The ideal route to connect with consumers

Today, providing customers with a fully integrated shopping experience is of the essence. Keeping this in mind, increasingly brands are adopting an integrated or Omnichannel strategy including conventional and new age methods with uniform messaging. Omnichannel is also useful in building a meaningful relationship with consumers to create a higher brand recall.

What sets the stage for Omnichannel

With the rise of digital marketing, influencer branding, social media engagement, and new media advertising strategies, brands now have to re-imagine new ways of reaching customers in a highly competitive environment. Over the last few years, digital marketing has grown rapidly: from Rs 160 billion in 2019, the market size has grown 62.5% to Rs 260 billion in 2021.

Internet penetration in India has grown multifold in the last few years and the active internet users are expected to reach 900 million by 2025. With the Covid-19 pandemic, the country’s digital transformation has been accelerated. This, coupled with cheap data tariffs, has led the average Indian to become digitally savvy and accustomed to online buying experiences at a much faster pace, resulting in an undoubted change in consumer behavior in India.

The contemporary Indian shopper is tech-savvy and prioritizes convenience. As a result, there is a need for brands to up their game when it comes to the D2C approach, where many brands have already entered the e-commerce space with their website in addition to physical retail chains.

The testimony to how e-commerce is gaining prominence is the changing buying behavior. The e-commerce space for electronics, home appliances, and apparel is expected to rise to 8% by 2025 as compared to 4% in 2020 making India one of the top e-commerce markets in the world which is expected to reach a valuation of USD 350 billion by 2030.

Today, almost every tech-savvy urban consumer, performs thorough online research, to check reviews, and do quick price comparisons before making any purchase. Studies suggest, that over 50% of internet users research online before buying a product and it is a significant trend that brands across Indian industries must take heed of.

Therefore, providing a unique customer experience is of the essence now. The omnichannel strategy allows brands to offer personalized experiences through creative marketing resources backed by data from the customer and creativity from within the brands. It ensures that brands can build a relationship with their customers along with a higher recall level.

Why is Omni Channel necessary?

While brands were targeting customers via digital platforms continued with a digital-only strategy, it became exhaustive for consumers. A typical consumer spends less than 10 minutes on a platform while scouting for the perfect product and experiences a minimum of ten pages online before buying the product. With a limited attention span and being bombarded with brand suggestions, product placements, etc., consumers started experiencing digital fatigue, especially since they were locked indoors over the last 18 months. Now, with lockdown relaxations in place and consumers wanting to go out and live a normal life again, brands can adopt the Omnichannel strategy, where the focus is not limited to either digital or conventional marketing. With omnichannel, the idea is to create successful campaigns with unified messaging across platforms to build a story and connect with the consumer more effectively.

This online plus offline presence means that consumers can engage with their favorite or even newer brands on their terms. Not only will this mean a better consumer experience, but they will also have freedom of choice and a seamless experience to feel the product/service across physical stores, e-commerce platforms, social media sites, apps, and websites when using any channel.

This means that a customer looking at having an IoT-enabled chimney or water heater or a water purifier will be first encountering the product on a digital platform, check the features in e-commerce, D2C site, deciding on the look and feel of the product at a brick-and-mortar store and finally buying the appliance online where it gets delivered to their home and is installed as a part of the service. Today’s tech-savvy customers want a fulfilling experience that meets their demands at a faster speed and does not disrupt their online or offline activities.

Omnichannel is the way forward

Since consumer behavior has changed rapidly over the last 2 years, convenience, diversity, relatability, and feedback have become key for brands to successfully connect with consumers. Understanding the unique needs of the segment being catered to, delivering products sooner than promised, ensuring quality control, introducing innovative features, and responding to consumer feedback will ensure that an omnichannel strategy succeeds across sectors, despite the rapidly changing landscape. No matter how disruptive the environment gets in the future, an omnichannel strategy will guarantee not just business success for an organization, but will also imprint the true brand value in the consumer’s mind. Understanding the unique needs of the segment being catered to, delivering products sooner than promised, ensuring quality control, introducing innovative features, and responding to consumer feedback will ensure the absorption of omnichannel strategies across brands in a rapidly changing, competitive landscape.



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Disclaimer

Views expressed above are the author’s own.



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