The following is an exclusive guest contributed post from Dippak Khurana, Founder & CEO of Vserv.
Economics in India works very differently from that in the U.S. While consumers in the U.S. are used to buying physical products in bulk, Indian consumers are averse to the idea of buying these products in large volumes. This has forced companies to adopt a sachet-based marketing approach, selling physical products in smaller quantities or packages.
However, it also means that consumers in India shop frequently, a trend that has carried over even to the digital side. Telecom service operators or Telcos have to sell segmented packs for Internet data and voice minutes. Direct-to-Home (DTH) cable service providers have to sell channel packs segmented by genre such as only movies, or sports or entertainment instead of all channels, and consumers are even asking for these packs on hourly or daily basis instead of paying for the entire month.
On the other hand, a growing number of Indian consumers are choosing to discover and shop products via mobile. E-commerce businesses are seeing as much as 40% of their sales coming via mobile, which goes to show that more consumers are transacting via their smartphones. Reaching out to the consumer on mobile with customized offers that translate to increase in revenue, is a challenge consumer-facing companies such as Telcos and DTH service providers are grappling with today.
Tapping into the ever-growing mobile internet user base
The challenge lies in the fact that even if Telcos and DTH service providers reach out to consumers with segmented pre-paid offers, these offers may or may not be relevant to the consumer. If they did find a relevant offer, the intent for purchase can diminish since consumers still have to resort to going to the nearest brick and mortar location for activating the service. Even if they want to activate the service via their smartphones, the process is tedious and time consuming.
Staying with the consumer through the entire purchase journey
So how can Telcos and DTH service providers overcome this challenge? They can do so by staying with the consumer through his entire journey, right from intent to purchase. Today, with smart data led mobile marketing, these companies can reach out to the right consumer on mobile with relevant offers.
However, it should not stop there. These companies need to go the last mile, enabling their consumers to activate the offer while they are looking at it. To help them do so, we created a solution that helps the consumers to buy the relevant internet data, voice or segmented channel packs from within the mobile ad. The consumer will see a buy button along with the offer within the ad, and he can now complete the transaction with just two clicks, without having to leave the ad experience to go to a different website or app. By giving a seamless intent to purchase experience, such a solution redefines the relevance, simplicity and convenience of Telco and DTH services for these consumers.
The burgeoning opportunity for consumer-facing companies
In 2014, the Telco/DTH market in India and Southeast Asia reached $31 billion. At the same time, the mobile Internet user base is showing tremendous growth potential. By eliminating steps between intent and purchase, $31 billion is just the starting point.
Through targeted advertising via smart data and secure one-click mobile commerce, intent and purchase can now be linked together with a few seamless clicks. Such an end-to-end approach will help consumer-facing companies such as Telcos and DTH service providers to ride the mobile Internet wave and scale greater heights. The only question that remains is how soon will consumer-facing companies take advantage of this massive opportunity.