FY-23 Will Be the Year of D2C for the Post-Pandemic Indian Market

FY-23 Will Be the Year of D2C for the Post-Pandemic Indian Market

There are over 800 successful D2C brands in India today, with a sector valuation of $44.6 billion (as of 2021) – according to a KPMG report. The valuation of these D2C brands refers to those of online first brands such as Lenskart, Wakefit, PeeSafe, Ozaiva, Candes and others.

This is supposed to grow to over $100 billion by 2025. This activity also explains the attention from some of the eCommerce roll up brands like Mensa / GOAT Brand Labs, in this sector.

However – our prediction for FY23 is that offline first / omnichannel brands (the likes of FabIndia, Bodyshop, Biba, Pothys, Soch, and others) would get super serious about the D2C channel. 

They will make more investments in this channel – they will hire better talent dedicated to this channel.

After China and the US, India had the third-largest online shopper base of 177 million in 2020 – which I’m guessing now would be pushing closer to 200 million in 2022. 

The pandemic really accelerated this trend. There were a few factors for this: 

  1. Brands had to figure out how to reach out to customers: During the early 30 – 60 days of the lockdown (April and May ‘2020) there was no way for the brands to do business except for their D2C channels. Those that didn’t have it – launched a quick and dirty version online. Those that did – focused on it straight away.
  2. Brands had the time: With stores shut – they found the headspace to focus on their D2C initiative. So that focus itself upped the customer experience of the D2C store.
  3. Restricted access for brands on Marketplaces – for non-essential items: Customers had time as well and with shopping restricted to essentials on marketplaces – a lot of customers were open to explore the world of D2C brands (partly also due to the fact that time being spent online skyrocketed).
  4. Brands seeing some traction – started to spend some more money on their D2C initiatives fueling further growth of traffic and awareness of the channel.
  5. 2 – 3 months of focus by the Brand’s management team on the D2C channel was enough for that change to stay – especially when it was the only source of revenue for an entire quarter.

So by the end of FY21, along with Brand Stores, MBOs, Marketplaces – D2C channels also firmly became a key channel in the brands omnichannel journey.

Like mentioned above – the D2C channels were set up / optimized at fast turnaround time – while establishing a functional D2C eStore, the customer experience was still lacking in many ways. Post the 2nd wave in mid 2021, the brands started implementing the upgraded versions of their D2C platforms.

Digital budgets went up. The management got involved in actively understanding the metrics of the D2C channel. The channel got more focus and the revenues being driven from it has been surprisingly good for many retail leaders. 

In FY22, the focus was still on learning and smaller digital marketing investments – it was about understanding the ROI for the channel, what kind of metrics to track for the D2C channel. And then as the buzz around the valuation of the online first D2C brands started becoming louder – omni channel brands have now set higher goals and targets for their own D2C revenues. 

So what does a bigger focus in FY23 on D2C look like? 

  1. Better UI/UX – Where design and technology meet. Cleaner interfaces that load fast across devices.
  2. Upgrade of Platforms – More openness to invest in enterprise grade platforms of Magento and Shopify.
  3. Better Coordinated Creatives for Promotions (Banners / Emailers / Push Notifications) – Better coordinated planning of creative shots
  4. Conversion Rate Optimization – Critical aspect – but the most ignored one by brands
  5. Hyperlocal deliveries in multiple cities – With Quick commerce expanding, brands will definitely try this out in cities where they have stores.
  6. Higher Digital Spends – Having done some trials last year – brands this year will spend a lot higher.
  7. Increased Spends on Marketing Automation – More adoption of tools which can help personalize the experience better

Analytics – More brands want to know how analytics can help them scale – but they’re not sure how to embed that capability around their day-to-day.

At the most recent Retail Leadership Summit organized by the Retailer Association of India, heard from Domino’s India President, Rajneet Kohli, that by the time the person adds a 4-cheese pizza and goes to checkout – there is a 92% chance of that order converting, so they start doing the prep work for the Pizza, and that piece of actionable data allows them to delivery 3 – 4 minutes faster. And that increases the NPS even higher (already at a 70%+ positive rating).

Top things to look for in an eCommerce development company

For every business, today, having a digital presence is the need of the hour. With eCommerce developing at a rapid pace, there is a surge in eCommerce development companies in the market. However, given the plethora of options available it can be quite daunting to select the right company that meets your business needs and requirements as well as budget. So for you to hire a trustworthy eCommerce company, we’ve put together some crucial factors that will help you in making the right decision easily:

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What To Look For In An E-commerce Consultancy Firm?

Brands globally are ramping up their e-commerce businesses. It’s being taken seriously by the top management across sectors. When brands look at establishing an e-commerce roadmap to exploit the potential to maximize online revenues – they know that they’ve got to build out an e-commerce department. And then starts the question – do we build that team in-house, or do we outsource it? What are the consequences of that decision

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5 e-Commerce mistakes to avoid while selling online

5 e-Commerce mistakes to avoid while selling online

E-commerce retail is one of the most profitable industry spaces to be in. But because to err is completely human, many retailers end up making mistakes, big or small and that can leave a bad taste in their mouth about the e-commerce business.

Here are the top five mistakes most people make:

Choosing the wrong platform

Investing in a wrong platform could also result in loss of revenue, conversion, traffic, unfriendly user interface, or even security issues. Thus using more time, money, and efforts in fixing the mistake. It is important to choose a platform that will allow you to integrate your current systems, gives you complete control on your store operations, and lets you customize your store the way you want.

Choosing the wrong audience

A great-looking shop and a smart business strategy are only worthwhile when you have the right customers to sell to. Most often than now, retailers cannot clearly define their target audience or don’t spend enough time to determine the micro factors that drive their behavior. And that is a mistake. Even before you make a sales plan you need to know if your audience really needs your product and if they do if your product is really solving their problem. Accordingly, you can use the messaging they understand.

Not building an SEO friendly site

Content is king and your site must obey it. While most retailers give it a second priority, well-written, SEO-friendly content is what actually drives traffic to your site and increases your search engine rankings, among many other things. Every page and product description on your site should be optimized for search engines.

Complex navigation and user journey

A visually appealing website with an undefined user journey is as good as no website. From a holistic and well cut out user experience to an efficient checkout process, online customers need a smooth-sailing shopping experience.

Not building a scalable website

While many make the mistake of not thinking long-term for their e-commerce store, it is essential to be future ready. Keep provisions for new features, more products, at time of expansion in the future.

If you can avoid these key mistakes, so you can have a long-running, successful online store.

Mistakes that could be affecting your Omnichannel retail efforts

Mistakes that could be affecting your Omnichannel retail efforts

Omnichannel is the buzzword in the retail industry space today. But with stringent competition, newer technologies, every retailer is struggling to keep up their game. While some are succeeding, some end up making mistakes, costing them valuable resources.

Here are a few pertinent mistakes retailers can avoid, to boost their Omnichannel efforts:

An overdose of engagement

Customer engagement is a slow process and meant to be immersive. Overwhelming them with brand messaging and ads everywhere they go is no less than stalking. In the process of focusing on the channels, sellers often forget about the people. The idea is to focus not on the number of channels to explore but to explore the customer journey on specific channels that they are loyal to. Giving them enough space and targeting them on the right channel through the right messaging is the key.

Unfriendly Mobile experience

Mobile and smart device usage is seeing a radical growth and it will be in the near future. But there is still a big gap between the number of people using mobiles for shopping and retailers offering the best shopping experience on the mobile interface. This largely affects conversions.

A few things to consider to enhance the mobile experience-

  • Check if the site is loading slower than usual
  • Check your site’s user experience on 3rd-party platforms
  • Do a test shopping for your products on different mobile devices and assess the navigation on each
  • Use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test to check the mobile-friendliness of your site.

Too many channels, too little focus

Remember, your business has to omnichannel, not omnipresent. You cannot and should not be everywhere. And not all strategy work for every retail business. Depending on where your customers are you can choose your target platform/s. And spreading yourself too thin across the market will dilute your brand experience. For instance, if you have your audience majorly on YouTube and Instagram, you do not need to be on Reddit or Twitter.

The same goes for marketplace presence. If you are exploring one leading marketplace, maximize that platform, rather than being present on every possible marketplace and splitting your marketing strategy.

E-commerce Frauds: Risks, measures, and online implications

E-commerce Frauds: Risks, measures, and online implications

Online fraud is one of the biggest risk faced by eCommerce enterprises with global retail frauds rising to 30% by 2017. eCommerce fraud typically refers to any illegal or false transactions that take place across online stores. Hackers usually source card information of random users and use the data to make fraudulent transactions or share the data with other hackers

Assessing risks and measures of losses

As an online retailer, here are few ways to assess if there is a fraudulent transaction has taken/is taking place on your web store.

  • The order value and size is bigger than your store average
  • There is a request for fast shipping.
  • The delivery address is a little unusual.
  • The shipping and the billing addresses are not the same.
  • There are several cards used on the IP address
  • The user has multiple shipping addresses.
  • There are large quantities of the same product or multiple transactions in a short span of time.

The total cost of fraud can be measured as Direct Losses to fraud + Lost sales + Cost of manual review + Cost of technology (tools used to detect and solve).

Implications of frauds

No matter what causes the fraud, the implications are usually borne by the retailer.

  • Most frauds end up in a ‘chargeback’ to the retailer. Since the hacked card details might belong to a customer, the retailer must return the same amount to the cardholder once a fraudulent transaction takes place.
  • Chargebacks usually come with processing fees, transaction fees, legal fees, or currency conversions, if any, surmounting to a huge sum for the retailer. Along with chargebacks and refunds, retailers also need to measure the overall impact of frauds on their store.
  • Sometimes, if there are too many fraudulent transactions occur, leading to a large amount of chargebacks, the retailer is usually considered to be a high-risk merchant.
  • Furthermore, the product/s fraudulently sold is a product lost, since there is no ‘return’ of the physical product.

To prevent such scenarios from occurring on your store, always have clear shipping, refund, and return policies and address any unusual activity right when they occur. For smarter store management, resort to a trusted and reliable eCommerce development company like Magento and enjoy a safer retail business.

Top 5 eCommerce trends to look forward in 2019

Top 5 eCommerce trends to look forward in 2019

From mobile-first practice to integration of augmented reality on the platforms, eCommerce future trends are promising a new and improved online experience for every customer. Here are some of the practices that every retailer and marketer is eyeing to implement in the coming year and change the face of the eCommerce landscape of future.

eCommerce trends 2019
AR (Augmented Reality) & VR (Virtual Reality)
Major brands in the fashion and interior space (like Sephora, IKEA etc.) have already started using AR to create a realistic experience of their products. But as the usage of VR become widespread and retail giant Amazon taking the lead in AR-based apps, most retailers will follow suit and start integrating this trend in their customers’ shopping experiences.

Mobile-first experience
The mobile app industry could cross $189 billion by 2020 and all retailers are vying for their piece of pie in this growth. While search engines already require websites to be mobile-friendly, the practice will be more common with an increased number of smartphone users, where frameworks like Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), will enable retailers to create fast-loading websites for mobile devices.

Videos on landing pages
Videos will very soon replace static content and comprise 80% of web traffic by 2019. However, besides using videos for brand films, educational content, testimonials, products, and FAQs, retailers will also look at increasing traffic by using a high-quality video in the hero carousel on the homepage or landing page of the brand site.

Digitizing Real World Experiences
The future of eCommerce 2020 will be all about creating a ‘phygital’ world. By extending the in-store shopping experience to the online platform through technologies like ‘scan and go’ retailers can reduce checkout processes and let their customers enjoy the benefits of both services.

Voice Commerce
The voice-enabled search will make for 50% of total online searches by 2020. Such a game-changing trend will influence Search Engine Optimization for businesses where retailers would redesign their site search algorithms and set the path for voice commerce.

Such trends are sure to help you with ideas that can grow your eCommerce business and see a promising future.

The 7 unspoken laws of ecommerce success

The 7 unspoken laws of ecommerce success

The landscape of ecommerce in India is growing leaps and bounds with every retailer vying for their unique space in the industry. While online marketplaces are getting their fair share of success, ecommerce a lot of potential for new businesses. Unlike marketplaces, retailers have a lot more freedom to integrate innovative ways of boosting their business and join the bandwagon of rising ecommerce trends. Besides the mainstream technical knowledge and market insights, there a few tips that can help retailers and marketers to succeed in the ecommerce space.

Treat your ecommerce business as a thriving offline business
Except for the tangibility of your store, there’s not much difference between the efforts and time that you need to invest in a brick-n-mortar store and your ecommerce business.

Find the right software for your business
While it is important to make your ecommerce website really stand out, you need the most appropriate platform to build it on. Look at software that supports your creative idea and is sustainable.

Be where your customers are
The old trick of the trade calls for tapping right into the needs of your audience and fulfilling it. To do the same you need to be visible in places where your customers are.

Build Buyer Trust
Empower your customers through personalized communication and allow them to share their experiences with your product/service through reviews, feedback featured blogs etc. This not only builds trust with them but also makes them your brand ambassadors.

Keep the checkout process easy
Majority of conversions drop at the checkout point. Integrating a popular payment method and minimizing the page loading time can help reduce friction at the point of sale.

Offer Excellent Online Support
Think beyond calls and emails and consider live chat support on your site, across the user journey to enhance your customer support strategy.

Partner with other brands
Even if they are small local brands, partnering with complementary businesses add value to your brand and enhances your reputation among your audience.
There is no ideal model for a successful ecommerce business. With innovative business ideas, trial and error, and steady growth, your business can see the future of ecommerce, provided you are ready to take the leap of faith.

The future of digital driven businesses in India

The future of digital driven businesses in India

According to Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), currently, there are more than 500 million internet users in India. With the recent economic growth and increased digital adoption, it opens up opportunities for digital-driven businesses. Adding to these changing market landscape, the thriving presence of the Digital India campaign also contribute to the prospective growth of digital companies.

Emergence of digital marketing enterprises

With the country’s quick adoption of digital technologies, there has been an increasing need for businesses to be online and be seen by their audience, across the digital ecosystem. Scoring a higher search engine rank and better online visibility are the needs of the hour. Catering to this growing need for businesses to be pervasive, there has been an increase in digital marketing companies in the recent years. Most of these agencies have highly qualified professionals who employ the best tactics to boost their client’s businesses and online presence. The changing market need has also resulted in an increased demand for digital marketing consultant for businesses. This subsequently makes these service providers almost indispensable for businesses, to be able to survive in the radically shifting market scenario.

The startup trend

The rising trend of startups is changing the face of the country’s economic landscape. But a common problem that most startups face is the lack of funds at disposal towards digital activities. Traditional marketing, with its high-end costs, become cumbersome for the nascent companies. This creates a significant scope for digital marketing enterprises. A digital marketing agency makes for a cost-effective yet powerful way of leading the small and medium businesses towards conversion-oriented marketing. As experts in marketing and analytics tools, the digital marketing company proves to be result-oriented and promising for startups.

The way forward

As recent research and statistics show, digital enterprises will soon occupy a prominent space in the country’s business landscape. As of today, India hosts the top ranking digital service agencies who blend the principles of traditional marketing with the powerful techniques of digital marketing to yield the best business benefits to their clients.

Web analytics – your lighthouse in the digital storm

Web analytics - your lighthouse in the digital storm

One of the core principles of marketing lies in understanding and connecting with your customer. Analyzing the huge volumes of data that you gather from your business operations every day, can be an incredibly powerful tool to understand your market and how you can improve your business. Big Data can be overwhelming, but with the help of web analytics and its related tools, you can convert these numbers into valuable information to profit your customers, as well as your business.

Simply put, web analytics is the practice of collecting, measuring, and analyzing online data to comprehend and optimize your business’s online presence.

Here’s how web analytics can help your business:

With the web analytics data, you can better assess which marketing exercise is working for your business and how you can enhance your users’ online experience. Thus, generating more leads, sales, or conversions.

• It translates your customer’s user experience into quantifiable numbers. This customer analytics data allows you to discover what they want and how you can fulfill the same, making you stay ahead of your game.

• Various online analytics tools like Google Analytics help you identify your traffic sources, determine your ROI from advertising, number of visitors, the location of visitors, the duration of their presence on your site, and so on.

• Web analytics helps you narrow down the information, as sharp as a single page or a section on your online assets. You discover where you are losing traffic and at which point of the customer journey. By analyzing and reporting these weaknesses, you can improve those areas of your business, thus increasing your page traffic.

• It monitors your online data to help you analyze your visitors’ behaviors and demographics. Thus you can target the right audience and acquire new visitors.

• With web analytics data you can track metrics like Click-through rate, the number of conversions, type of referrals and bounce rate, and use it to improve your online presence.

If the digital landscape looks like an ocean, then Big Data is no less than a storm, and without a guiding light, your business will only be a small boat struggling to survive. That is why you need web analytics to your rescue and find your way through the digital storm.