In truth, the biggest and most influential trend in the retail industry in India, is the massive shift of most retail stores and sectors from brick and mortar stores (solely) to e-tail (or better known as electronic retail, online retail, or ecommerce). Based on that shift, digital marketing has become a big player in the retail sector. And hence, the current and upcoming digital marketing trends in the retail industry have followed this shift from offline selling to online selling. Here are some of the most influential and emerging digital marketing trends that the retail sector should watch out for in India:
The massive shift to ecommerce:
It is in the Asia-Pacific region that the heaviest shift from offline stores to ecommerce has happened. And that’s significant and worth noting, especially because Internet usage in this region is nowhere as heavy as it is in the western regions. However, this incredibly speedy shift that has been happening to a large portion of the Indian retail sector (and is still happening) is the first and most crucial trend that retailers should pay attention to. For, if they are into ecommerce already, then they need to understand that their competition is only going to increase and that they need to diversify and refine their digital marketing strategy even further.
Social media marketing and having a social media presence will be indispensable to e-marketers:
It is no new news that most of the Indian population spend a massive amount of time on social media. And, it is even more of a fact that ecommerce retail stores will be able to reach more of their consumer base via social media beyond any other platform. Plus, considering both the free and paid marketing and advertising avenues that are available for businesses on social media, it would be almost criminal for e-tailers to not take advantage of social media this way.
Additionally, ecommerce stores will not only need to market to their consumer base via social media, but they will also be required to have an engaging presence on social media via social media accounts and/or social media pages dedicated to their brand. For, consumers today prefer engagement and interaction with the brand to strategized marketing messages.
Besides, the purpose of social media is to engage with people in the first place. So adhering to this digital marketing trend will only benefit the Indian retail industry.
It is the era of mobile marketing:
Like social media marketing, mobile marketing is no longer an option but a necessity. For, considering the sheer amount of mobile users in India, ecommerce sites need to ensure their marketing strategy includes reaching this huge pool of potential retail customers.
Consumers expect a seamless shopping experience:
Whether in the case of finding products they would like to buy, getting discounts, paying online for purchases, or even just plain consumer queries, retail customers now expect the process to be convenient for them and seamless. Hence, any broken links, convoluted ways of purchasing products, lack of variety, lack of discounts and value for money for products, limited payment options, and lackadaisical customer service, are all triggers for consumers to exit your ecommerce site and go elsewhere for their online retail needs. In essence, make shopping easier and more convenient for your customers, and you’ll have little to worry about for sales as well as customer return rates.
Local SEO, searches, and marketing is hotter than ever:
While the older digital marketing trends in the ecommerce and retail industry tended to focus on as many in their consumer base and area as possible, the current digital marketing trends in retail tend to focus on localized marketing with equal fervor. This will be a benefit to the retail store to tap into this previously overlooked customer base.
In fact, the Google search engine even encourages localized marketing with its new algorithm. And you’ll now be able to tap into the large base of customers in your local geographical location better than ever. Also, it is good to note that even small retail stores who have only a basic online presence (compared to larger retail stores) will benefit from localized marketing: There are still plenty of people left who would like to browse local stores personally instead of always browsing online. (Such customers would just like to find these stores first.) And, as for stores that can provide online purchases and home deliveries as well, customers would still enjoy knowing that the main store is within their physical location.
Video content is reigning supreme:
Videos engage the customer’s attention like no other media does: It satisfies the customer’s audial and visual senses simultaneously and also allows a much larger amount of information to be processed (simultaneously) like no other media can boast. Hence, it’s no wonder that more and more retail brands are employing video content in their digital marketing strategy. And, if any retail store expects to make an impact on its consumer base and keep up with its larger (and equal) competitors, then not tapping into the video marketing trend is not an option.
Content marketing is on the rise:
Promotional messages and marketing messages playing as content simply won’t cut it anymore. Customers want information and entertainment and value from their content, and the fact that the primary purpose of ecommerce is to sell simply isn’t an excuse for such outdated content strategies anymore.
Rather, customers today are more likely to return to a retail and ecommerce brand if that brand publishes valuable content for them. This content can be in the form of text, images, videos, or even a delightful combo of all three. However, it will only make an impact if the content in question looks beyond marketing messages and promotional messages, and it actually gives the consumer content that they find valuable.