1.9 billion people expected to shop online in 2019: Admitad Annual Report

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India’s online population expected to hit 700 million by 2020.

Admitad India, the India arm of global affiliate network Admitad, has released its second Annual Report, highlighting several key trends and factors that are reshaping the global e-commerce industry in today’s digitally-driven world.

One of the biggest trends revealed in the Admitad report is the increase in the number of online shoppers. An estimated 1.9 billion shoppers – more than a quarter of the world’s total population – are expected to shop online in 2019, while the average penetration rate for online shopping is also predicted to increase to 63%. With a large percentage of this growth expected to come from smartphones, Admitad highlighted mobile as one of the most critical channels for marketers and advertisers looking to engage with their target audiences.

Another interesting trend to note is the rise of influencer marketing, which is expected to become the traffic channel promising the most dynamic growth. Admitad also expects small niche bloggers, social networks, and small YouTube channels to play a vital role in brand promotions in the future. The report further highlighted how advertisers who are ready to offer better conditions to publishers and better services to clients at a competitive price will have the upper hand in the affiliate marketing domain.

Other key highlights of the report include the increasing focus on content and automation, centralization and globalization, data security and privacy policies – all of which are expected to define the future of digital in coming years. However, challenges, such as the lack of competent specialists with in-depth knowledge about how affiliate networks need to comply with the requirements of data privacy regulations such as GDPR, will continue to impede the growth of affiliate marketing.

India: The new online destination?

With its online population expected to hit 700 million by 2020, India has emerged as one of the major focus areas in the latest Admitad report. The report mapped various trends, both existing and emerging, within the Indian online ecosystem to identify key opportunities and challenges.

To begin with, Admitad highlighted how mobile is the way to go for brands looking to reach out to the new-age Indian consumer. India ranks second in the world when it comes to mobile device purchases, requiring advertisers to adapt their shopping sites for the mobile screen. The Admitad report also indicated that marketers are beginning to realise that desktop and mobile do not oppose as platforms, but rather complement one another.

The report also underlined a major challenge that most brand advertisers in India currently face: seamless cross-browser and cross-device tracking. Admitad highlighted how its cutting-edge tracking code TagTag allows advertisers to achieve that objective while improving the quality of traffic tracking. Resistant to trending ad-blocking algorithms, even those integrated with browsers, TagTag is also fully compliant with data privacy laws and regulations. Admitad’s Mobile SDK tool also enabled partner advertisers to access newer sources of mobile internet traffic through deeper integrations.

The omnichannel approach is also picking up speed amongst Indian marketers, with a focus on enabling seamless integration and user comfort across multiple platforms, devices, and ad spaces that a user travels through. As a result, 66% of Indian retailers have indicated their interest in adapting their online platforms for mobile devices within the next two years, while 83% have expressed their intention of investing in marketing automation (including affiliate networks).

It was also noted that, while it was difficult to predict specific product demand during traditional holidays due to the sheer diversity of cultures and religions in India, dedicated sales campaigns typically drew a positive response from the country’s consumer base. Black Friday, for instance, registered a healthy year-on-year increase of 32% when it came to consumer interest, with the day-end sales standing at 622% more than any other Friday of the year. Affiliate marketing also saw a 25% increase in the number of orders in 2018, with categories such as Clothing & Shoes, Online Services, Food & Food Delivery, and Online Supermarkets generating the maximum demand.

Speaking about the findings, Neha Kulwal, CEO of Admitad India, said, “As growth opportunities within the traditional marketing space gradually exhaust, there are several exciting new opportunities emerging within the affiliate marketing space that can take the industry to a whole new level. This second Admitad Annual Report maps these trends and opportunities to provide advertisers a deeper insight into how the digital marketing landscape will eventually shape up, and how to direct their ad spending for the most optimum results. These insights will also help us, at Admitad, to create a more effective and personalised solutions for our clientele and drive better RoI for their digital campaigns.”