Food to Fun everything is over the internet nowadays, consumers in the current generation are opting for online services instead of the traditional stores. E-business is in boom at this moment. Being said that, promoting their services online for any business has become a crucial thing in the latest trend. Be it clothing, food, footwear, electronics, home needs and so on and so forth. We as a team, were interested to know how the online marketing is working in different countries. The main purpose of our project is to provide a simple and focused information on online marketing differences in developed countries and developing countries. For this we considered 2 countries as our research area to know better about online marketing strategies and promotions on social media. One of the developed country we considered is United states and other is developing country India. We intentionally focused on these two countries because United states is a well-established nation and India is one of the fastest growing economies in the world.
In our paper, we distinguished the scope and factors which influence online marketing behavior, what market strategies have made online sales in United States easy when compared to India, also the promotional events in both the countries, why physical stores are preferred in India, various problems which arise while doing social media marketing and what are the challenges India needs to overcome to establish itself as a giant in online business. We have selected online shopping websites like Amazon, Flipkart on how they promote their products on social media platforms like Facebook, Google advertisements.
This paper is research oriented. The methodology which we used in this paper is very simple but it’s very effective. To get more accurate results we made surveys and data analytics to answer our research questions. Also, we made few phone calls and asked questions directly to the people in India, who live in rural and those who live in urban areas. As our home country is India and we stayed for 2 years in United States we had good knowledge in market differences in both countries and to provide statistics to support our answers we used websites like statistics. Our team firmly believes India has huge potential for online market because in year 2016 Indians have consumed more than 100 crore gigabytes of data per month which is more than united states and 50% more than all china combined (economicTimesIndia,2017) , and Indian telecom companies are planning to double their existing data capacity which shows great potential for online market and India stands 6th in GDP ranking and it’s the 4th fastest growing GDP country in the world(StasticaTimes, 2017).
To summarize, considering the factors in both the nations we believe infrastructure is the key difference in both countries as United States is one of the most developed country in the world it has great infrastructure while India is still a developing nation it lacks a little behind in infrastructure perspective. We have also identified that customer trust on the online products is still lacking even though the online marketing is done by trusted brands. India has the option of “Cash on delivery” where in USA customers believe more in paying first and then returning the products. India has more festivals and holidays and hence has more online marketing promotions on these occasions. Where as in USA, the promotions and online marketing is done all round the year. In India business invest more on promotions and online marketing only during festive time whereas in USA, there are promotions all round year and more during the holiday season.
Table of Contents
Executive Summary……………………………………………………………… 3
Problem Statement………………………………………………………………. 6
Research Questions……………………………………………………………….. 10
Significance and Scope…………………………………………………………. 10
Assumptions and Limitations………………………………………………….. 10
Literature Review………………………………………………………………. 12
Research Methodology…………………………………………………………. 20
Result and Discussion…………………………………………………………….. 22
Figures and Graphs
Figure 1: Internet Users around the world………………………………………7
Figure 2: Countries with the highest number of Internet users…………………10
Figure 3: Indian retail marketing strategies……………………………………..24
Figure 4: Survey on best platform for online marketing….……………………..24
Figure 5: Importance of E-mail marketing………………………………………. 25
Figure 6: Best Social Media Consumer Engagement………………………….25
Figure 7: Mobile Device Importance in Online marketing…………………… 26
Figure 8: Revenue Allocation for Online Marketing………………………… 26
Figure 9: Percentage of Revenue contributed by online marketing………… 27
Figure 10: Online marketing statistics in India………………………………. 27
Figure 11: Traditional vs Digital Marketing…………………………………. 28
Figure 12: Sales for Online vs Offline marketing in USA…………………… 29
Figure 13: Social Media marketing growth over years in USA……………….. 29
Online marketing is any kind of publicizing, advancement or promoting strategy utilized through online resources. This includes web-sites, email marketing and social marketing. Connecting with customers and setting up a brand is an important phase for succeeding in business. If business is not advertised correctly then there will be huge chances of failure. Some of the goals of online marketing are conveying an organization’s message about itself, its items or services to customers, researching on identifying the target of objective market and offering products, administrations, or promoting over the internet. Shopper’s utilize the internet to discover data and assets and regardless of the possibility that you have a business recorded in the Yellow pages, chances are your clients will in any case go to the internet before utilizing their phone directory.
Following are the different types of online marketing:
- Website/blogs: Every business should have a website or blog so that customers can find and contact you.
- Search Engine Marketing(SEM): SEM is a place where you can list your business in the search engine list of market so that customers can find you.
- Email: It is the best source to keep in touch with customers.
- Social Media: Different social networking sites like Facebook, Google+, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, etc. can help connecting to new customers.
Nowadays, there has been a lot of competition about selling products online on the internet world and especially with the small business organizations. Traditionally, marketing was done by advertising on television, radio, newspapers but with the internet era, they have expanded their sales with the use of social networking sites.
Over the years there have been drastic changes and improvements in online marketing worldwide. Most people in the various countries shop online but there is a need to understand the reasons behind why an individual’s belonging to some parts opting out of internet shopping. The objective of research for this paper is to review the factors directly felt reserving or concerning an online buyer from a developing country like India with online buyers in USA. There is significant attitude difference of the online buyer from a developing country to that of the online buyer from a developed country.
Some of the advantages of online marketing are:
- Reduced cost
- Brand Recognition – Establishing and maintaining good brand awareness and client loyalty online can help distinguish from competitors in a crowded market.
- Demographic Targeting – Easier to target people’s interest in a particular area or a particular age group. For example, in order to get attention of youngsters around 16-30 years of age, internet and social media is the best option as they spend a lot of time browsing the internet.
- Long-term sustainability – Once your website or blog is well established, cost of maintenance will be low and with longer terms, helps in the growth.
- Online marketing will reach a larger audience faster as the number of internet users has increased gradually over the years worldwide.
- Less Intrusive – Traditionally, when people bought magazines, newspapers, etc. they would find interesting articles to read and not get bombarded by irrelevant ads. With online marketing, people can easily access what they want and it helps online businesses to focus on what’s really needed by the audience.
In every era, marketing has evolved based on what the customer is using. If you go back in history, you can see that at times when customers used Radio, it gave birth to radio advertising and marketing. Next, we got the boom of televisions, it is one of the widely used device globally, which allowed the companies to reach a mass audience with TV ads. Even today TV advertising is one of the most used advertising strategies for companies. Since the boom of Internet, more customers started using the Internet, which gave birth to a new era of marketing originally called as Internet marketing, which is now called as Online Marketing.
Figure 1: Internet Users around the world
Figure 1 shows the number of internet user worldwide from year 2005 to year 2017. As we can see, there has been a rise in internet users every year. The number of internet users grew from approx. 3.39 billion to 3.58 billion (Statista.com, 2017). With modernization in countries throughout the world, easy access to computers and an increased use of smartphones has made access and use of internet easier and convenient.
Key findings and studies have indicated that in the year 2017, 80% brands and businesses will increase their online marketing spend to drive their revenue up by 30%. From understanding the consumer’s usage perspective to utilizing artificial intelligence to provide more interactive interaction, more brands will follow the digital path of marketing in the years to come. It comes as no surprise that for the first time ever in 2016, Google reported that mobile searches have surpassed that on computers and the number is only expected to grow stronger.
Online marketing in India is still a new concept. Nowadays with more people using the internet, businesses in India have realized the importance of online marketing and are striving to increase their customer base by using various online strategies to attract customers. It is beneficial for both customers as well as vendors. Consumers feel relaxed as it helps to save their time in reaching different vendors, vendors save money as online marketing is low-cost and reaches a wider audience. But the scope of the online marketing is limited to only the users who have access to internet or have a smart phone or a computer to search for products and watch the ads. As digitization in India has started now, there will be more scope for the businesses to market their products online for a low budget and fastest way. Even though India is experiencing a catastrophic growth in the number of mobile users, it still comprises of only 16 percent of the country’s total population with access to internet (Statista.com, 2017). Moreover, it is estimated that India’s internet users will soon leave behind US to become the world’s largest web base, after China (Statista.com, 2017).
The United States has a broad scope for Online Marketing, as it is one of the most powerful countries in the world because of its technological advancements. The technological advancements have the digital domain as the most integral component of the entire structure. Due to this, it can be rightfully said that online marketing scope in USA is leading the world.
Fake advertisement is a big problem in India where the users get certain posts which shows they give great discount on products but most often they are fraud so Indian people don’t trust advisements on Facebook when compared to people in US who trust their advertisements. There is a lot of cultural difference in India which makes having proper marketing strategy a little difficult. In the US, we observed that people are not a lot different from each other so it’s easy to develop a marketing strategy. Illiteracy rate in India is very high compared to US and it’s a major obstacle. 69% of Indian population lives in rural areas (livemint.com, 2017) and even though people see good products on Facebook advertisements or any other site, they won’t buy it because most of them don’t have home delivery in their area which is also a major concern for online purchase.
Social media is one of the most powerful online marketing tool used by countries worldwide. Among them Facebook is the most popular. As of mid of 2016, there were approximately 1.86 billion active Facebook users monthly which accounted to more than half of the world’s population (Statista.com, 2017). The average age of person in India who use Facebook on regular basis is 24 years in India and average age in US is 34 years (Statista.com, 2017) this shows the golden age of Facebook marketing is in near future for India.
We have also found that although sales through online marketing strategies used by Indian E-commerce sites has increased in the past 3-4 years, it is still not as much as the United States considering more number of Internet users in India. So, we have found out some of the best online marketing strategies that can further enhance the online sales in India.
The main objective of our research was to compare the scope of online marketing in a developed country like USA with a developing country like India. Since we have stayed in the United States for more than a year, we know how the online market here is. A lot of purchase is done online when compared to India. Since the time we arrived, we have purchased a lot of items online on Amazon, BestBuy ranging from the smallest like a comforter to buying televisions. As the strategies used by the online marketing companies here is very good, most of the people tend to purchase online. In India, most of the purchases are done from physical stores. India has a lot of potential to grow in the online market, so we plan to find out ways and strategies with which we can improve the online market.
Figure 2: Countries with the highest number of Internet users
A research conducted by the Statistica Portal (2017) as shown in Figure 2 above shows the countries with the highest number of Internet users. Although India has surpassed the United States in the number of Internet users, the online market in India is dull when compared with the United States. So, through our research we would like to find out the ways and strategies of improving the online marketing techniques in India, how the marketing behavior differs between these two countries and some of the best options for online marketing in India as well as the USA.
- What is the scope of online marketing in a developed country like USA when compared with a developing country like India?
- What factors influence online marketing behavior in a developing country like India with USA?
- What are the various problems that arise when doing social media marketing?
- What are the best options for social media marketing in India and USA?
SIGNIFICANCE AND SCOPE
Scope of our project is to find the successful methods in online marketing by different organizations. We are basically concentrating on the online shopping websites like Amazon and Flipkart of how they market their products online and attract the customers. We will be doing our research on both the organizations separately region wise, on how they have topped the market with their marketing skills online and reach the customers to show the products on the Internet to targeted audience. We would also like to understand the issues they faced and later how they overcame them in order to rule the online shopping. With this research, we can gain knowledge about how an organization is improved by online marketing and how can they reach the audience in best possible way.
- As the number of internet users has been increasing, marketing products on the internet help the organization to reach a large audience without time and place constraints. The product may be manufactured in one country, stored in another and sold in another. This helps the company become global and reach a wider audience.
- Data analytics would be easy for organizations that are involved in online marketing. Feedback from customers and their preferences can be analysed in real-time, which in turn helps the company form effective strategies to improve services.
- All the customer data is collected from the online shopping sites. Based on the results of the analysis, online marketing like ads are shown to the targeted customer or posted on the most used websites to wide audience.
- When a product is being marketed online, the potential customer cannot touch or feel the product. This raises the issue of trust among consumers. The consumer tends to rely on the brand name and the way the product is marketed to make a choice. A real challenge in the world of internet marketing is to make the customer trust the brand in the virtual word.
- There is no direct contact between customer and the seller; hence, the product is expected to speak for itself.
- There are chances that the seller might not reach a set of potential customers, if there is no internet usage in the area or if the site is blocked.
- Considering only 2 countries (India and USA) to find the successful methods followed by top online websites for marketing their products online.
- This research is limited only to online users who can access the internet and see the online advertising and have the access to the internet.
The concept of marketing can be traced back to as old as civilizations. Marketing includes activities involved with buying and selling a product or service. The main objective of marketing is to grab the attention of target audience by distinguishing themselves over their competitors. Through celebrity endorsements, unique packaging design, using slogans marketing companies are able to sell their products and services to the people who actually need them.
Issue 1 – Evolution of Online Marketing
Since the beginning of time, marketing is believed to have progressed through 5 distinct phases – The simple trade era, the production era, sales era, marketing department era and finally the marketing company era (White, 2010). Though this is not an accurate representation of different eras of marketing, it gives us a brief idea of how the concept of marketing evolved. Since our research is about online marketing, getting to know the evolution of marketing is very essential for us to draw conclusions of the importance of online marketing and how it can be improved.
In the simple trade era, everything was hand-made and was available in limited quantities. Barter system or trade-in was the focus of all economic activities. This era lasted from beginning of time to about the mid-19th century.
Production era replaced the simple trade era. This production era was marked by industrial revolution where there was huge availability of products due to mass production. This era lasted about 60 years until the 1920’s.
Once the consumer demand became saturated, the sales era replaced the production era. This era lasted for about just 20 years. Some of the highlights of this era were that companies could no longer easily sell all their products they produced, competition in the market increased, companies had to work much harder to sell their commodities, concept of price became a distinguishing factor for competitive advantage.
This era was followed by the marketing department era. In this era, advertising, promotion, public relations, etc. were some of the marketing related strategies used to grab the consumers attention. Consumers had more power in the marketplace. This period made business realize that marketing is the reason to improve sales and grow consumer base. This era lasted till the 1960’s, and it brought a new, improved change in the market.
Finally, once the concept of marketing became more widely accepted, marketing company era emerged. Customers became the focus of all business endeavors and all businesses relied more on addressing customer needs. Marketing became the goal of all businesses. This can be considered as the final phase in marketing evolution which began in 1960’s and is still prevalent today – Customer is considered as king and all business strive to meet the customer demands.
Now is the age of Online or Digital Marketing. Companies are using digital media such as phones or internet, to promote their products and services. Earlier, before digital marketing organizations would promote their products or services through 15-45 seconds commercials on televisions, radio, etc. There are many reasons for the emergence of online marketing. Due to easy accessibility to the internet and large number of internet users, online marketing has become a necessity. As per research conducted by Pew Research Center in 2014, 87% of people were using the internet and these numbers have risen over the years. Internet is now considered as a “need” in people’s life due to its wide range of uses. Nowadays, with more and more internet providers around the world, Internet is less expensive. Globalization can be considered as another reason for the rise in online marketing. It helps companies expand their businesses worldwide through brand awareness and acquiring more customers. Few examples are Nike, McDonalds, etc. who have their stores all across the world. With the emergence of online marketing they can reach new users, engage and solve their issues and problems online, learn new demands of customers in a particular area and provide products and services to them in new ways. Nowadays, internet is available even on smartphones. Online businesses are creating and managing apps through which they can perform everything in one single place.
With so many advancements in the internet world, we need to look closely how online marketing evolved. Earlier, as we saw marketing was done through advertisements, banners, etc. and was usually spread through word of mouth when people used to meet at social gatherings. Earlier only the rich could afford the internet. As the number of internet users increased over the years, the cost of accessing internet became cheaper so more people started using it. Some of the earlier social media sites like Orkut, Yahoo chat, etc. helped promoters reach a lot of customers. It is estimated that the number of social media users in USA increased from 7% in 2005 to 65% by 2015(Perrin, 2015). With many people using social media, online businesses focused on promoting their sales and developed marketing strategies on social media. Since then Marketing on the Internet was narrowed down to Online Marketing using Social Media.
This brought us to our second concern of the Importance of Social Media for Online marketing.
Issue 2 – Importance of Social Media for Online Marketing
We think that we all know, how important is social-media to the growth of our business? We know that nearly anyone who has a question, has a need or wants to learn something, googles it. With the internet being the first informational resource for most, it is so important to get over what is keeping us from utilizing it. Before that let us remember that social media is meant to be a tool that you use to share, who you are? And what you do with the community of people who support you or who are friends with you?
Today Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc., are the most used social media platforms. It is quite probable that our business should be on these platforms that the way we are advertising today is changing and if you are not involved in social media marketing, your business is going to suffer. If we take a closer look at Facebook for instance, we can understand how social media can help our business. Let us say that one customer comes to our business and loves it. Before social media, we were lucky if that customer told one or two people about the wonderful experience they had but through the wonders of social media, whenever a customer shares their positive experience on a place like Facebook, they are going to be immediately telling all of their friends. An average Facebook user has 200 friends. Let us say that in a given month 5 of our customers have a wonderful experience and post it to their Facebook account. Now those 5 people have 200 friends each which means 1000 people are going to hear about the great time these customers had coming to our place of business. And as you can imagine, whenever someone receives a personal recommendation about something from a friend, they are going to be far more likely to be using that service themselves. In fact, according to a recent study performed by Nielson, a shocking 92 percent of people trust recommendation from friends and family more than all other forms of marketing.
This is just one of the many amazing ways that social media can help our business. It is said that 1/3rd of women 18-34 check Facebook when they first wake up. 95% of millennials have joined a Social Network and those are our consumers, co-workers, CEOs, Decision-makers. 81% of B2B companies have accounts on social media sites. 93% of all business buyers are social media advocates. A study says that radio took 38 years to reach 50 million users, television took 13 years to reach 50 million users, and internet took 4 years to reach 50 million users, whereas Facebook added 100 million users in less than 9 months. Facebook has 850 million monthly active users and 1+ million websites have integrated with Facebook in various ways. 77% of B2C companies and 43% of B2B companies acquired customers from Facebook. If Facebook were a country, it would be the 3rd most populated in the world. More than 25 million pieces of content are shared each month on social media websites.
LinkedIn receives almost 12 million unique visitors per day. Executives from all Fortune 500 companies are on LinkedIn. There are more than 600 million searches on twitter every single day. USA alone has 107 million twitter users followed by Brazil and Japan with 33 and 30 million respectively. 34% of marketers have generated leads using Twitter. 77% of Fortune Global 100 companies have twitter account. Pinterest hit 10 million U.S monthly unique visitors faster than any independent site in history. 2702.2% increase in total unique visitors since May 2011. 69 % of online consumers who visit Pinterest have found an item they have bought or wanted to buy. 25% of fortune Global 100 companies have Pinterest accounts. Google+ has 500 million+ registered users. 48% of fortune Global 100 companies are now on Google+. 40% of marketers use Google+ and 70% want to learn more about it.
On the other hand, 67% of users plan on increasing Google+ activities. 24 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute. There are 2 billion videos viewed each day on YouTube. YouTube uses the same bandwidth now that the entire internet used in 2000. You would need to live 1000 years to watch all the videos currently on YouTube. Traditional media depends on intercepting the consumers- cutting through clutter, getting attention. It is no longer about shouting loudly. Only 14% of consumers trust advertising, 78% trust peer recommendation. Today, people get their information online. Social media is the new way of thinking and marketing. It is all about building a dialogue with your customers, co-workers, potential hires, etc. Being active on social media can also help you:
- In the search engine rankings.
- Manage reputation online.
- Brand your business.
- It is a very cost-effective form of marketing.
Issue 3: Online Marketing in India vs USA
India and USA are two very different countries in terms of culture, tradition, people’s needs, value of products and quality. So, all this makes the market very different from each other. The companies should try different strategies to enter India and also for saturated countries like USA. Around 286,982,372 of population in USA which makes upto 84% of the overall population of USA are able to use the internet anywhere which is way better than the percentage of India which is around 45%. In this project report, we will be representing the differences between online marketing in India and in USA.
In the last 30 years, India has been becoming one of the fastest growing country in the world. In today’s period India is one of the biggest economical country and is seen as a very good place to invest in. Today most of the Indians know English as it is their second language. Around 300 million people know English so it is good for companies can enter the market to attract customers. 26% of the population are using home based broadband. This is a good rate from last five years which was about 10%. As per the web scientist, Paul Budde, the internet usage share is around 45% for business utilize and just 55% of the use for families. This 55% is for the most part gotten to through 15,000 web focuses around the nation on a normal of 3 three hours for every client.
A study done by Gartner demonstrates that Indian online markets made incomes of six billion the US dollars. This demonstrates a faultless development of 70% when contrasted with the incomes of 2014. Likewise, the broadband utilization has expanded three-overlap, which demonstrates the significance of the web to average citizens which is a decent sign for organizations who might want to showcase their items on the web. Many enquiries about demonstrate that India is developing with respect to the online markets as there is a quick development in the mobile internet. India outperformed the USA in web clients with 243 million and it evaluated that India will have more than one billion Internet clients by 2030. (www.statista.com, 2017)
On the different hand, those retail exhibiting of on the web business sectors may be expected by 2018, as stated by the most recent examination which will be a not beyond self-important sign. A large portion of the Web clients in the USA need aid utilizing phones which empowers the use of internet. This provides for an enormous growth in online marketing. What’s more is the internet is growing on a global basis.
Other differentiating parts about electronic marketing in the USA and India will be those sample of web shopping festivities which would not be that famous in the western but famous in nations similar to India. Examples, for instance, the Macy’s day parade and the black Friday shopping accompanying with thanksgiving, have been joined with plans of Christmas deals etc. This may be to draw in new clients to buy on the internet. What’s more, that it should develop the visits of the webpage which might wind up more bargains.
In India, without these plans of discount in festive seasons, it is difficult to attract customers from buying online. Indians think as of Diwali likewise a major celebration and that is the time at the greater part of the clients tend with use all the money. Web marketers need to think of mega deals Throughout this season. Amazon might have been those to begin with agency with infiltrate the seasons by nearing dependent upon with deals for example, “Diwali Dhamaka Sale”.
Online marketing is diverse between the two markets. Many components come into picture in view of their geologies. For instance, COD (Cash on Delivery) is never known about in the US showcase while ecommerce in India, for example, Flipkart, enable clients to pay after they have gotten the conveyance. This choice is advantageous for the individuals who don’t utilize a credit card or platinum card. Web based business sites in India, for example, Myntra and others are executing hourly conveyance benefits in certain significant urban communities and Amazon in the US is additionally attempting to actualize these strategies to convey their merchandise as quick as possible. But amazon is at an advantage of delivering in one day.
India does not have these coordination frameworks which should be produced. The administrative postal administration India Post, like USPS, is working with these online business sites and can contact all the postal codes. However, the web infiltration is still low in India which is 18% when contrasted with the US which is 87%. This could just enhance if there is a higher interest for internet shopping sites which will move the coordination organizations to enhance their foundation. Innovation framework likewise should be enhanced as there are a great deal of issues with the ERP frameworks and site crashes are for the most part found in India not at all like in the US which has a solid innovation foundation.
Our team did an in-depth analysis and followed the online assessment method to know how the marketing on the internet is working. We researched journal articles, publications, papers from the internet as well as from the library. We visited different websites of India and US to know and get a knowledge about their marketing strategy. Each of them have a very different marketing strategy. Our Project team held weekly meetings and group research. We also reviewed a large number of blogs on marketing on the internet and also referred to some newspapers to know about the advertising. We also viewed some of the videos of CEO of big companies and some other marketing giants on how they are doing their sales and what are the difficulties on their sales and how they are going to increase their sales. All these helped to research thoroughly and helped in providing feedbacks and results to fellow group members. There are various factors that we looked upon and also reviewed few websites as a customer and the influential factors for the buyers to buy items or to revisit the site are:
- Did the customer get his/her desired products?
- Service provided by the companies such as delivering the product and services after selling the product.
- How they are advertising other products which may be similar or not while a customer is buying a specific product.
- Their customer-care.
- Availability of different varieties of products.
- Quality of the product.
- Discounts and different sales strategies for the customers.
Above points are the points which are influential to the customer side of the business. There are few factors that influenced the companies:
- What kind of products people are buying online or like to buy?
- What different age groups like to buy online and what kind of products they focus on buying?
- How well a website is designed?
- Did they find each and every product?
- Did they find the service good?
- What are their feedbacks?
As we are researching on the marketing through internet in India and US, we found different methods that are followed in both the countries. Both the countries do the marketing through the internet and also use the help of different social medias for their marketing as well. But difference lies on how they are bringing the products in front of their customers. What we have seen that living culture over here in United States is that you need to have a car to go to shops and the average income of people over here is around $3500 to $4000 a month and in India living culture is like you stay around the shops and you don’t need to have a car to go by the nearby shops and the average income in India is around $500 a month. So, the companies battle in providing lots of discount on various occasions in India while in USA the companies do provide discounts but on very specific occasions but on those times, they provide bigger discounts. Most of the E-commerce organizations in India provides a free delivery to anywhere in the country so our team has worked on the consumer’s review on their websites to know how they are producing new ways for a better development of their products. While in USA what we say and observed by the reviews are the qualities of the products. Most of the companies who want to do E-marketing can provide these feedback forms which consist of the following questions:
- How fast were the deliveries?
- How do you rate the product delivered?
- Do you like to order again from our company?
- Will you refer your friend about us?
- If you want some change with us tell us about it?
RESULT AND DISCUSSION
By looking at some graphs below describing the online strategies used by online retailers in India, we can derive our conclusions. The survey was conducted by OctaneGo.com to get to know about Indian retailing e-marketing.
From figure 3 below, we can see that about 44% of Indian retailers use a mix of both Online and Offline strategies for marketing their products.
Figure 3: Indian retail marketing strategies
About 77% of the online retailers in India have voted social media as one of the most essential platform for promoting their products and services over email marketing and SMS as seen below in Figure 4
Figure 4: Survey on best platform for online marketing
Email marketing can be considered as the second most prevalent form of online-marketing after social media. As we can see in Figure 5 below are the advantages of e-mail marketing.
Figure5: Importance of E-mail marketing
Facebook ranks number one as the most preferred social media for user engagement beating Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram by more than a majority of votes as shown below in figure 6.
Figure 6: Best Social Media Consumer Engagement
95% considering that mobile is very important for marketing communication online. As shown in figure 7 below is the importance of Mobile Devices in marketing.
Figure 7: Mobile Device Importance in Online marketing
Around 48% of the businesses have allocated more than 10% of their revenue for online marketing activities as shown below in figure 8.
Figure 8: Revenue Allocation for Online Marketing
Finally, revenue of about 30% was collected through online resources as shown in figure 9 below.
Figure 9: Percentage of Revenue contributed by online marketing
Online marketing in India is growing rapidly and is expected to reach greater heights. Along with many factors that have contributed for this growth, the use of communication tools has changed over the years. Figure 10 below shows the online market statistics in India.
Figure 10: Online marketing statistics in India
It gives us a clear idea as to how the total media ad spent over the years has increased and is further expected to increase. Some of the reasons are trust that has restored back among customers to purchase online, availability of low-cost smartphones that have made browsing and purchasing convenient everywhere, and easy access to internet.
Figure 11 below gives us a clear insight as to why most of the businesses are shifting online.
Figure 11: Traditional vs Digital Marketing
Nowadays, 80% of the businesses in India are investing in improving their online marketing strategies. As it makes sense to invest less through online marketing strategies, the results are great.
A survey conducted with 200 US retailers showed that 76% of them opt for online marketing to improve their sales. Figure 12 below provides with results of the survey.
Figure 12: Sales for Online vs Offline marketing in USA
From the below graph, we can see that social media marketing in USA has grown very slowly. One of the reason for this is that technological advancements in USA have been prevalent since a long time and since there are very few people here who do not use the internet or social media, the growth in the number of user in this sector has been somewhat stagnant. This cannot be confused with lagging behind as USA is still leading in terms of technological advancements in online marketing sector too.
Figure 13: Social Media marketing growth over the years in USA
Though online marketing might seem like an easy concept, it comes with many challenges. Some of the challenges businesses face while engaging in online marketing along with possible solutions are as explained below:
- Creating and Maintaining a Mobile Responsive Website: With an increase in the number of people using smartphones, it is very important to maintain a website which is mobile friendly. In early 2015, Google said that it would penalize websites which were not mobile responsive and gave priority in search results to websites that were mobile friendly (Hanratty, 2015) This algorithm update by Google was known as “Mobilegeddon”.
- Creating a dynamic website: Nowadays it is essential to offer more quality content to customers on your website. One such way with which you can achieve this is by creating a blog on your website. Advantages of maintaining a blog are that it helps increase search engine traffic, creates brand awareness, and supports social media initiatives.
- Taking time out to be active on social media: This can be very challenging considering the huge number of social networks out there. By maintaining a calendar and regularly visiting social networks will help get an idea of how your products and services are doing in the market.
- Increasing numbers on social media: Some of the ways with which we can increase social media traffic is by targeting your audience with good visuals, making content easily shareable, researching about the competitors and providing what they don’t provide, continuously engaging with user and responding to their needs and concerns.
- Generating more leads: Consumers most likely will not make a purchase the first they visit a website. It is important for online businesses to capture their contact information in order to build a personal relationship between your company and the viewer. One of the most prevalent way of generating leads is by giving free videos, e-books, reports, etc. in exchange for their phone number or email address. By generating more leads, you can create a stronger relationship with your users and improve your sales.
- Converting leads to sales: By repeatedly contacting the leads and providing valuable information along with promotions, discounts leads should be converted to sales. Once a user has information about a product or service which you offer and finds you trustable, it will definitely make a purchase or invest in your products and services.
As online marketing is becoming an important necessity for any business to be successful online, here are some of the best options for improving the sales in the online market.
- Using the Right Web Design: Although some people might think that web design is not an effective marketing tactic, it can have an impact on the time spent by a user on your web page and how well it will grab their attention. In simple, if your webpage is not easy to read, attractive or interesting you will lose customers no matter how much time or energy is spent on strategy development. Website should be up to date, should grab attention and with more people accessing webpages on smartphone, it is definitely advised to create a mobile friendly webpage.
- Utilizing SEM and Optimization: Search Engine Optimization increases the chances of being recognized as it allows your name and website to appear on the search engine results list. This increases your chances of improving business by getting more offers for products and services from vendors.
- Using Associate and Affiliate programs: An affiliate program is where people share information about your products and services on a global platform and with positive feedbacks it can help grow your market. Although this technique cannot be used for all business, but having these will help improve your marketing efforts.
- Take help of a coach or consultant: Incase businesses are not sure how to market online, they can take the help of marketing coaches and consultants who have a better idea and can guide them to be successful. This can be useful in case of small businesses who can take help from larger businesses and learn from their mistakes.
- Using Email Marketing: Just sending out emails is not enough to improve the online sales or grab attention of customers. By doing an in-depth analysis of the purchasing habits of customers and their specific needs, we can use that information to develop newer strategies and by meeting their needs we can improve sales.
- Using Email Opt-In List: This helps connect with new clients and customers when they sign up to receive email campaigns and promotions.
- Use of articles and news stories: By publishing your name and information on other locations of the web such as articles and news stories will help grow your business. When clients come across your name and information, it allows them to contact you and become their trusted source of information for products and services.
- Writing Online Press Releases: With online press releases, your information gets sent out in a formal manner. With this information, newspapers, blogs will write posts about your company which will reduce your burden to improve your effort with connecting to new users.
- Contests and Giveaways: This helps grab customers attention. For example, giving free products for first sign-up or purchase will increase the customer base.
- Maintaining a blog: Blog is a place where you can share your information, connect with customer’s needs and concerns and provide feedback to them. Blog is a great way to build trust among your customers.
RECOMMENDATION AND CONCLUSION
- Availability: There is clear difference in availability of products specially in electronic products for example, we went to amazon.com (united states) and amazon.in (Indian) to looking for dell laptops and in US website we found 400 pages of search result and even after looking at 13-14 pages it was still showing us laptops but in Indian website it gave only 20 pages of search result and started showing relevant items after page 4. As India is the 2nd largest populated country in the world with 1.3 billion people so, there should be more availability of products to choose from. United states have more availability because companies like Microsoft, Google, Apple are their own. Although India has big electronic manufacturing companies like Micromax their brand value is less when compared to Apple, Microsoft and google.
- Promotions: United states have big promotional events like Thanksgiving, cyber Monday etc., which will take place for 5 days and in year 2017 they had sales of 19.62 billion dollars (practicalecommerce, 2017) and India has promotional events like Diwali which offers great deals on electronics, Dussehra which offers great deals on motor vehicles and clothing and year ending sales for phones and clothing. In 2017 Diwali event took place for 1 month and they made only 3.3 billion dollars of sales and in year 2016 Diwali sales were 2.2 billion dollars (flippost, 2017) there is a 39% growth in the market but iS not that impressive when its compared to Unitied States. In china, February 2017 they had a special event on Singles day on which in just first 2 minutes they made sales of 2 billion dollars and in compete one day they made 25 billion dollars sales (nytimes, 2017). So, if china can to do then India can also do it because they both are massive and highly populated countries.
- Cost: when it comes to electronic products there is big cost difference in both countries as India imports most of the electronic products from other countries like United States and China they must pay import tax for those products. But in June 2017 Indian government launched new tax bill known as GST tax and the import tax on electronic products have come down a little (cleartax.in, 2017).
- Delivery: India have massive population and the cities are highly dense with population so there is more traffic which gives rise to delivery problems and 69% of Indian population lives in rural areas (thehindu, 2016) and some areas still don’t live home delivery system. This problem is mainly because of bad road infrastructure although Indian government is doing its best to provide roads to every corner, it will still take some time.
- Advisements: In United States a brand value speaks for itself but it’s not exactly same in India, in India companies use celebrities a little more than united states to promote their brands. Our team agrees having a good celebrity will increase brand value, but the companies should focus more on lowering the cost of the product rather than spending lot of money on celebrity.
- Market consolidation: united states market is way more consolidated than Indian market. Having more consolidated market means more money will go to one place and with more money companies can offer better offers and services. But small business is the heart of Indian economy although having a consolidated market gives an edge to United States.
Finally, we can conclude that though there are certain factors that are similar for USA and India, online marketing is different in both countries. India has started doing well in the e-commerce market nowadays as more people have access to internet and with 243 million Internet subscribers, it has surpassed the internet users in the US (Yadalam, 2015). Apparel and electronic items are the most common items purchased online in both countries. Area where India is still lacking in the online market is online grocery retail, whereas it is highly evolved in the US. Amazon US is coming up with new ideas to deliver items quickly by using drones, which will further boost their online market. With many users having access to the internet, India need to make use of this opportunity to boost their online market by promoting sales by giving online discounts, free shipping facility. By just getting more users to purchase online in India will help grow their online market, so steps must be taken to improve online marketing promotions. There are many things which India needs to improve on and can grow by learning from the US online market.
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