By Amit Relan
India is predictably unpredictable consumer market. Though a lot of market research and help from digital analytics solutions is taken by brands in creating their festive season strategy, a lot of it must be contingent and acted upon at the last minute. This is the peculiarity of the Indian consumers who are very difficult to predict and can surprise just like a tailender helping his
team win a cricket match in the last over, which looks otherwise difficult even for a top order batsman.
The broad contours of demand are captured through market research and surveys that are commissioned by the brands to understand and be prepared in ‘high opportunity’ markets in terms of advertising, logistics, availability of stocks, etc. However, a single social post going viral can change the sentiment – positive or negative, and a brand has to be prepared to react
to it. Similarly, with consumers increasingly enjoying the ease of choosing from a very rich catalogue, they are becoming innovative in terms of selection of gifts, etc., during the festive period. For instance, some decade ago, a few sweets and confectionary options were go-to options for gifting over Diwali. Today, wearable smart devices are one of the hottest gifting
options both in corporate as well as family circles.
Ecommerce has brought in some irreversible changes in the consumer behaviour in India. For instance, it has widened the choice selection for users. Earlier, a buyer would look for three to five options to select from. Today, consumers are going as high as 10 options over e-commerce marketplaces and then make a buy decision. Consumers also research a lot in terms of reading reviews (off and on platform), look at discounts, check on the availability and expected delivery times. All these were not in the consumer behaviour before.
While e-commerce has empowered any ordinary consumer with so many benefits, it has become ever challenging for brands to meet the changing expectations of potential buyers. It becomes complex because of the spectrum of things which need to be analysed as well as the frequency in terms of the very dynamic nature of the data and trends.
To be able to cope up with the e-commerce, brands must essentially look at the three key features while selecting an e-commerce analytics solution. These are
Actionability – The insights must be actionable. For this they must be available at an appropriate time allowing an e-commerce manager of a brand to respond to the change. Also, the insight should be very precise which can be actioned about. For instance, to increase the sales probability, the product should be available in the locations where users are searching for such products. This can be understood by keeping a check of the availability of stocks as well as compare it with the keyword search analysis.
Granularity – The insights and reports generated should be very granular in nature. It cannot be at a brand level, for instance. The insights and data analysis should be able to map each SKU or stock keeping unit of a product. Also, this should be mapped with information like location, etc., so that very localised actions can be taken. There cannot be one single action for all the markets and granularity of the analysis plays a pivotal role in enabling it.
Configurability – To keep the pace with the dynamically changing facts on a marketplace, it would be unwise to create a command centre by brands to look for any changes, report to the management and trigger changes. For this reason, it’s very critical that there are configurable alarms and notifications that can instantly notify the people concerned for them to take
actions. Without this feature, they will either be too late to act or miss several important changes to act upon.
As India gears up for the festive season sales, brands will have to keep an eye on the marketplaces and be able to react and respond to changes instantly. This will help brands to take impactful decisions positively improving sales as well as the margins.
The author of this article is the director and co-founder of mFilterIt.
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