The primary reason for this is the ‘herd mentality’ Indians are often blamed for, observed as a deep-seated tendency to blindly follow someone’s lead. The same phenomenon has translated into the way businesses function. Organizations tend to copy a successful digital strategy without even pausing to check if it is working for them. It might be evident therefore why this particular thing bound to fail, even to a layman. What works for a retail e-commerce giant might not be relevant to an automobile refurbishing service or a cottage industry dealing with handlooms. As one worth his salt may tell you, any attempt to create a highly successful online strategy would have to include deep-seated knowledge – of the industry, market forces, audience and your own organizational goals – to ensure relevance, feasibility, and most importantly, impact.
India is primarily a services economy where service delivery plays a crucial role. Be it an everyday necessity such as plumbing or grocery, or a once-in-a-blue-moon event such as dining out at a ﬁve-star restaurant or booking a leisure holiday, the Indian service industry is a major source of employment in the country. According to a 2011 survey by the National Sample Survey Oﬃce (NSSO), more than 51 percent of the Indian population is self-employed as compared to a paltry 15.6 percent that draws a salary. So if you’re looking to take your business online, there is already a very high volume of service providers with established online presence, while yet more are ﬁnalising their digital strategy to venture into this particular domain. Some of them may even be in direct competition with you. How can you cope and expect to stand out from the crowd with your services, especially when there is bound to be someone bigger who has more resources at his disposal than you do?
If you have been paying close attention to everything that has been said till now, you probably know the answer lies in one word – smartphones. India is not just one of the biggest smartphone markets in the world, but is a literal untapped reservoir compared to its humungous potential. Estimates peg the number of smartphone users in India at approximately 18 percent of its overall population which stands at 1.25 billion, making mobiles the ideal platform to take one’s business online. With a presence in every city and with more and more individuals using smartphones every passing day, it is almost criminal to not utilise the plethora of beneﬁts oﬀered by these handy devices which are allowing businesses to leap-frog traditional web channels to own their relationship with the customer.
“According to a recent survey by the National Sample Survey Ofﬁce (NSSO), more than 51 percent of the Indian population is self-employed as compared to a paltry 15.6 percent that draws a salary. So if you’re looking to take your business online, there is already a very high volume of service providers with established online presence, while yet more are ﬁnalising their digital strategy to venture into this particular domain.”
Another fact that has worked in the favour of the mobiles as the preferred digital medium is the consumer behaviour. People today increasingly make decisions on the go, and hence businesses need to adapt to a mobile presence in order to be a part of the consumers’ decision-making process at all times. Innovative mobile-ﬁrst solutions are now available that are changing the way service providers and businesses are positioning themselves. These solutions are leveraging uniquely tailored mobile graphs which utilize an individual’s phone contact network to provide businesses with customized digital strategies and consumers with tailored service solutions. Not only is this approach more cost-eﬀective, but also allows for two-way communication with the consumers for a better customer-service connect on the go. Moreover, a mobile presence empowers both service providers as well as consumers, and allows for a feeling of familiarity and trust between consumers and service providers which is vital for the success of any business.
With the ongoing smartphone boom and the increasingly large share that m-commerce now commands in the overall online commerce industry, digital revolution has been turned on its head. So drastic and sudden has been the impact of smartphone proliferation that several major e-commerce portals have now completely migrated to a mobile platform in order to optimize eﬃciency and cut down on their operating costs. Any new or existing digital strategy in India simply cannot discount the eﬀectiveness and viability of a technology-driven mobile presence as compared to feet-on-the-street models. And with a mobile-ﬁrst strategy, your consumers are literally paying for the major infrastructural requirement – the mobile phones. The potential beneﬁts oﬀered are huge – fostering a consumer connect, greatly increasing service visibility, establishing brand value, and very high return on investment (RoI). All that remains for your business to succeed is for you to choose this veritable godsend boon to optimize your business’ functioning.