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Online Shoppers in India expected to reach 500 mn by 2030: Report

Modern Marketers Guide to Connected Consumer Journeys by MMA and GroupM reveals that Hindi on voice assistants is second biggest globally while 72% Indians prefer non-English languages

MMA India, a part of MMA global the world’s leading not for profit marketing trade body with a heightened focus on the future of marketing along with the AMMP Council and GroupM India, today launched an industry playbook titled ‘Modern Marketers Guide to Connected Consumer Journeys’. The guide is a compilation of learnings and insights by multiple industry experts and an analysis of the e-commerce landscape in India.

In the context of the accelerated adoption of online channels, the playbook powered and supported by GroupM provides 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

Moneka Khurana, MMA India Board Member and Country Head, said, “This one-of-a-kind playbook led by MMA’s E-commerce council members outlines how organizations and digital business leaders can improve their understanding of the shift in consumer behavior 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 the omnichannel marketing. We hope this playbook will assist marketers and brands to effectively re-strategize their market approach – from the customers they target to the channels they sell through.”

Tushar Vyas

Shedding further light on the playbook, 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 behavior are the key growth drivers for the evolution of eCommerce in India.  We understand the changing online retail market and how it is set to grow 3x in the next 4-5 years mainly driven by underpenetrated categories like grocery, education, health. Considering the emergence and growth of eCommerce platforms, this handbook provides A-Z solutions on how marketers can use eCommerce as a platform to enhance a brand’s reach in these rapidly evolving times.”

Commenting on this initiative, KRS Jamwal, Executive Director, Tata Industries, said, “It is indeed my pleasure to pen a foreword for this very timely and thoughtful playbook. After rapid growth in India's e-commerce market, while the focus on cost and delivery efficiency will remain, it will become hygiene. Going forward, platforms and brands will need to differentiate by providing customers with a better, preferably personalized, yet holistic buying experience that enhances the browse and purchase journeys, and even attempt to bring aspects of the in-store experience online, leveraging tech. The MMA report provides an overarching view on consumer behavior shifts as well as identifies challenges that organizations may face as a result of those shifts, with best practices and possible solutions."

Key highlights:

Landscape: India today has 622 million internet users (8% growth over 2019) and 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 3 folds in the next 4-5 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 2nd biggest language globally after English, while Hindi voice search queries have seen 400% growth y-o-y.

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 3 months where Amazon, Flipkart and Myntra were the top 3 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 ecommerce strategies.

Access the full report here.

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