The lifestyles of people are changing enormously due to digitalization, and businesses are communicating with customers in a special and unique manner. They are dealing with a new-age world of hyper-connected consumers who are digitally connected to almost everything in their daily chores. A few years back no business would have ever imagined the fast-changing expectations and choices that consumers have. But, technology has changed the world, and this is now the reality.
Embracing a digitally enhanced future with Digital India
Digital India, a brilliant project, is a testimony to the fact that India is embracing this massive technological paradigm shift, going full throttle towards a digitally enhanced future. Be it retail, banking, education, food, travel or manufacturing, the Digital India initiative proves that we are moving in the right direction! The Indian consumer, who previously was simply connected (a mobile device meant a mechanism to call others and search the internet) has become hyper-connected and this remarkable initiative by the government is catering tremendously to the growth levels of hyper-consumerism.
The outburst of smartphones, social media platforms and high speed internet is the major driver behind the dramatic change caused by consumers’ expectations when it comes to brand engagement. The average consumer in India spends most of their time on smart phones; nearly 150 billion hours were invested between 2014 and 2016, according to new research. This year was predicted to see more than 350 million mobile internet users – a clear example of Digital India galvanizing a movement in the nation. Now imagine the growth spurt in the coming years!
Smartphones driving innovation
Another aspect to this massive surge in the digital world is the social messaging behavior of the hyper-connected consumer which is creating great stories on social platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. The “desktop-first” era is a bygone era; all we can see now is the smartphone, which has become a key platform and is driving the latest trends in innovation. Thus, it clearly reflects that smartphones are going to be greatest driver of the Digital India initiative, whose escalating penetration will only grow in the future, hence transforming India into one of the largest smartphone economies in the world.
Apart from the effect that technology has had on our lives and daily chores, it has created a number of terrific opportunities for businesses to grow and become stalwarts in their respective realms. However, it also entails a lot of challenges, and the businesses that can come out with new and better ways to engage with the emerging segments of hyper-connected consumers are the ones that will thrive. In this era of ‘discovery’:
- Companies are realizing the increasing importance of engaging consumers through the various channels available. Sometimes companies need to meet consumers personally and get to know their demands and personal choices. With consumers displaying love towards visual content, it is significant to offer them something extraordinary which they can share on digital platforms.
- There is a dire need to fuel platforms with video content. Digital technologies provide consumers a new lens on brands and new ways to engage every day. There’s the opportunity for brand relationships with customers to evolve because of technology.
- With everything turning digital, companies need to personalize the customer’s experience with a personal touch, yet, their privacy should not be in jeopardy at all.
- Transparency is another major aspect companies must consider; by making everything visible to their customers, the company can escalate their level of reliability and create a trusted brand.
The key takeaway here is that people will pay where they see value and that value is no longer simply wrapped up in the product. Brands need to continually strive to understand their customer engagement and relationships, and how it will evolve with digital technologies so they can innovate and provide better value for their customers and more margin growth for themselves.
With the nation’s thrust behind Digital India, we believe that a new era of “Hyper-Connected” consumers have emerged. We will be sharing insights on this unique consumer segment based on a custom featured study and exchanging perspectives with a panel of industry leaders. Join us and be part of the conversation to Discover, Disrupt and Delight in the era of the Hyper-Connected Consumers in India on September 7, 2017 in Mumbai at Hotel Sofitel.
Nikhil Mathur is the Managing Director of GfK, South Asia. To share your thoughts, please email Nikhil.firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment below.