Online Marketplaces Leverage The Power Of Content


Chinese internet major Alibaba’s mobile business arm is forming a strategic group that will explore opportunities to increase investments in India and has set no ceiling for deployment of funds. The group’s digital media platform UCWeb is also planning to collaborate with Paytm and other ecommerce firms to push its content ecosystem.

#DigitalErra Thought Corner

“The first one we may see collaboration between UCWeb India and Paytm and e-commerce platform in which Alibaba has invested,” Alibaba Mobile Business Group President He Xiaopeng told PTI in an interview.Besides Paytm, the group also has investments in Indian ecommerce firm Snapdeal.

UCWeb’s content distribution platform UC News, launched in June 2016, has registered 80 million monthly active users in India as of February 2017, Alibaba Mobile Business Group GM-Overseas Business Kenny Ye said.

Online Marketplaces Inking Deals For Content Generation

Amazon is going all out to bring the best content to its Prime Video platform and has reportedly invested $75 million in original shows aimed at the Indian masses.

Undoubtedly, Amazon’s focus on delivering India-focused content is going to play a big role in helping the company tap the potential of online video streaming in the country. This is why it has spent a fourth of its $300 million Prime Video budget for India on creating local content by partnering with production houses and digital content creators.

Amazon has signed up 15 production houses, including an army of stand-up comics, to create original content for the market. Two of these production houses are very well-known and could drive a lot of traffic to the service – Excel Entertainment and AIB.

Similary, last year, Flipkart had launched a host of content initiatives including Fliptech—a gadget guide—in partnership with, a tech platform, and Flipkart Hobby Hub, to help users discover new hobbies and the products to pursue them on its platform. It has also sewed up partnerships with viral content creators like The Viral Fever and ScoopWhoop for video series and branded content initiatives to enable its content-to-commerce strategy.

More than 50% of Indians look for product reviews online before making a purchase. “Reading this trend Flipkart, in its continuous effort to enhance customer experience on its platforms, has announced a series of content initiatives around its electronics, fashion, mobiles and home categories to help customers discover relevant products and be better informed before buying,” Flipkarthad said in a statement.

Digital Content Players To Gain From Marketplaces and Vice-Versa

UCWebmight seek to partner with telecom companies to build infrastructure just as Google and Facebook are doing to enhance reach.“For example, Paytm, our partner, is already in infrastructural level of digital payment. It is going to have chemistry with us in the future,” Xiaopeng said.

Last month, Uber and Reliance Jio announced a similar kind of a strategic partnership that would allow users of the San Francisco-based company’s services to pay for rides using Jio Money. The two companies are working to integrate several of their services that could include digital content, entertainment and even in-car Internet connectivity for Uber customers.

In both the cases, companies are trying to gain from an already existing large pool of audience/customers to get a huge reach and increase sales.

Some Great Benefits of Content Marketing

  • Inspiration and Engagement – be engaging and reward your customers with content that makes them want to re-visit your site. Consumers now have access to greater choice and therefore it’s even harder to hold their attention. A consumer should feel that you have what they’re looking for and they don’t need to continue their search.
  • Branding – You have to heavily brand your product through digital as well as offline sales channel. Great content builds brand recognition and though that pullcustomers.
  • Natural Progression – Without needing to reduce the listing on your marketplace, you will notice a natural progression of visitors to your own website.

With online video subscriptions in India forecast to exceed 100 million by 2020, up from just 12 million in 2014, money put by online marketplaces on content driven marketing will be fruitful.