If you’ve shopped for a baby product post the year 2010, it’s likely that you’ve heard about FirstCry. One of the biggest providers of baby care products today, it is the brand that launched specialty websites for new parents’ and babies’ needs. Today, online baby care is a booming new industry all thanks to Supam Mahershwari, who conceptualised the idea for the brand when he discovered that he had to shop abroad at the time of his own baby’s birth due to the limited baby care options in India.
One of our IIDE‘s student, Huzefa Merchant, devised a new digital marketing plan for the e-commerce business that he believes will propel the brand to new heights of success. Every parent tries to nurture their baby as best as they can. Just like that, the in-house team will also benefit by using this strategy, our student believes. Lets check out their FirstCry Digital Marketing Strategy!
About the brand
Supam Maheshwari was running a company he founded himself in the year 2000, called Brainvisa Technologies, that specialised in e-learning, when he decided to switch over start completely from scratch. Having studied at IIM Ahemdabad and a skilled entrepreneur, when he realised that his newborn baby’s needs were not being met by the products the Indian market had to offer and because of that he ended up buying most of his childcare products on business trips abroad. He quit Brainvisa in 2009 and invested in a brand new startup.
Maheshwari then partnered with Amitava Saha in 2010 to bring to the forefront a new portal that enabled parents and expecting couples to be able to provide the very best for their child from the comfort and convenience of their own homes. Today, this small idea has bloomed into Asia’s largest baby- and child-care site.
The site boasts of an inventory of more than 90,000 items from over 700 top brands in the childcare business. Right from baby blankets, clothes, and cots for newborns to toys, puzzles and games for older children; the site has it all. Some of the brands it hosts include Mattel, Ben10, Funskool, Pampers, Disney, Fisher Price and many more. Several of these are unavailable in common Indian shops due to their expensive prices.
Though the brand is the clear leader in online retail, it plans to move on to offline formats like a conventional store and capture that market as well. This is a goal the CEOs and co-founders, Maheshwari and Saha respectively, are eager to achieve.
To help them step closer their dream, our student, Huzefa Merchant, takes us through the motions regarding his own digital marketing strategy for the brand.
Social Media Marketing
One of the key factors towards the success of any business these days, especially those in the e-commerce industry, is of course social media. And after 8 years in the industry, this brand has certainly learned this.
The brand has a presence on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter. They have 710k likes on their Facebook page, 8.7k followers on Instagram, 3.7k subscribers on YouTube and 3.7k followers on Twitter.
Since Facebook is the main social media platform, it is where they have their highest engagement rate. They often hold frequent contests here and post consistently. They don’t very often repost from other bloggers on their Facebook page.
In order to truly make their presence felt on the social media platform,the brand has adopted a few strategies, like making use of certain campaigns like #ItsAMomsWorld along with offers and other contest posts. Their signature hashtag revolves around mothers dressing up, posing with ‘cool props’ and taking a picture with a ‘Super Mom’ at any one of their stores. By uploading this picture on Facebook along with the hashtag #ItsAMomsWorld, they stand a chance of winning free shopping worth Rs 1,00,000.
At the same time, FirstCry’s Instagram isn’t all that great. They don’t post very often. As of May 2017, their last post was on 24th January the same year. They post only about offers and have very poor engagement.
On YouTube, the brand mainly posts baby game videos and advertisements for new baby products.
On FirstCry’s Twitter, they mainly post festivals. They are also able to manage their customer feedback by responding to complaints quickly and promptly. They post on their Twitter on a daily basis.
#Mompreneur is a social media campaign that our student has suggested for the brand. It involves posting inspiring stories of women entrepreneurs who are also mothers. Since the audience on Facebook consists 54% of women, this could be an effective idea to cater to their following.
#SleepingBeauty is a campaign which targets fathers. It entails the unique sleeping positions fathers have to adopt in order to ensure that both their infant child and wife get a comfortable good night’s sleep. It can involve funny creatives where the baby is in an odd position all over the bed while the father is uncomfortable. This highlights the sacrifice of the father in order to give the best to his child. This really does help with the engagement and brand awareness in general!
Another nifty campaign could be #ParentingTIips. As most customers will be first-time parents, a few tips on raising a baby wouldn’t hurt. This would encourage people to share posts as well, helping with brand awareness. Easy tips like ‘Reading with your child from an early age can help brain development’ and ‘Gently stroke your baby’s faces with a tissue to get them to sleep in 40 seconds’ are fun to read and to share!
The main competitors are BabyCulture.in, MyBabyCart.com and Hopscotch.in.
BabyCulture is headquartered in Haryana and caters not just to Indian customers but to those in Europe, New Zealand and the United States of America as well. They are the biggest competition at the moment.
MyBabyCart was also founded in 2010. However, they are headquartered in Bengaluru and cater only to Indian customers. Their marketing campaigns are driven only towards moms, instead of towards both parents like FirstCry’s advertisements.
Hopscotch is the newest entrant in the niche and has a good-looking and user-friendly website. Along with this, they also have an app and https certification. However, their merchandise is extremely similar.
In comparison to its competition, FirstCry is doing a fabulous job of commanding all market focus and attention onto itself.
Those who buy these products are all parents between the ages of 25-35. They love to shop online and want to provide the best for their child. They are concerned about the quality of the product. The buyers may be working mothers who do not have time to shop for their children at traditional stores, homemakers who shop online due to the extensive range of products and fathers who want to buy their children high-end items that they trust online.
Search Engine Optimisation
Search engine optimisation refers to the usage of particular keywords in order to ensure the maximum amount of traffic on a brand’s website. These keywords are those that have the highest search rates on Google from their target customers. If a website is able to optimise itself based on the search engine’s keywords, then it is certain that they will be able to reach the maximum amount of relevant people.
Some of the most popular keywords for are clothes for infants, clothes for children, maternity wear, baby walker, feeding bottle and study table for kids. This means that whenever someone searches for these terms online, FirstCry’s results are the first that pop up.
Often, brands bid on certain search terms to ensure that when users search these particular terms on the internet, the particular brand’s page pops up as one of the first results. This may be useful for WOK Express in reference to other words that it could really capitalise on if they were able to be one of the top results.
Some of the suggested bid words are affordable maternity wear, baby clothes, mosquito nets online, baby beds, baby pajamas, clothes for baby girl and cheap baby clothes. This ensures that when someone searches for the said terms online, they are bound to encounter FirsyCry’s website as one of the first results. This makes the website more accessible to people looking to shop for baby care products, which is ultimately the group of people that our brand wants most to reach out to. Developing an SEO Strategy has surely benefited FirstCry Digital Marketing Strategy!
Another way to engage your customers and ensure that they stay on your brand’s website for a longer duration of time is to provide them with interesting blogs to browse through.
An example of listicles that they could post on their blog could be This is how your child can be smarter than his/her peers. Listicles are extremely entertaining and captivate the reader’s attention, and at the same time subtly encourage the reader to subscribe. In this case, the readers might want to visit the website to learn some parenting tricks! This would greatly boost the FirstCry Digital Marketing Strategy!
Influencer marketing refers to collaborating with social media influencers to promote your brand. As influencers have a large following on social media, they are an excellent method of reaching your target audience and maximising your brand’s reach. For example, Mansi Zaveri, CEO and founder of Kids Stop Press with more than 100k visitors on Facebook, Ekta Chawla, CEO and founder of ConfusedParent.in and ranking as one of the Top 10 parent bloggers or even Priya Dashani, founder of ShishuWorld.in, a parenting channel with more than 25k subscribers on YouTube.
Online Reputation Management
A few online platforms that could be of use for ORM could be Yahoo Answers, Faceboo and Quora. These Online Reputation Management platforms help the customers share their reviews of the services and therefore spread the word!
Platforms like Quora and Yahoo Answers often include questions like ‘Which is the best place to buy kids’ clothes online?’ and ‘Which is the best website to buy toys for kids?’ and other similar queries. It has to be made sure that FirstCry is mentioned in such answers! This increases the likelihood that, when someone searches stumbles across such questions, they have a positive impression of the brand.