A year after acquiring the global mobile ad network AdIquity, Flipkart is going live with its Brand Story Ads on the mobile app. The e-commerce giant has already on-boarded over 50 leading brands on its commerce advertisement platform.
Flipkart ventured into the online advertising space last year with the introduction of Product Listing Ads (PLAs) to enable sellers on the platform gain more visibility and reach a larger customer base. The company has recently shared that its monthly ad sales revenue has reached $1 million. Earlier, Binny Bansal, Co-founder of Flipkart, also spoke about the company's ambitions to become a leading digital ad platform in India.
Another Indian Unicorn, InMobi, had launched discovery platform Miip in July 2015 aimed at transforming the mobile advertisement space.
Brand Story Ads
According to the company's statement, Brand Story Ads is a native, interactive story format with content images and product guides that enable brands to tell their stories in a crisp and impactful manner. In the initial phase, the campaigns will focus on awareness creation with brand story and category pages. This will be extended to product listings, checkouts, and other areas.
Brands including Yes Bank, L’Oréal, Micromax, Intel, Gillette, Datsun and Sony have already signed up on the platform to launch their ad campaigns. Along with the brands that retail on Flipkart (first party brands), this service will also be available to other non-retailing brands (third party brands) in sectors like real estate, FMCG, BFSI, auto, and telecom etc.
Welcome to the world of commerce advertising
With the launch of Brand Story Ads, Flipkart has introduced a new form of advertising called, Commerce Advertising. Commerce Advertising delivers a holistic view of consumer’s purchase journey post ad interactions and highlight effectiveness of the advertising campaigns. Flipkart being the pioneer in this form promises a universal solution to brands that is based on the data and buying intent of over 50 million consumers.
Ravi Garikipati, Senior Vice President, Flipkart, mentioned that the platform allows the brands to target and engage with largest qualified commerce audience in the country at the right time for the right intent. This leads to a higher and stronger propensity to click on the advertisement. He believes that the magnitude of consumer traffic and intelligent data insights on online shopping behavior gives Flipkart the edge to provide larger reach, impact, and measurability.
Related read: Will e-commerce companies (n)ever make money?
Backed by numbers
Flipkart claims to have a registered customer base of 50 million, and over 75% of its traffic comes via mobile devices. The company also boasts of having more than 85,000 registered sellers. Flipkart claims to have 60% market share in m-commerce and Brand Ads launch on the app is aimed at contributing significantly to the mobile advertising growth in India. According to a report by Deloitte, the mobile advertising spends are expected to account for 15 to 20 per cent of the overall media expenditure by 2020 and India is one of the leading markets worldwide in which ad spend will grow at a double-digit rate annually.
Adding AdIquity to the equation
The acquisition of AdIquity was aimed at powering Flipkart’s external marketing, where brands can use Flipkart data on user behavior to target customers on the AdIquity platform across publishers. The platform also allows merchants to promote their products on Flipkart. The company's spokesperson had then mentioned,
AdIquity has a history of mobile innovations, extremely valuable experience in the ad space and a talented tech team – all of which are a great strategic fit for Flipkart.
$1M run rate - Good but not good enough
Asif Ali, Associate Vice President at Snapdeal, had taken a dig on Flipkart's $1 million monthly ad revenue:
"Flipkart says that they're at a $1 million a month run rate on ads. Good to hear that you're catching up with us @Snapdeal. Snapdeal is already over $1m run rate (for the last several months and growing). Here are some stats from Snapdeal:
- Number of sellers who have used the ads platform: 26,071
- Active campaigns at any moment of time: 40k +
- Revenues >$1m per month."
Earlier this year, the company launched global sourcing platform Flipkart global which allows its merchants to source products from wholesalers across the world, primarily China, and India. Most recently, Flipkart's valuation was slashed down to almost $11 billion by Morgan Stanley. After going through this setback, Flipkart will certainly take steps to regain the plot in near future. This also means that a few announcements can be pushed before.