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  • Role Brand Ambassadors Play In India’s E-commerce Game

    Published on August 11, 2022

    —Utkarsh Gupta, Managing Director, Ramagya Mart

    As we progress and evolve as humans, our need for basics has changed, and today we live in an era where convenience and comfort have become the must-haves for every aspect of our lives. And this changing environment of today, propelled towards the convenience-of-things, was so aptly forecasted by Bill Gates; as a visionary, he earlier in the time quoted, “The vision is that people should have the ultimate in convenience, being able to get the things they care about on their devices.” In addition to what he stated, there was a sequel to the above quote that sequenced his thinking process wherein he stated, “If your business is not on the internet, then your business is out of business.” This subject of comfort, convenience, and the future of business on the internet, driven by celebrity endorsements is what we will talk about in this article.

    As technology and data started getting more accessible and economic, the evolution of consumerism got more and more progressive, attracting businesses onto the internet. Currently, we as humans generate so much information in the form of data for the internet and for the businesses that are on the internet, that this information is being used by companies to make our digital purchasing experience better. The era of e-commerce has arrived; an era that will give control and command to consumers to buy what they need from the device of their choice, thus making convenience and comfort the result of e-commerce.

    In traditional markets, a buyer has a plethora of brands to choose from, as he or she moves from one retail brick-and-mortar store to another. To influence customers to choose a particular company’s brand, or convert a competitive customer to buy one’s brand by making a brand loyalty switch happen; companies spend top dollars on advertising, and brand ambassadors hold a critical space in the advertising of brands. Celebrities during their brand endorsements are instrumental in  driving the brand’s message to their fans and followers! Thus, the pertinent question arises whether this format has changed in any way, especially when we are quickly transitioning to e-commerce that offers comfort, convenience, and competitive pricing without asking for a discount?

    Now comes the question of abundance! So many e-commerce marketplaces and supply chains are easily accessible for most people on a touch of a button; unlike earlier when travel distance was always a consideration for visiting your nearest traditional retail store or near-to-home markets. With so many e-commerce brands being available at the command of a button on your device, the need for a good UI, UX, and being relevant with a USP is a given! However, in this crowded non-territory governed space with no boundaries, competitive pricing cannot be just another key differentiating factor. It is essential to drive the affinity of potential customers to your brand with an effective brand message. So, factually speaking, we are back to the same situation when the evolution of brick-and-mortar stores started getting competitive and the era of brand endorsement by celebrities happened. It happened then, and it happens now; it happened with traditional brands, and it is happening now with e-commerce brands and e-marketplaces!

    In recent times, we have seen e-commerce brands and e-platforms such as HealthifyMe endorsed by Sara Ali Khan, Mamaearth endorsed by Shilpa Shetty, and MakeMyTrip endorsed by Alia Bhatt; what all of these brands have in common is that they were able to gain a better competitive advantage attributed to creative advertising concepts and the use of a celebrity endorsement to make the advertising memorable to capture the attention span of a very non-attentive audience.

    Another example I would like to quote is that of Ramagya Mart, endorsed by Randeep Hooda. Randeep, through his messaging, has been very successful in energizing and encouraging our very traditional home appliance wholesalers across India to convert and transact their wholesale business on the Ramagya Mart B2B e-commerce platform.

    It’s a known fact to all of us that brand endorsements by celebrities have played, will play, and will continue to play an important role in the journey of a brand’s success, primarily now in the e-commerce domain. The effect of a brand ambassador plays mainly in the realm of amplification of an ad publicized, or we can term this as the multiplier effect that celebrities bring to advertising recall.

    Although there is no statistically proven data evidence of the exact impact of advertising due to the lack of a direct measurement system except for post-campaign research, interestingly, according to a research by Harvard Business School professor Anita Elberse and Barclays Capital analyst Jeroen Verleun, a celebrity endorsement increases a company’s sales by an average of 4% relative to its competition, and also increases a company’s stock value by 0.25%. So, to a large extent a credible brand ambassador may strengthen and solidify the bonds between the organisation’s products and services with the target audience.


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