The biggest revolution that e-commerce has brought about is in the shopping habits of Indian consumers. As online commerce grows, companies must adopt newer strategies to engage this new-age digital shopper. The consumer was always the king, but with the growing digital blitz the king has nearly irrevocable power. Today’s consumers have unlimited choices and an unrestricted access to voice their opinions.
Digital marketing can no longer be a static disseminator of information, but rather an ever interactive and responsive facilitator to relevant, incisive insights. Digital marketing can’t focus on just pushing out inert messages, but it rather must transform to the more engaging “on-demand” approach.
As opportunities to connect with the digital customer multiply, brands will have to work on a strategy to meet the three key needs of the consumer: wherever access, personally relevant, and easy to use.
Businesses need to be ready for the digital economy. While traditional marketing is not necessarily dying, the biggest gainers will be those who adapt digital tactics to their existing business strategies, no matter what industry they are in.
Two key approaches marketers must focus on to improve the effectiveness of the business outreach to digital customers are direct marketing and lead generation.
Direct marketing is ideal for businesses of any size to effectively reach out to their customers. Most popular is e-mail marketing which is powerful at generating sales. For marketers, the e-mail marketing opportunity lies in breaking the clutter, which can be achieved by a combination of building intelligence, avoiding customer burnout and data driven content. A good e-mail marketing campaign can build lasting relationships with customers and bring about repeat sales.
The other important aspect of planning a digital strategy is lead generation. The rise of online channels and social techniques has significantly changed the lead generation process. Marketers must follow through the lead and nurture it over time until the person is ready to make the purchase decision. Being adaptive and knowing your audience have become critical as marketers now use data-driven targeted advertising.
Automation and multichannel marketing will help businesses effectively engage with relevant communications and follow the lead deeper into the sales cycle.
E-commerce companies can position themselves for success in this evolving digital shopping world by understanding the different types of digital shoppers, observing their interactions with brands and most importantly, understanding their motivations for engaging—or not engaging. This in-depth understanding of the digital shopper will enable brands to realign their digital strategies.
The author is chief operating officer, netCORE, a communication & digital marketing solutions company