India’s ecommerce market is the fastest-growing in the world. By 2020, it’s projected to bring in $120 Bn per year. By 2034, it will likely surpass the United States as the second-largest ecommerce market in the world.
Indian ecommerce companies have a huge opportunity. If they can capture the loyalty of online shoppers, they stand to gain the most from this boom. Of course, the opposite is also true: if they struggle with retaining customers, they’ll get left behind.
So, what’s an online retailer to do?
They need to step into the shoes of their customers to completely understand these customers’ journeys, likes, and preferences.
A New Sense Of Control
In the past, retailers were largely in control of the shopping experience. Today, savvy online shoppers know that they have lots of options and are more willing to look around before making a purchase. They know that they can take control of their shopping experience, and you need to give them that control if you’re going to retain them as customers.
What Does That Mean On A Practical Level? Options.
Consumers want options and the ability to control their shopping experience. They want to decide when and how they interact with retailers. Do you offer an online store and an app? If not, you might lose some users who prefer to interact with one or the other.
Does your interface allow for customization with sorting on price, filters, advanced searches, and interactive features like previews and plenty of photos? It should. Small things are important here; Google’s “Designing a Better Experience for Shoppers” even calls out the importance of providing custom zoom levels on images.
When you’re designing your shopping experience, frequently ask yourself if you’re giving the user as much control as possible. If not, you might be forcing them down a direction that YOU hope they’ll go. And that’s just not going to fly.
A Reliance On Content
Brand loyalty can be hard to come by with modern consumers. Marketers know that loyalty isn’t always driven by the product—in many cases, it’s driven by great content published by a brand or a retailer.
Even as an ecommerce store, you should be investing in content. Weekly (or, even better, daily) blog posts, YouTube videos highlighting products, a podcast about an industry or a style, frequent social media posts (we’ll come to that in a bit), and downloadable guides or checklists can be great ways to engage your users.
Of course, producing this much content isn’t easy. Especially when consumers expect only the highest quality and most useful content. But it’s crucial in establishing relationships with millennial shoppers.
Many retailers bring on marketing teams or hire out their content processes to freelancers if they can’t handle it in house. Don’t underestimate the importance of this tactic.
A Strong Social Media Presence
While social media platforms come and go, the importance of social media in shopping is consistent. Study after study proves that purchasing decisions are influenced by social media relationships. Consumers rely on social media to help them make purchase decisions. They connect with brands and are influenced by social marketing campaigns. They ask for referrals.
If you’re not taking advantage of social media, you’re going to have a hard time competing with retailers who do.
This doesn’t just mean posting product links. You need to connect with your followers on a human level. That might mean running polls and contests, asking questions, starting conversations, and commenting on other people’s posts. A list of the best ways of using social media for ecommerce could fill a book (but if you need a quick start, check out Neil Patel’s guide).
Take a look at your competitors to see what they’re doing. If they aren’t getting much engagement, you have a big opportunity. If they are getting engagement, you have your work cut out for you—but that also means it can be done in your industry.
A Fondness For Apps
Mobile shopping is trending up. Consumers are becoming increasingly reliant on mobile apps and mobile websites to purchase goods. But mobile apps also face a very high level of churn. According to the Ecommerce Benchmark Report 2019, apps lose about 88% of new users at the end of the first week. This duality leads to a phenomenal opportunity to build experiences and engagement aimed for retention.
If marketers aren’t using app-based marketing to drive engagement, they’ll face an uphill battle for revenue.
Fortunately, advanced tools let marketers target highly specific groups of users with personalized notifications to get them back into the app. Machine learning, rich push notifications, and a wide variety of personalization options mean marketers can deliver the right message to the right people at the right time, on the right channel.
These engagement strategies help reduce app churn and increase engagement. Increased engagement with a shopping app often turns into more revenue and higher customer lifetime value.
App-based marketing is important now, but it’s set to become crucial as more people turn to mobile shopping options. And with younger generations doing even more on their mobile devices, this is likely to continue.
And don’t forget that shoppers use apps while they’re shopping in-store, too. So, this point is doubly important.
A New Generation Of Shopping In India
India is one of the fastest growing ecommerce markets in the world. That comes with a lot of new opportunities—but isn’t without challenges. While it is easy to acquire new customers, it is ever so difficult to retain them. With customer acquisition costs skyrocketing, internet shoppers need to be engaged rightfully using the appropriate content, social reach out, superlative experience all the while letting them be in control.
Online retailers will need to use strategies that help them develop strong, loyal followings in an age when loyalty is declining. Retention is what will drive sustainable long-term revenue growth.