Amit Monga

CO-Founder ANS Commerce

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Evolving Trends Of Digital Businesses That Will Help You Cater To A Relevant Audience

E-commerce players have reimagined their operations and customer strategy in a way that will help them cater to their customers efficiently.

India’s internet user base has been skyrocketing in recent years, making it the second-largest in the world. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic further accelerated internet usage as people spent more time on their gadgets while remaining confined to their homes. Alongside this, consumer expectations and behavior also evolved dramatically as more and more people opted for online shopping and doorstep deliveries, creating a massive e-commerce boom.

According to IBEF, the Indian e-commerce industry is poised to surpass the US to become the second-largest e-commerce market by 2034. As the pandemic led to skyrocketing demand, the e-commerce sector has been one of the industries left with the biggest takeaways from the crisis. E-commerce players have reimagined their operations and customer strategy in a way that will help them cater to their customers efficiently. That said, here are some evolving trends in online businesses that will help you cater to relevant audiences efficiently.

Evolving marketing strategies and channels

Marketing has always been vital for brand building, reaching consumers, and business growth. Today, marketing has evolved unimaginably as technology has paved the way for new digitally-driven formats. Brands simply need to identify which format works best for them along with analyzing their target audience, consumer behavior, and preferences, etc., to deliver an immaculate customer experience.

· Omnichannel marketing: Centred around the needs of a customer and delivering a personalized message, omnichannel marketing uses multiple channels to create a unified experience for customers. Brands can even opt for browser and push notifications to re-engage with consumers who have interacted with the brand before. With digitization being adopted rapidly across verticals, omnichannel marketing has become a staple for brands to enhance visibility and provide a streamlined experience.

· Influencer marketing: Social media has taken the world by storm and when the concept of influencer marketing began to become popular, brands quickly discovered that it can be used to achieve substantial growth, especially those that cater to millennials and GenZ. While influencer marketing is still at a nascent stage compared to other forms of marketing, it’s rapidly gaining traction as more and more brands see it as a viable and lucrative marketing tactic.

· Video marketing: Video-based content has turned out to become one of the most popular and beneficial marketing strategies for brands as it enhances consumer engagement and brand visibility. Live broadcasts, product reviews, etc., are now growing rapidly as more brands shift their business online.

· Content marketing: At the core, content has always been the king. A form of inbound marketing designed primarily to bring an audience to the brand, content marketing is a cornerstone of sorts for online businesses, especially in today’s world where an abundance of content has left consumers with a plethora of options. Today’s content marketing landscape requires brands to be extremely attentive to consumer needs and challenges and create engaging content accordingly. Apart from this opting for content marketing in regional languages can help widen your customer reach.

· Conversational marketing: A tech-powered marketing strategy, conversational marketing used AI and chatbots for instant resolution. Today, brands are increasingly adopting chatbots and other AI-led features to be present on their brand store, website, or app for augmented customer experience.

Social and mobile commerce, and user-generated content

In today’s fast-paced world with skyrocketing smartphone usage and internet proliferation, most consumers opt for online shopping, especially through their mobile phones. Improvising your website to suit a mobile format will help in customer acquisition and increase reach especially for small and medium brands. Besides this, social commerce, the fast-growing wing of e-commerce has become the go-to online shopping solution for millennials and GenZ.

A subset of e-commerce, social commerce involves purchasing directly through a brand’s social media page on platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. For brands in the D2C space, social commerce can prove immensely beneficial as it allows them to engage with customers directly and contributes to enhancing brand visibility and brand building.

As far as e-commerce trends go, user-generated content is an emerging yet popular option that brands can opt for. Any form of text, video, product review, blog, or vlog can constitute user-generated content. Since it is coming directly from the user/customer, user-generated content not only helps build trust but can also increase brand engagement and drive conversion rates as more people discover the brand and the products it offers.

Brand loyalty and customer acquisition through digital products

The e-commerce market is thriving, but this has resulted in cut-throat competition, making brand loyalty scarce as customers are faced with an abundance of choices. Recent years have seen an upsurge in brands focussing on customer acquisition and retention by offering loyalty programs through membership cards, payment-related offers, discounts, and digital products such as gift cards, warranties, etc. Apart from improving customer acquisition, this will enable brands to lower customer acquisition costs and improve Lifetime Value (LTV).

Final word

Trends for online businesses are evolving rapidly and brands in the e-commerce space are quickly rethinking their strategies. With product recommendation tools, virtual trial rooms, and usage of AI and ML that can analyze consumer behavior and search patterns, e-commerce players can gauge consumer insights. This can bolster their marketing and customer acquisition, retention, and satisfaction, to deliver impeccable and personalized customer experience, gain a competitive edge, and thrive in the ever-growing market.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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