Would Online Marketing Be Viable as a Channel into India?

While the idea of ​​marketing online may not seem entirely novel, it’s still a relatively untapped resource for many businesses in the country. According to a report from the Digital Marketing Association in India, as of February 2022, there were only 69 million internet users in the country – roughly 16% of the population. The number of people using Facebook is also rather low, with just 21.5 million using the social media platform – less than 5% of the population.

The implications of this are pretty clear: most companies may not be yet tapping into this potentially valuable audience, nor may they have even considered the idea of ​​doing so. If you’re looking to expand your reach – and potentially grow your business – in India, then it’s worth taking a good hard look at the country’s online marketing landscape.

History Of Online Marketing In India

It wasn’t always thus, and India has actually had a fairly substantial online marketing history – including in the realm of e-commerce. In 2014, Amazon launched its Indian marketplaces, featuring thousands of products from multinational and local brands. These are all popular locations for online shoppers in India today, and have spurred a shopping renaissance in the country.

This uptick in digital activity has also benefited marketing and branding on social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook. In fact, the popularity of these platforms in the country arguably stems from their ability to easily drive organic and paid growth – as well as allow for greater brand engagement and accessibility.

The Demographics Of The Country

In many ways, India is a unique market to tap into as a digital marketer. Not only is it one of the largest countries in terms of population, it’s also one of the most digitally active. According to Statista, there were 169.9 million web users in the country as of January 2022, and this is projected to reach 361.7 million internet users by 2025.

The digital marketing association in India estimates that there are currently 69 million internet users in the country – or roughly 16% of the population. This is up from 56.9 million internet users in 2019, and the industry association also predicts this rate of increase to 24.1 million by next year.

This is partly due to the fact that the country has one of the most highly populated digital spaces in the world. With over 500 million people on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, it’s an extremely accessible audience for marketers.

Why Online Marketing In India?

Aside from having one of the largest populations of internet users in the world, India is also one of the most technologically advanced countries. This gives marketers the opportunity to target specific audiences using internet-connected devices and the country’s growing number of smart homes.

One of the primary advantages of online marketing in India is the ability to target the right audience with relevant content at the right time. With people often working long hours and having less free time, being able to provide them with content that is both useful and entertaining is an excellent way to grow your audience and business.

The rise of the sharing economy in the country has also created new opportunities for marketers. As the sharing economy gains more traction, marketers can look to invest in digital marketing activities that rely on the generation and collection of digital information. With people increasingly using online marketplaces and social media to discover and share businesses, this is an ideal opportunity to gain visibility and gain customers.

The Emerging E-commerce Market In India

The emergence of e-commerce in the country is also something that needs to be lauded. Due to improved internet connectivity and an increasing desire to shop online, online marketplaces such as Shopbop and Blue Nile have seen a rise in consumer activity – and marketing spend – in the country.

According to Statista, as of January 2021, there were 16.8 million internet users shopping online in India, and this is projected to reach 32.4 million by next year. This is compared to 2019 when only 12.3 million internet users were estimated to be shopping online – a rise of nearly 30% in just a year.

It’s also important to note that India is one of the most trusted and popular marketplaces in the world, with over 300 million active monthly users and a 24.2% acceptance rate – as of January 2021. This is largely thanks to the platform’s strict privacy controls and focus on delivering a secure and safe shopping experience.

The combination of high street and online shopping in the country has also benefited marketing and branding on social media platforms. Just like on many other platforms, shopping in India has become a trending topic on social media – attracting potential customers who may not have given the platform a thought before.

Key Takeaway

The above suggests that marketing in India, particularly e-commerce marketing, is set to become increasingly digital in nature. This presents a variety of opportunities for marketers to target consumers and grow their businesses.

Whether you’re looking to expand your reach into the country, or you’re already doing so and want to learn more, the above should give you a pretty good idea of what is happening and what might be viable.