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A fast forward to an e-commerce advertising future

23 October 2019

The e-retail market is at the precipice of exponential growth. In this article, we look at the future of e-commerce advertising in India. To explain why Indian e-commerce is set to witness exponential growth, one only needs to look at the stats below:

The aspirations of the middle-class Indians are rising in tandem with their disposable incomes. The trends imply that the Indian retail market will grow into a trillion-dollar market in a couple of years. Yet, even this growth pales in comparison to the sheer explosive growth witnessed in the e-retail or ‘e-tail’ market – set to hit 120 billion dollars next year.

Additionally, as a by-product of shopping online, there’s a veritable goldmine of insights from user activity on the platform on a daily basis. This is available in terms of their shopping behaviour, likes and dislikes, patterns, and so on.

What will the future of e-commerce advertising look like?

1. E-commerce as the primary medium for brand awareness: In the current advertising landscape, most brands are still choosing other advertising platforms such as social media, search engines, etc. as their primary platform for brand awareness. However, there is ample research to show that the audience is much more receptive to advertisements in settings where they expect them, and even want them. In the case of the online purchase journey, this would be on e-commerce platforms. The blending of new technology with new mediums of engagement, like feeds, games etc., opens up entirely new areas through which users can be attracted and engaged.

2. Incorporation of AR and VR: Similarly, advertisements that will increasingly incorporate artificial reality and virtual reality technology will also greatly increase user engagement. In India, brands are changing the landscape of online shopping by providing an engaging and personal e-shopping experience for their customers. In China, Alibaba has reportedly developed a “VR Pay” system where customers can purchase items with just a nod of the head. These experiences will become commonplace in the coming years with AR and VR-enabled e-commerce ads providing customers with instant virtual gratification and convenience.

3. Personalization: E-commerce ads have been personalized and will in the future become even more personalized in order to further augment the user experience. For example, 4 million personalized video ads were created during Flipkart’s Big Billion Days (BBD) sale in 2018, that used data from over 200 demographic and behavioural signals. This is a significant scale-up compared to 2017, where only 100,000 personalized video ads were created using only 12 data signals.

4. Cross-platform marketing collaborations: It will open up the possibility of building personalized over-the-top (OTT) ads built upon deterministic e-commerce shopping insight. Flipkart’s Shopper Audience Network, for example, is building upon this

possibility, using customer insights to market personalized and brand-safe video ads to Hotstar subscribers.

Marketeers and e-commerce managers will have plenty to look forward to in the near future. As the e-commerce user-base increases and the shopping data further matures in terms of size and depth, more intelligent insights, monitoring tools and performance trackers will provide endless advertising tools for marketers to use.

For more information on e-commerce advertising, click here: www.brands.flipkart.com