9 Proven strategies to grow eCommerce business in India
Online stores and shopping has seen a boom in India in the last few years. It’s the dream of many entrepreneurs to start their own moneymaking eCommerce business and become successful.
But only a handful of them are able to lay down the roadmap to success and accomplish their goals.
Why is growing an eCommerce business in India a challenge? Have you thought about what it takes to grow your eCommerce business and consistently see good results?
An online business doesn’t need a physical shop or office that piques customers’ attention. Only when its presence is known, does it get its reach and customers start walking in.
Nothing helps as much as internet marketing and social media for an eCommerce business in India to make its name known.
No matter where you stand right now, follow the below strategies to speak to a wider target audience, grab their eyes, and grow your eCommerce business.
Social media plays a huge role in creating and elevating brand awareness and customer experience. Three powerful social media platforms in India are Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
On average, Indians spend 2 hours and 36 minutes every day on social media alone. While the majority of the content is uploaded by individuals, brands aren’t any less.
They are catching up by providing relatable, humanized, and stimulating content and collaborating with fellow creators. There are many applications that help brands in researching, creating, and designing content that appeals to the viewers.
Brands can leverage unlimited tools that social media has to offer and connect and interact with their customers beyond India too.
To grow my eCommerce business, you can use social media for both direct and indirect marketing (gaining attention, launching a new product, increasing visitors to the website, and many more).
It’s much easier to be on these social media platforms but posting consistently is required to cut through the clutter amidst the heavy competition and swaying algorithms.
You can create a simple social media strategy and content calendar and attach product links and references along with posts and stories.
Take any popular social media in India, for example. You might have noticed content creators who share and talk about specific products and services with authority. And it works.
We see many ads and banners every day, but they hardly create any impression or make us forget sometime later.
However, with influencer marketing, we know that it’s a paid marketing strategy of a brand — but hearing it from an expert (or even a relatable celebrity) makes us believe and prompts us to try it.
Influencers subtly include the products as a part of their posts, reels, or videos that don’t come across as a mere product marketing approach.
That’s the reason influencer marketing is successful in India and very resourceful to grow your eCommerce business without spending the kind of money you’d need to spend on traditional advertising mediums.
For effective and targeted marketing, select creators who are within your niche and get an excellent reach and impression in their posts.
Content is everything when it comes to leading an eCommerce business in India, or any business for that matter. Content refers to any piece of information that comes in the form of blog posts, newsletters, guides, videos, social media posts, etc.
Brands mainly focus on sharing product-related content that solely aims at marketing and ignore the benefits of sharing industry-specific and common content.
By enriching your website and media pages with content, you enrich your customer with the knowledge and find another way to engage with them.
Content is also the way you can get them to subscribe to your newsletters, and emails, and get them to follow you on social media.
That’s because customers generally don’t react to brand posts and ad copies. But when they see content that they can learn something from, they become curious about it and you find a way to further engage them and walk them down the funnel.
To start with this, all you need to do is to find and draw umbrella topics and derive your content plan from them.
SEO denotes Search Engine Optimization. It means optimizing your website and altering its content to get ranked in search engines.
60% of customers’ search begins with search engines like Google and Yahoo. It’s not the customers but these engines which decide what your potential customers should be shown.
If the search engine doesn’t understand what your website says, it’s not going to show it to a customer. So, one of the prominent steps to take to grow your eCommerce business is devising your SEO strategy.
And SEO is not only about keywords and stuffing them here and there. You should do a competitive analysis and find keywords and phrases that your competitors use to get visits in a certain region.
You can try interlinking your pages and get backlinks (other websites carrying the link to your website). Other means to rank better and help the search engine to crawl easily and understand what your website is about are:
• Create both mobile and desktop-friendly pages that quickly load.
• Hiring an SEO specialist to review your website and suggest improvements
• Writing click-worthy titles for pages and articles (not click-baits).
• Writing SEO-friendly and optimized content for your website.
You cannot sell to everyone. Review your eCommerce website, email and call lists, and social media platforms.
If you have a wide mix of audiences who fall into different boxes, that could be the reason why none of your marketing efforts perform as expected. Given the high population of our country, it’s easy to grab followers and visitors but there won’t be any action or sale afterward.
To grow your eCommerce business in India, you need to position it correctly and do micro-targeting. Micro-targeting is the way to follow to narrow down the audience you come in contact with and appeal to only the most promising ones.
To find out ideal clients and create content and catchy slogans for them, you should do your market research.
Along with their demographics, gender, age group, professions, and other specific attributes, you should also find out their problems and pain points. Now, start ideating campaigns that cater to the above-filtered group.
Multi-channel sales are the newest trend that Indian eCommerce businesses are slowly adapting to. Selling just through the website limits your product to many, and browsing and purchasing through the website isn’t the most convenient option at any time.
Customers prefer a handy and stress-free shopping experience that you can render through multi-channel selling. This means you sell your products on your website and also on social media or through a mobile app or third-party website.
By following this, you get to generate revenue from multiple sources and grow your eCommerce business. It’s a win-win situation for both customers and business owners as both meet halfway to fulfill each other’s requirements.
One great example of an eCommerce business in India that has enabled omnichannel sales is Pepperfry. They have offline studios, mobile apps for Android and iOS, and a store website.
They have understood that not every customer is comfortable with using the same platform and therefore decided to enrich their experience.
This one is obviously going to be a paid marketing activity. But if done right, it can fetch more results than the above strategies to grow your eCommerce business in India.
SEM (Search Engine Marketing) is about advertising on search engines like Google and social media (Facebook ads, Instagram ads, etc) with the help of keywords in order to display your website when an internet user searches with those keywords.
It’s basically paid advertising and you will have to handle PPC (price per click) costs. SEM campaigns are instrumental in getting plenty of traffic to grow your eCommerce business in India.
You can start with Google advertising and slowly transition to social media ads. To start with your first SEM campaign, you need to know a few basic things about your customer behavior and buying patterns.
You should also focus on designing a landing page where the customer will be led when they click on the advertisement. This landing page should be compelling enough for the visitor to fulfill the call to action.
Promo videos are short, professionally created videos that express an issue and how a product solves the problem in a catchy way.
You might have noticed animated videos where a robotic narrator voice talks about the best features of the product. Promo videos serve a great purpose as they get across an unambiguous message about your business better than any other content piece.
A video is also the perfect way to explain how a product works in tangible terms, which a blog or a picture cannot. Creating the video is an easy task but you need to dedicate time to working on the notion, script, and expected end outcome.
As long as you include everything a new customer needs to know about your product and important information (like links and discounts) you are good to go.
You can use these videos on your website, landing pages, social media posts and ads, blogs, and marketing emails.
You are all set to build powerful marketing campaigns to grow your eCommerce business. It’s normal to talk about the budgets and allocation at this stage.
Nevertheless, one thing that might have slipped your mind is how to monitor and control the marketing costs.
Each cost will require you to pay through a different medium and in the end, your finance managers will give much thought to organizing and identifying the total spending.
Why should you put your finance team through this when there is a simplified marketing payments solution like Volopay?
Volopay is a suite that comes with different payment modules to suit the nature of your marketing expenses settlement. Subscription costs and PPC for ads are regular expenditures of the eCommerce marketing team.
Volopay has one-time and recurring virtual cards in unlimited numbers which you can assign to handle each one of such payments. For example, you can have a card dedicated to LinkedIn ads alone and payment automatically gets deducted for this expense.
Budgets are something that never goes the per plan. To handle that, each card can be set a limit above which one should get approvals. These cards are great to handle recurring payments and if not in use, you can freeze them to use later.
That’s how you can manage and regulate your marketing expenses without a hitch.
Interesting read - How can virtual cards facilitate recurring payments in India?