MMA India has launched an industry playbook titled ‘Modern Marketers’ Guide to Connected Consumer Journeys’. The guide aims to be a compilation of learnings and insights by industry experts, and an analysis of the e-commerce landscape in India. It is powered and supported by GroupM.
In the context of the accelerated adoption of online channels, the playbook looks to provide marketers with insights into the changing e-commerce landscape and the factors driving this shift. It also delves into the evolving customer buying journey and purchase patterns, sales-driving technologies such as Voice, AR/VR driving sales and effective channel strategy for improved business ROI.
Moneka Khurana, MMA India board member, country head – India, MMA said, “This one-of-a-kind playbook led by MMA’s E-commerce Council members outlines how organisations and digital business leaders can improve their understanding of the shift in consumer behaviour and solutions that will drive the next phase of growth. Consistent digital exposure, combined with the presence of available omnichannel touchpoints, has resulted in the development of a new consumer purchasing process. MMA, through its E-commerce Council aims to build an overall understanding of the ecosystem and address cluster-specific issues improving capability in omnichannel marketing. We hope this playbook will assist marketers and brands to effectively re-strategise their market approach – from the customers they target to the channels they sell through.”
Landscape: India today has 622 million internet users (8% growth over 2019) and this number is expected to touch 900 million users by 2025. With affordable data prices, consumers are increasingly becoming more ‘digital’. The online retail market is set to become 3x in the next four to five years, majorly driven by under-penetrated categories like grocery, education, and health.
Voice, Video, and Vernacular: Though voice is at a nascent stage Indians are leapfrogging on Voice adoption; the market is expected to grow by 40% by 2022. Not just on Google Assistant, voice is rapidly growing as a preferred medium of input across Search and YouTube. Online video spends have seen the highest growth rate of 46% in 2020, as compared to other media channels. Online content consumption grew 35% post-Covid, with a total growth of 13% in time spent on OTT from January 2020 to January 2021. Vernacular internet users prefer voice find voice a more natural way of interacting with technology which helps reduces friction. Hindi on voice assistants is the second biggest language globally after English, while Hindi voice search queries have seen 400% growth YOY.
Pre-purchase: Urban internet users are relying on online platforms for product research. 62% of urban users are researching products online before making any purchase either online or offline. 50% of offline shopping across categories involves online product research.
Channel choice: The biggest retail trend is the increasing popularity of the direct-to-consumer or DTC model. D2C brands are witnessing a high number of subsequent funding rounds and strategic sale to incumbents. Working through a middleman can block access to end consumers. Brands with a DTC model can leverage direct relationships through loyalty programs, special discounting and promotions and unique and category-specific shopping experiences.
Purchase: Online retail is shifting from electronics to grocery. 73% of customers have purchased through online shopping platforms in the past 12 months. The deciding factors are: 63% on product quality, 55% on price and 55% on product information, return and cancellation policy, and product warranty. There has been an interesting purchase pattern in the consumer journey in the last three months where Amazon, Flipkart and Myntra were the top three online shopping destinations and groceries, fashion and health, beauty and personal care were the most searched product categories.
Conversational commerce, voice search, video streaming and augmented reality will also help brands drive their e-commerce strategies.
Tushar Vyas, president – growth and transformation, GroupM South Asia, said, “Consumers now have multiple sources for discovery and information research and today, it consists of highly connected non-linear moments. The growth in internet users, reduction in data prices and changing consumer behaviour are the key growth drivers for the evolution of e-commerce in India. We understand the changing online retail market and how it is set to grow 3x in the next four to five years mainly driven by underpenetrated categories like grocery, education, health. Considering the emergence and growth of e-commerce platforms, this handbook provides A-Z solutions on how marketers can use e-commerce as a platform to enhance a brand’s reach in these rapidly evolving times.”