What is the most difficult thing to do in B2C business?
Simple-changing consumer behavior. The reason why this is so difficult is because consumers don’t change unless there is a stimulus( something similar to Newton’s Law) and the science of delivering a stimulus is inexact and risky.
Consumers tend to hate change and become defensive to most direct efforts to change behaviour. I therefore would be very wary of any startup whose sole behaviour is to change a consumer behaviour( because until it tries we will never know if it will be successful). Rather startups that leverage existing behaviours are easier to run.
However there comes a time when after the low-hanging fruits are taken, to increase the market size, it is necessary to change behaviour.
There must be one of the below things for a successful behaviour intervention/change benefit-
a) There must be a clear benefit for the consumer to chose the new behaviour
b) The old behaviour could be clearly harmful, toxic or has been hit by a scare
Now e-commerce firms in India are on an interesting trajectory. They must increase their GMV and once the early adopters are taken it is time to change behaviours of the obstinate.
So we saw Flipkart’s Achcha Kiya Nahin Karida(“Good that I did not buy”. The campaign with a series of print , tv and online advertisements was literally reassuring consumers that it is good they did not buy something at a shop/retail store but bought it online.
Its actually a direct attack on the local stores but its also an attack on the consumer behaviour where much of purchase is impulse driven. A recent documented trend has been where consumers go to say a Nike store, try an item, get the item code and buy it online. This media campaign may help make this behaviour stronger but more importantly in the consumer mind make FLipkart equivalent/better than local retail.