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How startups can garner more visibility with HDFC Bank’s SmartBuy platform and its 48 million+ card holders

Rocket fuel provides sufficient thrust for rockets to take off, after which it is able to orbit with minimal fuel. This is also what online visibility does for startups – builds a digital presence on e-commerce stores and platforms, and provides the necessary sustainable growth momentum for startups after the initial thrust.

HDFC Bank SmartUp: An attractive proposition for customers and startups

With digital acceleration becoming a part of the new normal, online visibility has become a key focus area for startup marketing and has gained the top spot on almost every startup’s agenda. While the size of the customer base is a key consideration for startups as they select online platforms for visibility, the financial ability of the customer base and their propensity to make purchases is equally crucial. It is here that HDFC Bank’s SmartBuy platform stands out for startups.

SmartBuy is an exclusive portal set up by HDFC Bank that aggregates a wide range of digital and physical products — from travel, entertainment, bill payments, electronics to fashion and books, among other categories. SmartBuy curates exclusive deals – from major businesses to startups – for the bank’s card holders.

The aggregator platform is a win-win opportunity for customers and businesses, especially startups. It not only enables businesses to reach out to the bank’s growing customer base, but also helps the bank’s customers avail exclusive deals across a wide range of products and services. The fact that there isn’t any charge involved for the business partners or transaction cost for customers is an added advantage for startups.

Today, the SmartUp programme is helping young ventures strengthen their online presence and build their customer base. For Bengaluru-based Bhoomi Sustainable Foods and Beverages, building a brand presence under the startup tab on SmartBuy offered them the exposure that they were looking for. As a venture that is looking at indigenous wholesome foods as a means to bridge gaps between nutritional needs and modern-day schedules with products like peanut butter, SmartBuy’s user base was a perfect fit for the audience the brand was looking to tap into. A seamless listing experience coupled with the orders it received via SmartBuy led Bhoomi Sustainable to explore how it could leverage the benefits of the platform. The startup is excited about the possibility of exploring collaborative email marketing to reach out to HDFC Bank’s large customer base and improve their growth.

Rassaa Creations and Innovations, a social venture based out of Jamshedpur in Jharkhand, has had a similar experience. As a venture dedicated to creating innovative and eco-friendly products, it was looking for avenues to drive the brand’s visibility and its flagship range of biodegradable tableware made of leaves. Given that getting a listing through the SmartUp programme did not require the venture to pay anything or make any investments to access the platform, Rassaa Creations immediately got itself listed on the platform. The move was instrumental in driving visibility for the brand, boosting sales promotion and leveraging HDFC Bank’s network for growth.

Bhoomi Sustainable Foods and Beverages and Rassaa Creations are just two of the many young brands that have benefited from listing under the startup tab of HDFC Bank’s SmartBuy platform. After a very challenging year, businesses are trying to get back on track and adapting to the new normal. The COVID-19 pandemic has ushered in an urgency to build a digital presence for businesses. It also brought customers into the digital fold. Given these dynamics, it has become all the more important for startups and young businesses to strengthen their online presence.

Driving unparalleled convenience for customers and startups

Launched in 2015, HDFC Bank started out by establishing partnerships with key industry players such as Cleartrip, Yatra, IRCTC, Amazon, and Flipkart, among others for products/services offered on the SmartBuy portal. In 2019, it opened the platform for startups and helped them showcase their products and services while offering attractive discounts and offers to the bank’s customers.

The platform is an exclusive touchpoint for the bank’s 48 million card holders. They can avail exclusive offers, discounts and reward points for purchasing on the platform through their HDFC Bank credit cards, debit cards, internet banking, prepaid cards and PayZapp wallet. The platform is popular among the bank’s card holders and gets an average of 2 million visits a month.

The popularity of the platform also stems from the unparalleled convenience that it offers. For customers, making purchases on the platform is seamless as it is not mandatory to create an account for making a purchase; they can order anything just by providing an email id or a mobile number. For startups, creating a SmartBuy account comes with the benefit of tracking the order or accessing order history. And, it just takes three working days for startups to get themselves enlisted under the startup tab on SmartBuy platform. Plus, enrolling is completely free. The only criteria for a startup to get enlisted is that it must be a B2C enterprise that can deliver products or services pan-India. Startups can register on the platform by simply signing a marketing agreement to avail the listing under the startup tab and the discount or offer that the startup can provide the customers.

HDFC Bank has been at the forefront of leveraging digital and technology platforms to make its customers’ digital journeys seamless. As an ecosystem leader, the bank also engages closely with startups. While many work with the bank as its partners, many others are engaged via different initiatives like hackathons. The startup tab on SmartBuy platform under the SmartUp programme is a logical extension of both these endeavours – both from the point of view of leveraging technology and engaging with the startup ecosystem.

If you are looking to strengthen your startup’s online visibility and get spotted by potential customers, register for getting listed under the startup tab of the SmartBuy platform today.

To know more about the programme, visit SmartUp website or contact your nearest HDFC Bank branch.

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