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WhatsApp’s privacy policy pushes users to other apps

Privacy conscious smartphone users are opting for Telegram and Signal messaging apps to chat and communicate as the most popular messaging app, WhatsApp, has explicitly mentioned sharing data with parent company Facebook. Downloads of Signal app have seen a 79% increase from India during the period January 1 to January 6 compared to December 26 to December 31, data from app analytics firm Sensor Tower showed Telegram, though more popular in India, only saw a marginal increase during the six-day period compared to the week before that. Telegram’s download ranking on Google Play, however, steadily rose over the past few days, Sensor Tower said.Users flocked to the app so much so that Signal’s server could not handle the requests for phone number verifications of new accounts.Among the two [Signal and Telegram], I see Telegram benefiting more for its awareness and its channel feature through which people are increasingly consuming content, Faisal Kawoosa, founder of techARC, said.“Among Indian apps, we have JioChat and Hike, but they haven’t been able to make much of a mark,” he said.Telegram is just approaching 500 million active users globally compared to 400 million+ Indians on WhatsApp. Signal’s total user base is not known.

India’s digital economy will go from prepaid to postpaid in the new decade

India’s digital economy will go from prepaid to postpaid in the new decade, driving a huge cycle of consumption and growth, said Nandan Nilekani, the co-founder of IT giant Infosys and chief architect of Aadhaar. “As people get used to digital payments, credit histories, digital transactions they will be ready for credit. Therefore, the move of the digital economy from a prepaid to postpaid is going to drive a huge cycle of consumption as well as growth,” said Nilekani. “Because we have this transaction economy and the ability to do high volume, zero cost, payment transactions using auto-debit, embedded lending, our future will be driven by a transaction led boom,” he added. “Credit will go from being given to a few people who abscond onto London, it will go to millions of small consumers and be democratised. That is the wave that is now going to start.” Nilekani said right now is a “decisive moment” in the digitalisation of India, and all the investment in technology infrastructure and policy the country has done is now poised for takeoff.

Frictionless commerce is becoming a reality

‘The Future of Brands in Motion’ report launched by WPP and Ogilvy Consulting highlights how companies are using mobility to fuel growth and drive value for consumers. It said that the pandemic has disrupted business planning cycles and served as a customer experience ‘reset button’ and that maximizing cleanliness and convenience is here to stay; there will be more curbside shopping, ordering in, virtual events, and quicker outings.The report showed the evolution of technology and business models together, wherein it said that the 2009 era was the ‘Digital Business Revolution’ and companies integrated internet and computer systems, transforming commerce, supply chains, and customer management. Today’s time is called the ‘Digital Platform Economy’ where companies develop digital exchanges to facilitate transactions between consumers and producers, radically changing how we work, socialize, and create economic value. And the emerging future will be the ‘Mobility Platform Economy’ where companies will harness technology and partnerships to transform the movement of people, goods, and services.

eCommerce: Trends to watch out for in 2021

As per Nielsen India’s E-commerce Consumer Panel (E-Analytics Solution), there was a double digit increase in average spend of online shoppers for electronics and accessories (39%), mobile and accessories (12%), and fashion, including apparel, footwear, and accessories (10%) after the pandemic. Appliances (e.g.TV, WM, refrigerators, etc.) also saw notable shopper spending increase at 9%. This growth trajectory of e-commerce platforms in India testifies how customers are increasingly recognising the importance of comfort shopping within closed doors, and after seeing their businesses take a plunge in the first three months of the lockdown, more and more sellers are also coming online. According to IBEF, ‘The Indian E-commerce industry has been on an upward growth trajectory and is expected to surpass the US to become the second-largest e-commerce market in the world by 2034. Indian e-commerce sector is poised to reach US$99 billion by 2024 from US$30 billion in 2019, expanding at a 27% CAGR, with grocery and fashion/apparel likely to be the key drivers of incremental growth.’The second half of the year, which is the festive season in India, brought cheer for many brands and further pushed the adoption rate of e-commerce. Consumers are still hesitant to return to in-store shopping completely and audiences from Tier II and Tier III are also preferring to shop online.


Omnichannel – influencing retail tech investment

As the country reopens further in 2021 we see the customer seamlessly moving with ease between online and offline channels underscoring the importance of omnichannel retailers catering to customer preference. There will be more investment in technology & infrastructure because of omnichannel retail.

Another key trend for 2021 will be a focus on bringing more personalization and curation to customers shopping online through greater tech and marketing integration. 

Social commerce is going to have a big impact this year.

Young, middle & also older consumers will change the business landscape as ecommerce charges ahead.

More consumers will vote with their wallets.

Modern financial solutions will disrupt business and consumer banking, financing, and lending.

While digital and social have enabled interactions over the last 5-10 years, the next stage of this trend is where simple interactions, evolve to become deep connections. Purchasing decisions will be based more on fundamentals. Going beyond the transactional exchanges and building relationships is the second key trend that will drive the growth of businesses in future.

Another key trend for 2021 will be D2C retail, as e-commerce is growing at a fast pace, new-age brands will capitalize this opportunity to grow direct-to-consumer reach to a $15-$20 million revenue run-rate online for their brand.

Trends for digital advertising in 2021

India is now at the cusp of a massive revolution with digital making inroads and brands looking to go beyond urban markets. According to Statista, ad spending in the Digital Advertising market is projected to reach US$398,762m in 2021 and the market’s largest segment is Search Advertising with a projected market volume of US$171,641m in 2021. In FY2020, the revenue generated by digital advertising across India was valued at around Rs 199 billion and it will be worth Rs 530 billion by 2024.


There is so much ‘to-do’ in a marketer’s plate to ensure awareness, availability and great experience. The underlying marketing operations will be complex and will need breadth and depth of skill sets and the ability to string it together.

Integrated Digital Marketing approach will be a game changer for brands rather than being just a nice-to-have strategy. While the post-COVID world has leapfrogged the digital growth across industries and consumers are making digital a first choice now, brands need to evolve further and implement truly integrated methods for catering to customers’ needs at every touchpoint of the customer journey.

A big trend that will take shape in 2021 is the process of centralization of data and the creation of database. The digital departments will move beyond marketing to create centralized business data with the know-how, skills, and associations they possess.

2020 has been a year of pivots for the digital industry. Consumer habits and digital platforms are disrupting rapidly. Hence 2021 will be the year of customer experience reinvention. Traditional fulfilment channels are moving to digital, social media is a serious e-commerce platform now with platforms like Instagram moving beyond just discovery platforms, Influencer led commerce has also evolved. Hyper-personalisation both pre and post purchase journeys will become norm. The biggest will be to see is how all these parts come together for reinvention of the customer experience and push the industry to evolve.

There are many trends like voice search, local SEO, data science, social, etc., and each one will be a great driver for the industry. Brands & clients will be asking a lot more from their agencies, digital in specific. The pandemic has made brands realize, even those that didn’t believe in it first – the power of digital marketing. This power is not appreciated because it was through digital that we connected in 2020; it is appreciated because it proved it can be a serious driver for business.This also means that integrated solutions under one roof would be preferred, and most brands would, thus, turn to their digital agencies for support to make it happen. This trend, or rather a behavior shift  would be a great driver for the digital industry, creativity, and business in every way.

A couple of digital marketing trends that will increase and/or take shape in 2021. More than half of smartphone users are engaging in voice search – we see that number further growing in the next year with an emphasis on visuals (within ecommerce segment) will make SEO even more important. Google Lens is carving the path here. Influencer marketing will grow to about 15% of overall digital media budgets. 68% of consumers (based on a survey) have said that they’d like to learn about new products via short video. The creation of content (and content marketing) – whether long form text or video is going to become the cornerstone of all digital marketing campaign.

How to retain app users in 2021: A Guide 

The growth in the mobile app economy presents a huge opportunity for businesses.In 2018, mobile subscriptions outnumbered the global population with 7.9 billion connections versus 7.7 billion people. The pandemic simply accelerated this trend towards a more app-focused world.


2021 is likely to have an increasing number of businesses investing in their apps and using them as a primary channel to interact with their users

To stand out in an increasingly crowded market which is getting even more competitive, mastering the basics of mobile marketing will be non-negotiable for brands and marketers alike.

In 2021, it goes without saying that mobile needs to be at the core of a brand’s marketing strategy and overall business infrastructure. Irrespective of whether users continue to be largely stay-at-home, or slowly return to their on-the-go lifestyle, mobile will continue to be where the action and relationship will be built.

Popular Influencer Celebrities in India as of 2020

Influencer Marketing is the hottest marketing strategy in the world right now and Instagram is the top platform that is making it possible. According to reports launched by Convince & Convert, Instagram influencers give 11x more ROI than the regular internet display ads, and thus, influencer marketing is now the preferred marketing strategy for various brands and companies. This list includes Jannat Zubair Rahmani, Bhuvan Bam, Kritika Khurana, Sejal Kumar, Kusha Kapila to name a few from different categories. 


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