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Video commerce offerings gain traction, Indians spent over 2 mn hours video shopping

Homegrown e-commerce platform Flipkart said video as a format is rapidly gaining adoption and Indian customers have spent over 2 million hours on its video commerce offerings in the past one year. India is one of the top consumers of internet data, and with Indian consumers becoming increasingly tech-savvy and digitally inclined, video commerce in the country promises great potential. According to Flipkart Indians have spent over 2 million hours on its video commerce offerings, from June 2023 to May 2024. Tier 2 and tier 3 regions comprised 65% of overall video commerce engagement, mostly in categories like fashion, beauty, personal care, home decor and furnishing. The maximum viewership clocked on a single live commerce video was 1.4 million, it added.

Can TVOD be the next big thing in OTT?

OTT platforms, despite being successful in India, have created alternative business models for revenue. One such revenue is ‘Transaction-based-video-on demand’ (TVOD). The TVOD sector is expected to increase from Rs 500 Cr to Rs 2000 Cr by 2028 as per a report by E&Y-FICCI. Additionally, the TVOD sector is expected to generate over Rs 1000 Cr by 2026. The key drivers are rapid urbanization leading to an increase in middle class audiences who have more disposable income, who like premium entertainment options. This demographic shift favours TVOD platforms, which provide on-demand access to movies, live events, exclusive series, fuelling the demand for high-quality content. The Indian audience warmed up to TVOD during the pandemic. Viewers can control as to what content they want to watch and get instant gratification.

78% of Indian consumers prefer personalized ads

Moloco, an operational machine learning (ML) company, and YouGov, together have announced the findings of the Consumer Perceptions of Ads on Streamers Survey 2024. From what it’s understood, more than 1,000 consumers in India were surveyed for their perspective on advertising on streaming media platforms, along with 1,000 consumers in the US. According to the survey, 60% of Indian consumers reported that a mobile phone is the device most commonly used for personal streaming, compared with 26% for smart TV, 11% for laptops/PCs, and three% for tablets. Moreover, 34% of Indian consumers reported that they are cutting the cord with traditional TV services, with an additional 27% considering it but are yet to do so, and that 66% of Indian consumers have shown preference towards choosing lower fees in exchange for watching ads. With regard to preferences for ad formats, 44% of Indian consumers believe that ads, which are interesting and relevant, enhance the viewing experience, and that pre- and post-roll ads are ranked most acceptable compared with mid-roll and banner or display ads. The report also highlighted that 41% of Indian consumers have cancelled a subscription, specifically, because of the ads experience. Seemingly, the majority of consumers in India prefer personalized ads, with 78% indicating a preference. Of the 78% total, 48% prefer personalized ads based on viewing habits alone and 30% prefer personalized ads based on viewing habits and personal data. Ads on streaming platforms are considered influential in the decision-making process for product or service purchases, with 83% reporting some level of influence.

Hamara gaon, hamara digital push

Digital payments are no longer restricted to urban India. Rural India is catching up fast, backed by GoI’s investment of nearly ₹650 MN to promote digital financial services in rural areas. However, of the 954 MN registered smartphone users in 2022, only 300-350 MN — primarily  young and urban users — use UPI for P2P or P2M payments and transfers. While smartphone adoption among low- and moderate-income (LMI) communities is growing, usage is limited to social media and messaging apps. This indicates that critical challenges continue to hinder the use of digital payments for close to 1 BN LMI people, especially women and people from marginalized communities. Their participation is, however, important to driving the country’s future growth of digital payments. MicroSave Consulting recently identified the challenges through an assessment in its ‘Impact of DIGIDHAN Mission on India’s digital payments ecosystem’ report. Know-your-finance Financial literacy empowers individuals to make informed financial decisions and achieve long-term financial security. Yet, only 27% of Indians are financially literate. The rest are vulnerable to debt traps, poor investment choices, scams and predatory financial practices. The predicament is more acute for vulnerable groups, such as semi-literate and innumerate segments, who fail to achieve financial independence due to poor financial literacy. Urban skew India’s digital payments infrastructure continues to skew toward urban regions. Even with 336 MN PoS machines (July 2023), 1.4 MN BHIM Aadhaar Pay (BAP) PoS machines and more than 5 MN Bharat QR codes, 77% of merchants don’t use digital payments. 65% of respondents still face issues when they accept payments through UPI, BAP and cards, mainly in rural India. Transaction failures due to business or technical declines lead to a lack of trust in digital payments, which impedes their adoption. This issue is exacerbated for assisted payment modes, such as AePS and BAP, followed by card payments through PoS machines, and is more prominent in rural and semi-urban areas. Further, users also face issues with grievance resolution because they do not know the proper channels to register and resolve their grievances. Fraud fear increased use of formal financial services and the reliance on digital rails have led to a rise in fraud. This problem affects newer users, especially those who lack digital awareness. RBI’s data reported instances of fraud worth ₹604 bn in 2021- 22.

How conversational AI is enhancing customer engagement

Exceptional customer experience is crucial for businesses to differentiate and foster lasting relationships. It boosts satisfaction, loyalty and brand reputations, through instant resolutions and hyper-personalizations.  Conversational AI is expected to reach $32.6 BN by 2030. Before GenAI, companies used MACHINE LEARNING and DEEP LEARNING to engage with customers 24/7 through chatbots. GenAI enables conversational AI  to either fully automate workflows or improve live agents’ capabilities with features like speech recognition and sentiment analysis. LLMs and other multi-model GenAI models have transformed customer engagement. 

We can increase brand recall, customer satisfaction, loyalty through:
Hyper-personalization at scale

Contextual understanding and better domain adaptation

Multi-model capabilities

Realistic and human like natural conversations

Augmented search, summarization, and generation

Language neutralization and localization

Wide range of conversational analysis

Flipkart explored a deal with Swiggy for a pie of quick commerce

Flipkart considered buying a stake in Swiggy, a food delivery company, but talks fell through due to discrepancies in valuation. Swiggy later filed for a confidential IPO and attracted the attention of Prosus, its largest investor, who was interested in divesting some of its stake. Flipkart’s potential alliance with Swiggy highlights the changing consumer preferences in India’s growing ecommerce market. Swiggy, valued at $10.7 BN, faces competition from Zomato, which has a market capitalization of over $20 BN.

Over 70% Indians rely on online media for news; majority on social media

Nearly 71% people in India prefer online medium for news with 49% relying on social media, ‘Digital news report 2024’ by Reuters Institute said. It further stated that 54% Indians consume news from YouTube, 48% from WhatsApp and 35% from Facebook. The report is based on a YouGov survey covering over 95,000 individuals in 47 countries, representing approximately half of the global population. When it comes to the device used for news, majority, i.e. 79% of responders use mobile phones for news consumption. The report states that people’s reliance on television for news is declining with 46% this year. However, print media remained at the lowest at 40%. Nearly 49% of people use social media for news. Overall, 71% of people depend on online media for news. With 54%, YouTube tops in terms of online platforms used for news consumption. Whereas, X (formerly known as Twitter) is the least used online platform by Indians (13%) for news. YouTube is followed by WhatsApp at 48%, Facebook at 35%, Instagram at 33% and Telegram at 20%. The report, however, makes it clear that data stems from a survey of primarily English-speaking online news consumers in India, which represents only a fraction of the broader and more diverse media landscape.


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