver solutions beyond traditional creative work. As an agency that is future-ready, our unique proposition is that of technology and creativity.

However, currently in India, the ecommerce knowledge rests with a few players like Amazon, Flipkart and Makemytrip. However, brands want to look beyond selling their products and services on these platforms. They want to create their individual ecommerce footprint. For example, while airliners like Jet Airways, Indigo etc. are present across online travel portals, such as Makemytrip and Goibibo, a significant portion of their bookings also comes from their ecommerce websites.

This is called brand commerce. At Cheil our endeavor is to be the ecommerce advisors and go-to service providers who will build brand salience through digital commerce. We intend to help the brands with providing better margins, ownership of customer’s shopping experience and value based commerce.

How do you plan to engage your customers?

We already have few successful case studies and are working very closely with our existing clients and helping them solve complex business problem statement in the digital space. Cheil ecommerce works as a consulting practice with a difference. Unlike the traditional consulting firms, such as McKinsey or Accenture, we also have strong execution capability. We usually begin with understanding the client’s business needs, followed by business consulting and advising on commerce solutions for them. We go a step further and own the execution of the solution and own the KPIs to further scale the business of the brand. We additionally also have a customer-driven marketing offering that provides actionable insights from unstructured data, adding immense business value to our clients.

Why such a technology focus for the agency?

The world around us is digital and changing very fast! Many traditional businesses are at threat, owing to the rise of the new-age tech startups! For instance, as per a recent PwC report (2017) on Global FintechBusiness, almost 30% of the bank’s business are at threat because of the germination of new fintech startups. The crux of digital is technology. Both of them can’t be looked in silos. Until almost four years ago, digital marketing was a rare skill set and every one was vouching for it!

But thanks to rapid change in the digital landscape, even digital marketing, in the current form, is maturing. Clients just don’t want basic needs like reach, traffic and clicks. They want business out of it. They want to provide superior customer experience and provide value-based commerce. Therefore digital partners in the ecosystem, like consulting firms, agencies, IT firms, need to have an integrated approach of digital and technology. This will make us more desirable and sustainable in the next decade and put us in a different league all together.

Are many brands in India discussing this trend?

Yes, all brands are discussing this trend. Just that no large scale digital firm has a recognized ecommerce practice. Creating such a practice is quite tedious and a new phenomenon. And it is bound to cause ripples in the industry. In fact, all the brands that we talk to get taken aback and surprised to see such an offering from us.

What is the future of ecommerce in India? How important will it be?

India is the last billion market left in the world after China. All the major investments are being done here and specially in the consumer internet digital space. Softbank has setup a vision fund of $100 bn for investments and it’s estimated that around 10 to 15% of which would could committed for Indian e-commerce sector over next 10 years. The ecommerce retail major Amazon has committed $5 bn investment into its India unit. This is due to the massive growth in the ecommerce sector in the last decade.

Therefore digital commerce, which includes, eretail, online payments, online travel, online services, digital banking, is bound to grow by leaps and bounds over the next five to 10 years.

Digital Transformation Cheil India Ecommerce

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