Digital spend to rise by 30%
India’s internet user population is set to grow by over 30% this year to reach 161.6 million individuals, according to eMarketer estimates, and projected to cross the 200 million mark in 2014. As more consumers head online, ad spending on digital formats is rising alongside.
The Internet & Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and Indian Market Research Bureau International reported that during fiscal year 2012, which ran from April 1, 2012, through March 31, 2013, digital ad spending in India rose by 29%, and this year it will grow by another 30% to reach nearly INR30 billion ($548 million).
Display and search have dominated the digital ad market in India, but newer formats are gaining attention and attracting more dollars in India. At the end of fiscal year 2010, more than nine out of 10 internet ad dollars came from display and search. By March 2013, that share was down to 67% for the year, with display showing the steepest decline.
The IAMAI, which breaks out social separately from display, estimated that in 2012, mobile, social, email and video accounted for the remaining one-third share of spending.
Mobile made a particularly notable leap in 2011, according to IAMAI’s research, growing by 88%. Mobile has an especially important role to play in the online marketing mix in India, as a substantial number of internet users access via the portable devices. eMarketer estimates that this year nearly one-quarter of mobile phones will be used by mobile internet users—approximately 120 million consumers—and not far below the total number of internet users in the country.
Social media and video ads also leaped by 71% each over the course of fiscal year 2011.
A war has been raging for years and it has captured the minds of many. This war known as e- commerce platform wars has become more intense lately. Top consulting companies like Gartner and Forrester have written reports and blogs about this war.
The dynamics of this war has changed over the years. Surprisingly, Microsoft was the first to succumb as they sold off their e-commerce product ‘ascentium microsoft commerce’. Oracle took over a lot of companies like ‘endeca’ to strengthen their stance. ATG announced a new version of their product which will support mobile and social channels. A lot of other players lost ground but at the same time many new promising players like Red prairie and Digital River emerged. IBM remained the leader of the pack due to huge R&D budget and support.
Because of this war it has become very difficult for retailers to choose a right e-commerce platform . They need to consider a lot of factors before deciding a platform. Factors like high switching cost, application maintenance, hosting, digital marketing, working with new or existing partners and most importantly changing their business processes haunt them continuously. Implementation partners are also struggling to provide good e-commerce solutions because of lots of issues with the platforms.
Even though the landscape has changed over the years, the burning questions (which are quite debatable) still remain the same ‘Which platform is the best’ and ‘Can we trust Gartner and Forrester reports.’?
From my experience I feel that Magento is the one platform which everyone should look out for in future (unfortunately it has been shown as a laggard in Forrester research). I believe that Magento should be among the first 5 places in the list of top platforms. The reasons for my belief are
- Lot of community support
- Different versions to address different types of clients
- Flexible architecture ( most important factor)
There are host of other features mentioned on blogs (for eg Patrick Pylypuik , in his blog mentions how the recent innovations provides its omni channel merchants a compelling advantage) which emphasis that delivering complex e-commerce solutions using magento platform delivers best results for both retailers as well as Magento implementation partners. Please visit Magento community page to view the recent developments
Few reasons for doubting famous consultancy reports are
- How can they justify the weights associated with the products (Forrester reports).
- Analysis of only a particular product version ( for eg Forrester considered Magento 1.11)and not the other versions cannot justify the conclusions.
I know my views are quite controversial but I will love to hear opinions from others.
A survey of e-commerce sites in the Alexa top million websites has found that, as of the first quarter of 2012, Magento is by far the most popular e-commerce solution.
Alexa Internet Inc. tracks the web use of millions of internet users and gathers information about the sites they visit. A recent analysis of their database has revealed that Magento is used on 20 percent of e-commerce sites internationally. Magento usage has skyrocketed over the last 4 months. The number of sites deploying Magento increased by 21 percent over the previous quarter, dwarfing the growth rate of its nearest competitor, Zen Cart, which grew by only seven percent.
Of the 33,632 e-commerce sites in Alexa’s top million, almost 7,000 of were using Magento, with just under 4000 using both Zen Cart and VirtueMart. Open Source e-commerce platforms dominate the list; more than half of all e-commerce websites in the top million are released under an open-source license.
The survey also examined the relative popularity of e-commerce platforms in the top 100,000 websites. In this segment of the market, enterprise and bespoke e-commerce solutions become more popular. IBM’s WebSphere and Oracle’s ATG make a strong showing, with 11 percent and 7 percent of sites respectively. However, Magento once again blows away the competition. Magento has more than double the number of users of WebSphere, its nearest rival, with 345 sites out of the total of 1,655, compared to WebSphere’s 185.
Magento’s open source development model and active community have allowed it to mature into the world’s most flexible and reliable e-commerce platform. It is now the platform of choice for vendors ranging from multinational corporations to mom-and-pops across the world.
Thousands of companies, including Samsung, InterFlora and Olympus have been richly rewarded for choosing Magento as the platform around which to build their online retail presence. Magento allows companies to avoid the vendor lock-in associated with proprietary e-commerce software, giving them a powerful foundation that can be adapted to suit the needs of their business.
With Magento’s upcoming 1.7 release, which packs a host of new features, including backup and rollback functionality, improved navigation, and a redesigned mobile theme, we expect to see it go from strength to strength in the coming months, cementing its position as the leading international e-commerce solution.
Augmented reality is a new buzz word in the field of technology. This new technological marvel has the potential to change the complete e-commerce landscape. 3D animations, virtual changing rooms, product display using mobile cameras are just some of the radical features being offered by augmented reality which can be leveraged by e-commerce websites. In this blog I will try and explain the basics of augmented reality and also try to illustrate the impact of this technology on e-commerce
What is augmented reality
The simplest words which describe ‘Augmented reality’ are – ‘the mix of real and virtual world’. This technology is still in its nascent stages and there are very few brands which have adopted this concept.
Fig 1: Technology adoption curve
Augmented reality features can be offered in four ways which are as follows
1) Black and white markers based augmented reality- In this case the markers act as activation triggers for more information. Each time the marker is detected, the information is superimposed.
2) Markerless augmented reality- This technology does not use markers. In this case real environment is recognized using any kind of support such as objects, faces etc. This technology is far superior to the marker based technology and leads to more complex augmented reality applications.
3) Sensor based augmented reality- This technology relies heavily on sensors. Whenever a sensor sends a signal to the receiver only then the information is processed and sent to users. This technology is superior to marker less technology and is particularly useful in conditions when lighting is limited.
4) GPS or location based augmented reality- This technology uses mobile phones and tablets to access high speed wireless networks. This technology focuses primarily on content and context. It provides right information to right people in the right time at the right place.
Le Let’s find out how this new technology is going to affect the customers using e-commerce or m-commerce channels. Following figure illustrates the impact of augmented reality on e-commerce using customer decision cycle
Fig 2: Customer Decision Cycle
Consider: – This technology may be successful in trying to capture customer’s attention. Using this technology, retailers can differentiate their products or service offerings from their competitors. While conceptualizing their e-commerce solutions, retailers can also include some AR features like 3D animation to grab customer’s eyes and compel him to consider that product/service.
Evaluate: Features like virtual changing rooms will help the customer to evaluate the product in a better way. One of the major drawbacks of e-commerce solutions is the fact that customer never gets to try the product or service. This feature will help in mitigating this drawback to a certain extent and definitely improve shopping cart abandonment rate.
Buy: Customer will be able to make a more calculated decision based on this technology. Features like virtual changing rooms will help customers in having a clear idea about a product. This will improve the most obvious problem of high rate of return which has haunted e-commerce industry for ages.
Experience: This technology will help the overall customer experience by providing more customized and personalized shopping experience. They will be have the feel of the product before actually buying the product.
Advocate: This technology will differentiate retailers from their peers and customers will recognize this fact. The customers will advocate about their experience through word of mouth or any other channel possible.
Bond: Retailers will witness increased brand loyalty because of this technology as it provides more personalization and customization. Moreover, the rapid increase in the use of tablets and smartphones will boost the usage of this technology and increase the bonding.
Augmented reality is here to stay. Many top brands like Benetton and Ikea have identified the benefits of using this technology in solving problems associated with e-commerce. It’s time for other retailers to identify the potential of this new technology and incorporate the features associated with this technology in their respective web and mobile sites.
About Smart e-Commerce
Smart e-Commerce is the Blog from Embitel Technologies which provides the latest e-commerce trends, strategies, e-Retail Solutions, Magento solution, Social Media Optimization, Blog Marketing, Online Seminars, Search Engine Optimization, Google Rankings and e-Marketing Solutions in India, America, Middle East, Australia, South Africa & South America.