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Interesting Insights and Highlights from Octane and RAI’s India Retail e-Marketing Study 2013

Retail in India is in a state of flux with a multitude of changes on the horizon apart from the ones that have already come into play and altered the way we do business. The invasion of the internet-enabled, portable inventions like smartphones and tablets have changed consumers with dwindling attention spans and a predilection for having things come to you rather than going out and getting them yourself becoming commonplace.

Online (e-Commerce) and Offline (Brick & Mortar Stores) retailers are responding to these changes in their own ways and to observe how they are evolving, we decided to do a little research. Partnering with the Retailer’s Association of India (RAI) & the Management Institute for Leadership & Excellence (MILE) in Pune, we conducted a detailed survey around the use of technology in retail marketing over a 2 month period.

Covering 110 retailers across the country and industry verticals, the resulting report, called India Retail e-Marketing study 2013, uncovers some interesting insights and data about how the use of technology by retailers in their marketing activities. Some of those findings and highlights are as follows:

  • Primary Marketing Goal:

    Customer Acquisition was revealed to be the primary marketing goal for retailers with 54% of them choosing this option. Customer retention and brand awareness have fallen behind at 22% and 19% respectively according to the inputs of both online (e-Commerce) and offline (brick & mortar stores) retailers.

  • Going Online:

    32% of all retailers surveyed intend to expand their online presence while 14% opined that they are going to initiate online services this year. Thus, in all, 46% of retailers are looking to develop their online presence. This is on par (at 46%) with the number of retailers looking to increase their offline retail presence for our sample. The digital medium is thus surely on an upward curve and is soon to catch up with offline marketing in terms of importance to retail marketing significance.

  • Engagement:

    For customer engagement, offline retailers and online retailers did present starkly different opinions. While 58% of offline retailers feel sales & special offers get them maximum engagement only 20% of online retailers feel the same way. For 60% of the online retailers surveyed, email marketing is the more preferred platform for customer engagement while (surprisingly) only 10% went in favour of social media.

  • Email vs. Social:

    For offline retailers and their investments into online marketing, 71% of them chose social media while 34% chose email marketing. At the same time, when looking at online companies, we see that a good 70% of them will invest in social media marketing but an equal number (again at 70%) will also invest in email marketing. Mobile/SMS marketing features at a much lower 32% for all retail marketers surveyed.

  • Using Analytics:

    Demographics (age, gender, location etc.) and average basket value were the top metrics (at 64% and 49% respectively) employed by Indian retailers to understand their customer base. When it comes to using the number of transactions per customer as a metric, 60% of online retailers and 44% of offline retailers employ it. Income by segmentation was the least favoured metric by all retailers (at 34% total).

As it can be seen, many of the retail companies surveyed are actively moving beyond their traditional online or offline roles and experimenting with different channels, technologies and modes of operations. As you can understand, these highlights and insights cover just some of the unique findings from the report. If you would like to read the entire report in more detail and to further, you can download a free copy in PDF format at www.octane.in/research.

Hope these insights and findings help you in your marketing efforts as well!


–     Team Octane


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