Product / ServiceEBAY.IN
CategoryA02. Best Use of Social Media
Entrant Company:MSLGROUP Singapore, SINGAPORE
PR/Advertising Agency:MSLGROUP Singapore, SINGAPORE
2nd PR/Advertising Agency:HANMER MSL Mumbai, INDIA


Name Company Position
Sohini Sengupta Mslgroup/Hanmer Msl Account Director
Martin Antony Mslgroup/Hanmer Msl Account Manager
Roshni Shroff Mslgroup/Hanmer Msl Account Executive

The Campaign

Indians are very conservative when it comes to buying online. For them, the in-store experience rules. They are also reluctant to use credit cards, preferring to pay cash. This is primarily why there is a ‘fear factor’ around online purchases. Importantly, buying things is often a family event, with in-store hospitality being integral to the experience. It was clear that we were dealing with a cultural issue, not just a straightforward brand perception challenge for eBay.in. Hence, we decided to reach out directly to the key purchase decision makers – women. The social media strategy focused on making evangelists of women consumers, bringing an Indian-style hospitality and service to eBay.in. The campaign ensured that the eBay Facebook page became a conduit to the website, eventually accounting for 8% of its total traffic. The page, meanwhile, gained 500,000 followers in six months, reaching 1,839,530 fans at the time of writing. Now the largest Facebook community of any Indian e-commerce firm, the number of its women fans grew phenomenally, accounting for 56.8% of fan engagement on the page. The Facebook page also turned into a key customer relations management tool, answering an average of 1,200 queries every month.

The Brief

Our research told us that peer-to-peer influence dominated purchase behaviour online, proving that social media plays a vital role in decision making. The goal was clear: in order to make eBay India’s preferred e-commerce brand, we had to replicate the personal, hospitable Indian shopping experience online – through social media – in order to engage audiences and build trust. By driving positive online conversations, our objective was to increase engagement with women on the Facebook page.


• In an industry where traffic is closely correlated to the number of transactions, the eBay Facebook page went from being just another medium to interact with prospective customers to the second largest driver to the website, accounting for 8% of traffic. • More than 500,000 followers were gained in six months. Today, the eBay India Facebook page has 1,839,530 fans with an average daily activity of 107,906 fans – the largest Facebook community amongst Indian e-commerce firms. It is also the top Indian e-commerce brand based on the ratio of engaged audiences to fan base. • Within three months, the focus on women resulted in them accounting for 56.8% of fans interacting on the eBay India Facebook page. • On average, 1,200 queries are answered every month on the page while comments, critiques and suggestions are encouraged. This provides for a trusting environment driven by customer satisfaction and evangelism.


Building trust was the first step. No matter what time of the day, the speed of response and helpfulness in answering queries impressed upon users that eBay was a reliable, trustworthy brand. A turnaround time of four hours was set to help mirror the in-store hospitality craved by our audience. The next step was to create a premium on delivering value. The best deals on the most popular products and special deals for fans, which were chosen specifically with their ‘likes’ in mind, were regularly showcased, leading to higher conversion rates and increased word-of-mouth. Lastly, engagement was the foundation of the entire campaign. Rich visual storytelling and curated product collections ensured relevance to our audience, with themes such as ’Every Day In January Is A Special Day’. For women, who needed to be converted into brand evangelists, there was specially curated content in sync with their ‘likes’ that sparked sharing online.

The Situation

India has 150 million internet users, or 75 million households, ’ready’ for e-commerce. However, fewer than 10 million users transact online. With the potential customer base just a fraction of the population – and because it’s a price-sensitive market – e-commerce players often undercut each other, offering deals that seem dubious and turning buyers into sceptics. In addition to users’ lack of trust in e-commerce, the agency had to contend with intense competition from almost 10 new local players, including group-deal-based portals. This was exacerbated by the cultural barriers of favouring the ability touch and feel products before purchasing.

The Strategy

In India, it’s the women who have the final say on purchases. If the campaign was to succeed, it would have to convert them into believers in online shopping. How? The typical Indian shopping experience would have to be replicated online, replete with personal attention and great customer service. The agency ramped up engagement with women on the Facebook page and used social media to ensure that customer queries were responded to promptly. The agency also neutralised negative sentiments through an effective social CRM mechanism. This integrated strategy cemented eBay’s status as India’s leading e-commerce community.