This year is going to witness an acceleration in the shift towards inbound techniques rather than outbound. The e-commerce industry and online shopping trends in India are set to witness greater heights in the coming years, not just owing to the increasing internet population, but also due to the changing dynamics of the supporting ecosystem. Some key trends that will be at the forefront will be ones that amplify branding and customer growth.

  1. Content marketing will gain prominence:  The focus is going to be on original and informative content rather than the generic kind. As Google and other search engines throw more weight around original and unique content and rank them higher in search results, businesses will need to revisit their content strategy. Customers are also starting to demand a greater level of detail while purchasing and, along with great navigation and ease of paying, will prefer brands that give them the knowledge of the product that they seek to acquire.
  1. SEO and social signaling will start merging:  Search engines like Google will continue their push to provide the most relevant content to the consumer. This is within their interest as well as it impacts online ad rates. For the marketer, this will mean paying very close attention to having great content that is relevant and is shared by their consumers – a brand advocacy focus that has not been really cared for till now. With most brands trying to move away from the discount-led sales model to developing consumer loyalty, content and social signaling will play an important role in attracting more customers at a lower acquisition cost.
  1. Social media marketing will diversify:  For now, a majority of e-commerce brands use Facebook to drive a bulk of their potential customers. With changes in how Facebook is going to treat newsfeed pushes, marketers will have to start investing more time in other platforms while continuing to invest money in Facebook itself, to continue driving traffic that they were seeing before the changes. This ‘pay for exposure’ trend is likely to see a higher adoption by other social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest etc., as they start monetising their networks. For brands, this means that they won’t be able to depend on just one/limited channel for traffic and will have to diversify their networks.
  1. Mobile marketing will increase:  As more and more people consume information on the go, mobile moments or mobile marketing will get bigger. Seamless integration that will allow customers to click on an ad on the mobile and complete a transaction without any issues will usher in the next level of instant gratification. We have also seen some of the larger e-commerce players starting official channels on mobile chat platforms, like Line and WeChat, to share promotions and content, and this is expected to grow as well.
  1. Remarketing ads will grow:  It seems like everyone has jumped on the remarketing bandwagon and this space is going to see an even higher uptake this year. Visit a product on a website and it’s going to follow you everywhere. This ability of the product and the brand to keep itself right in front of the customer is very effective. With Facebook bringing its Atlas advertising platform into play, this is only going to become much more effective, as it would enable more accurate cross-device advertising and tracking opportunity for advertisers. Given Facebook’s mobile reach and active user base, this will also lead to an increase in mobile conversions.