5 Tips on How to Influence New Age Online Consumers The essence of becoming successful as an online brand

By Ritesh Srivastava

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With over 460 million internet users, India is the world's second largest online market, ranked only behind China. Backed by growth in the e-commerce business, financial services, travel & hotels and digital media, India's online consumer spending is likely to grow 2.5 times to around $100 billion by 2020 as per reports. However, the recent growth of e-commerce and consumers' continuous inclination towards online shopping is gaining traction with the evolution of internet speeds and concurrent fall in data rates. The emergence of Artificial Intelligence, increase in disposable incomes and extensive exposure to digital media over the last 5 years has significantly impacted consumer online shopping behaviour and Indian e-retail market dynamics.

In this increasingly competitive market, it has become challenging to acquire, meaningfully interact with and retain consumers. Today, e-commerce brands are looking for ways to ensure a wholesome shopping experience through seamless engagement with customers right from their initial step of browsing the website for products to the final step of making an order through these unique strategies:

Optimizing Social media: Social media is the backbone of e-commerce eco-system. With over 196 million social media users, India is experiencing a digital revolution. The e-commerce players are relying heavily on social media and using platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat and Facebook as a strategy to build brand recognition among young customers through discussions and recommendations popped over these platforms. Apart from creating a strong online presence for the business, it is very important to reach the right target audience. Social Media Optimization is a great source for traffic generation as well.

Efficient Customer Support and personal style advisor: With the evolution and advancement of the digital era, the online market is offering integrated customer service to their audience. All communication platforms ranging from phone calls, SMS, FAQs, emails to chat options are blended seamlessly to render an easy and ongoing conversation with the customers. Convenient and prompt customer support assistance has further transformed customers into repeat customers and brand advocates in this digital ecosystem amplifying word-of-mouth publicity. With the environment getting more dynamic, every brand is striving to bring interesting and unique innovations to attract the online customers. Additionally, providing style advice to customers, while they are shopping online, is a way for brands to build a personal/emotional connection with them.

Shifting to apps for personalized shopping: An effective mobile strategy involves more than just a mobile-friendly website. Key industry players are shifting to lightweight versions of mobile apps to give an effortless shopping experience to the customers. Apps also allow brands to be visible to customers at all times. One of the biggest benefits of having a mobile app is that all the information you'd like to provide to your customers – including special sales and promotions – is right at their fingertips. Switching to smooth and efficient apps is further making them acquainted with their customers' taste and preferences.

Customer Review Management: Like social media, customer review plays a crucial role in influencing online buyers. A good or a bad review can influence a shopping decision of a potential buyer much more as compared to an advertisement or be having a renowned celebrity as your brand face. Customer Review Management is one of the important aspects to keep a brand informed about their customers' purchasing decisions. Irrespective of the review is positive or negative, it should be addressed immediately to build a long-term relationship with the customers.

Influencer Marketing: Influencer marketing is witnessing a great boom in the current scenario. The trend is new in India and will continue to evolve in the future. Choking the online platforms with the advertisements is an age-old methodology. Influencer marketing is an effective tool that is being used by online players to connect with potential customers in an efficient and effective manner. The right influencer plays a role of mediator between a brand and a customer to build a personal connection with the brand by gaging audience emotionally and tactfully.
In essence, to be successful online a brand must proactively find new ways to attract, engage and retain customers through consistent messaging, experience, product and service.

Ritesh Srivastava

CEO at Elitify.com

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