Ashwin Krishna

Ashwin Krishna is the Head of Global Marketing at Capillary Technologies.

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Schmoozing the Millennials in Omni-Channel World

Representing half of India’s population, millennials are a major target and businesses are constantly evolving and accommodating to cater to this demanding audience.

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In next 2 years, almost 1 in 2 Indians will be on the online bandwagon - either gossiping with the next door neighbour on WhatsApp or spending endless amount of time window shopping or paying the mom-and-pop store next door, with a mobile wallet. Out of the projected 650 million netizens, 350-400 million Indians will be digitally influenced. This is a massive number! And these digitally influenced consumers would spend $240-250 billion in retail.

Every 2 in 3 people in India are millennials and youngistan will form 64% of the workforce by 2021. In a nutshell India today has the largest number of young population and is touted to become the youngest country by 2021!

Representing half of India’s population, millennials are a major target and businesses are constantly evolving and accommodating to cater to this demanding audience. That’s because Indian millennial consumers depend largely on various shopping apps and online websites for almost all their needs, giving impetus to aspects like brand attitude and product specifications. As per a report published online, almost 60% of Indian millennial consumers look for brand they can associate with. Upholding the fad of ‘collective individualism’, they not only shop, but follow brands that enhance their social status and make them look exceptional.

Likewise, a global research consultancy firm revealed that an average millennial aged between 16-30 years in India spends about 2.2 hours a day or about 34 days a year on their mobile devices! Compared to millennials in the country, GenX, aged between 31-45 years spend an average of 1.8 hours on their smartphones, while baby boomers aged between 46-65 years spend 1.5 hours on their devices.

Also, millennials are Socioholics - over other forms of media, they spend 43 percent of their time using social media daily or watching videos online.

Led by these ongoing cults, predictions and ever growing numbers, coupled with evolution of modern technologies, small and medium businesses are doing everything they can to stay at par with the market trends. Enthused by the changing climate in the Indian business ecosystem, even brick-and-mortar businesses are either changing their business models to an online one, or beefing up marketing efforts with digital marketing strategies, in an attempt to capture a growing and very lucrative consumer segment.

Over and above the aforementioned significance of millennial consumers, they are also most likely to adopt new buying methods such as mobile payments and mobile banking, which is catching up anyway, given the disruption brought in by various players in the payment industry. As a matter of fact, as per Google-BCG study, more than 50 per cent of internet users will use digital modes to make payments.

However, it is important for brands to be wary of making sweeping assumptions about digital habits of different age groups, because, although the entire generation of internet users has been segregated on the basis of the number of hours spent on their mobiles and their age; about half the time spent on mobile is on social media and this stands true for all the segments in India. This poses further challenges for brands to create relevant content for different segments, communicate in a meaningful manner to each of the group, using the same media channel and engage them with the brand. Factoring in this aspect could prove to be useful because, while millennials are clearly an important demographic, Gen X and the baby boomers generally have higher disposable incomes, established buying patterns and most importantly spending increasingly more time online.

Indian youth who are the key to innovation have the power to impact the fate of Indian Startups in 2020s and 2030s. With millennials running the show, the coming years are anticipated to be India’s golden age that will validate the country’s digital legitimacy and will be the catalyst to greater economic freedom for its gigantic population.

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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millennials Omni-Channel World

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