by Kinjal Adeshara, a blogger working with Cygnet Infotech
Global sales trends are shifting and e-commerce is growing at a furious pace. According to eMarketer here, global e-commerce sales have topped 1.2 trillion dollars, and emerging markets are behind the continued expansion of e-commerce. E-commerce has matured in the Western markets, and it is gradually reaching a point of saturation. But, there is a tremendous scope for ecommerce and m-commerce in emerging markets like India, China, Russia and Brazil [BRIC countries]. Most of the growth in digital sales will come from emerging markets.
The smart mobile revolution has made it possible for customers in BRIC to access the Internet anytime, anywhere.
These countries have a strong infrastructure, a rising middle class and increasing spending capacity.
All of the elements needed for an e-commerce boom are present, and online sales in these markets are on the rise.
The dominance of mobile search in these locations means that you will have to focus more on m-commerce while creating online stores for these markets.
The question being – is your ecommerce development model ready for this? Are you fully prepared to take benefit of the upcoming m-commerce boom in emerging markets?
If not, it is time you formulate a strategy to sell in these markets. Keeping an eye on the below-mentioned factors will help your online business thrive in these exciting markets.
Local language is a must
While there are a number of people in all these countries who can understand English, the majority use and know only the local language.
As you are dealing with customers with low-proficiency in English, it is best to make sure that the content on your store is written in local languages.
In countries like India, several regions have different languages – so, you need to make sure that customerd have a clear option to choose the language of their choice.
As we have seen in USA and UK, most of the customers use their mobiles to research products and services. But, still only a fraction of them actually buy the goods through the mobile device.
For that, they either use their desktop computers or they visit the store directly. A large number of consumers in emerging markets are connected to the Internet only through their smartphones – they do not have PCs or laptops.
So, after researching for products or services, they visit physical stores to make a purchase. By offering store-locator services on your mobile app or mobile website, you can improve your chances of overall sales.
Social media integration
Young adults in the emerging nations are early adopters. They are familiar with e-commerce and m-commerce and do not hesitate to do the bulk of their shopping online.
By integrating social media with your online store, you increase the chances of these customers sharing reviews and posting comments about your products.
As social media is extremely popular in all the emerging markets, you need to integrate your store with social media and also formulate a clear and effective marketing strategy for social media.
Discounts, offers and email marketing
Consumers in countries like India and China are cost-conscious and they are adept at researching products to find the best bargain.
Most online stores struggle to build any loyalty with the users, no matter what country they are selling in, because the customers simply want to buy the product at the best price.
So, by offering promotional discounts, you can grab the attention of the users.
Email marketing targeting customers interested in using discounts and coupons can also drive visitors to your store and boost sales.
You can also integrate this strategy with contextual and location-based alerts to improve the efficiency of the entire process.
Display all products on the mobile website
As noted above, Internet access through smartphones enables a number of users to shop online. These individuals may not have access to conventional devices like PCs and laptops.
So, you cannot create a truncated mobile version of your e-commerce store. All the products displayed on the main online store need to be displayed on the mobile website.
The mobile website or mobile application should offer everything that the web version of the site does. If you do not want to develop a separate ecommerce mobile website, you can go for a responsive website.
While the underlying principles of online business remain the same, different markets have their peculiarities.
As an m-commerce solution provider, by keeping your eyes open to these five ideas, you will improve your chances of success in the emerging markets.
Kinjal Adeshara is a blogger and digital marketer, currently working with Cygnet Infotech which specialises in developing e-commerce websites. She describes herself as expert in writing ecommerce and mobile technologies. She loves to share new and exciting content with readers. Follow Kinjal on Twitter @adeshara_kinjal or connect with her on Google+ here.