While we are very busy supplying to customers across towns in India, my biggest potential audience is yet to be tapped into its fullest. India is such a vibrant and aspiring country! People of India are always aspiring to have a better life and experience new products. And it comes as no surprise that rural areas of India are buzzing to break through as the biggest consumers of this country. However, it is imperative for product manufacturers to devise an easy way of outreach to these consumers in rural areas. After giving it a thought, my only response to product manufacturers is that we need to expedite digital marketing and eCommerce to our rural areas and we must do it at the speed of lightening.
Rural is the new green urban. Supplying to these audiences creates a humongous opportunity for SMEs. As part of our #BlueOceanStrategy at Soulflower, we believe that we not only will we create a bigger market in India but also facilitate rural market development with a digital initiative.
Www.Soulflower.Biz has started this rural digital marketing initiative by selling our spa and aroma products in India. How did we achieve this? Well, to give you a little background on #BigData first, let’s look at the chunk of money we would have left on the table had we not initiated and ignited the rural market.
Currently, there are 65 million internet users in India, which is likely to grow to approximately 200 million in the next three years. Out of these many millions of customers, most of them have whatsapp facility. Further, these customers have a aspiring desire to behave and consume like the urban audiences.
But the best feature of rural customers is that they are unbelievably loyal. They really connect with a brand and keep subscribing to the products as comfort factor and stress free life are highest on their priority list!
So here is a huge chunk of India that has the money to spend and is interested in soaking in the benefits of urban culture! Well, what better than soaking in some happiness with Soulflower bath salts?!
The above being the basis of our rural expansion, we realized that mobile outreach is the best way forward. We introduced the concept of shopping through Whatsapp as the best medium to reach rural audiences.
Whatsapp is the only way to connect with the new shoppers as it is the most personalized form of user interaction. Even Twitter and Facebook can’t make it that personal. Therefore Soulflower.biz introduced the ‘Soapie’ program.
We took the #selfie concept a notch higher and made it a #Soapie with Soulflower Soaps. We were in a mood for a Soap Fest. We asked people to share their Soapies with us and in return we gave them a lovely Soap! We got a number of adorable Soapies. The joy on their faces and the lovely thoughts they shared made our day! Further, we gratified those customers who put up their Soapies as their display pictures on their Whatsapp accounts! How did this benefit us? Well, if you take a selfie with a Rs. 250 Soap, people are bound to ask you about it – especially in a rural area! Well, you then set out to explain what this product is and why you like it! Voila, we went viral and gained so many consumers as our customers and built so many beautiful relationships with them.
Have you heard of a town called Banbasa in the district of Champawat in the state of Uttarakhand, India? We got a call from a lady stating that she wanted the most popular and expensive soap used by our female clients in New Delhi as she wanted to experience a bath similar to that of what a lady in New Delhi experiences! We sent her our most beautiful collection immediately. This changed our outlook completely and we are thankful to our new customer for pointing us to her desires which by the way are mirrored by many customers living in rural areas! Aspiration does breathe in every part of India: Time for #RuralDigitalRevolution
Let me reiterate: Most customers from rural areas have strong aspirations to be like urban customers! The easiest way to connect with these customers is eCommerce. Cash on delivery or Net Banking is the best way to receive payment and make it easier for the rural buyer. Rural is a new market in India and if you are not tapping into this audience, certainly you will be leaving money on the table and worse, you will forgo those relationships that can last a lifetime.
#RuralDigitalRevolution is the only bandwagon your product must join in as fast as possible if you want to walk into the future and be on top of your game. While our new customer base is sitting tight with aspirations and awaiting to try new experiences, we must mirror their aspirations through the use of digital revolution and set an example for the world to follow!