Screenage 2021: 'Voice search to be a big factor in commerce going forward'

An august panel of experts discussed creating mobile experiences to keep the consumers spending

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Published: Oct 23, 2021 8:16 AM  | 6 min read

From mobile-first, the consumers have moved into an almost mobile-only universe over the past few years, prompting brands and marketers to create solutions and communications that meet them at the right place at the right time, a panel speaking on the topic of “creating mobile experiences that keep your consumers spending” at e4m Screenage 2021 highlighted. 

Moderated by InMobi Director-Marketing - Asia Pacific Rajesh Pantina, the panel saw the presence of Honda Cars India Head of Marketing and Product Planning Shakeel Anjum; Vikas Bansal - Director, Amazon Pay;  Meghna Apparao - Brand & Digital & E-commerce expert; WPP India Head Of Mobile and Emerging Tech at Groupm India, Head Of Voice Practice Niraj Ruparel, and Pepsico India Category Lead Saumya Rathor. They discussed their own experiences and initiatives to emphasise how mobile has become an important part of every brand and marketers guide to attracting consumers and retaining them. Here are some of the important points that they mentioned: 

Understanding various touchpoints 

As the consumers now function in a multi-screen, multi-platform world, it is very important for brands to create a strategy that is bespoke and curated keeping in mind the mood and use of the platform it is being advertised on. 

Sharing the example of Licious’ attempts in the direction, Apparao shared, “We launched a number of fabulous products on our platform, which was high in quality and taste but still got some erratic feedback on them. When we conversed with these people who were feeling negative about our products, we realised that the problem is not in the products but how various people use them in different ways and how that impacts the taste and texture of the final product. That’s when we realised that it is important for us to keep in mind the various touchpoints on which we can connect with the customer. So, if you have discovered our product on Facebook, we will use the right kind of imagery to prompt you to make that purchase. Once that product is delivered, we will use our CRM to drop you a message on Whatsapp with complete details on how to use the products along with the recipe. It is all about enhancing the whole experience, right from discovery to sales, to use of the product.” 

She added that the brand is also using the power of influencer and community marketing to further strengthen this prospect. 

Finding purpose in line with the brand image 

It is also very important for brands to find purpose in their communication and create experiences that are in line with their core identity and messaging. 

Rathore shared, “Given the unprecedented times that we have been living in, the last two years have moved mobile from being a ‘between life’ device to being the life of users. It is the primary point to communicate, socialise, shop, and more. And Pepsico, being a resilient brand, has worked on so many interesting campaigns in the past few months to reach the consumers in a relevant fashion. We have been a culture creator and that’s what we did in the past few months as well. For example, on Valentine’s Day we ran ‘Swag Se Solo’campaign, wherein we indulged the single people on a day when they are most neglected. We have also been running the ‘Cut-off is temporary and swag is permanent’ campaign wherein we go to colleges when cut-offs are announced and tell students that there is more to them then just their marks.” 

She highlighted that they are using tools like geo-targeting to make the most of these opportunities and stay relevant to their customers. 

Innovation at the core of business 

Brands need to constantly innovate and create propositions that are relevant to their core consumer base and help ease out the process of discovery, buying, and post-purchase services. The speakers highlighted some of the trends that they have observed across industries and how they have made relevant interventions in their own digital applications. 

Anjum noted, “People are not only increasingly shopping for vehicles online but we have also seen a spike in Honda’s non-vehicle applications wherein people are booking visits, looking for experiences, etc. So, we have been working on a lot of projects to make it more user friendly. For example, we are investing in a lot of location-based services wherein we are partnering with various fuel pumps to help people discover nearby spots. We are also working on curating a list of best dhabas on the way for people to have great food on the go. There is a lot of work happening on the CDP side wherein we are connecting each customer to a sales representative for all forms of sales-related and post-sales query etc.” 

Bansal pointed out that at Amazon Pay the focus is bringing everything in one place. “We realise that in our business, we are competing against cash, which is a very convenient way to transact being used by people for the longest time. But it has certain implications also which we have to communicate with the users. That’s why our efforts are in the direction to make payments more intuitive, simple, and therefore trusted. We are bringing everything in one place; right from paying for shopping to paying bills, to book tickets and hotels, etc.” 

Focus on the next big league of customers 

Pantina highlighted that the next big league of consumers is coming from the tier 2 and tier 3 states and the brands are therefore focusing on catering to them as well. 

Bansal added that creating content in the local language is very important for Amazon Pay at this point in time and also creating voice-driven payment solutions to cater to customers from regional areas. 

Ruparel quipped that voice is the next one billion story in India, “We are seeing voice emerging as a key input trend from the tier 2 and tier 3 cities from where the most of the new consumers are coming on digital platforms. Lack of education is one of the biggest reasons that they rather talk to their devices instead of typing. That’s why voice is going to be a big factor in commerce going forward.” 

Apart from voice and marketing in regional languages, Ruparel concluded that immersive technology and various forms of commerce like in-game and live are going to drive the industry forward.

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