Simplify the customer’s buying journey and go UPI: Razorpay’s mantra on winning Bharat customers
We are a country full of curious and loyal consumers. Consumers in India and Bharat today are highly influenced by the Internet and are continuing to see a great appetite for online shopping. With a country as diverse as ours, consumers are fragmented, displaying their own sets of behaviour traits that come with their individual set of challenges and opportunities.
With non-metros quickly overtaking metros as centres of fast growth, how are startups looking at winning Bharat customers? Speaking at a panel discussion themed ‘Winning Bharat’ at the recently-concluded YourStory’s Brand Residency 2022 in Delhi, Gaurav Dadhich, General Manager - Product Management,, who currently heads the company’s Checkout product suite, says, “I often say that there is a Bharat in India and an India in Bharat. So, there are people who are geographically located in Tier II, Tier III cities but exhibit Metro Tier 1 behaviour so it becomes difficult from a geographical data point to understand who your customer is.”
Gaurav, however, believes that if you are building products for those in Bharat, you need to step out and meet them to understand them better.
Razorpay works with merchants so the limited view regarding a Bharat customer or an India customer depends on the way they behave on the payment page – how they interact with payments, what kind of payment methods they use, what is the ticket size of payment, how frequently they make payments, and the ease with which they make the payments.
Simplify and go UPI
The bottomline, Gaurav underlines, is to simplify the buying journey and push for UPI payments. “Greater than 2/3rd volumes are driven by UPI; it’s a very popular method. It is very simple to use and we have ways to make it even simpler,” he says.
When it comes to the buying journey, adds Gaurav, 70 percent of ‘Add-to-Cart’ doesn’t really translate to a purchase. Of that 70 percent, 80 percent is lost because the customer is asked to fill out too many forms – first, to open an account, then to key in the address, enter preferred delivery slots etc. “Take some decisions on behalf of your customer and simplify their buying journey. If you do those things right, then you will have a super-improved conversion funnel and your sales will grow. And all of this can happen without running too many marketing ads,” he stresses.
Sharing his perspective on what startups need to do to attract more customers from Tier II and Tier III cities, Gudipudi Krishna Sharma, Manager, Startup India notes, “Startups need to focus on linguistics since that is where customers in Tier II and Tier III cities would relate to. When we started, our website was in English and Hindi but now we have our website in multiple languages. People tend to relate to a product or a service if it is mentioned in their own language, and when you have the option of having various other languages on your website it would help them navigate easily.”
Krishna elaborated on how the government is trying to support startups from Tier II and Tier III cities. “The aspirations of entrepreneurs from Tier II and Tier III cities are huge. Back in 2016 when the Startup India initiative was launched, there were only four states that had their startup policies. Today, we have 31 states and UTs, which have their exclusive startup policies. Every state government has to offer particular allowances – be it sustenance allowance, marketing allowance, seed fund – easily you can get Rs 10,000 per month,” he says.
Even a state like Goa, which is an emerging startup hub, has dispersed incentives during COVID to all its registered and recognised startups. Similarly, Jaipur has 40 funded companies headquartered there and that is how the wave is completely changing, he highlights.
Understanding your target market
Shalini Sinha Raj, Founder, The Infused Kettle spoke of how important it is to understand the target audience before introducing your products to them. "I sell purple tea and I understand that my target audience lies in the metros and B-class cities. But I cannot go to a rural area to sell my purple tea. Obviously, there will be no market for it there,” she says.
Sharing his experience of dealing with customers from Tier II and Tier III cities, Lokendra Singh Ranawat, CEO and Co-founder, Wooden Street says, “After the pandemic, we’ve seen a drastic surge in online searches from customers in Tier II and Tier III cities. While the demand existed there, these cities did face supply chain delivery issues. Given the nature of our business, people still need a touch-and-feel approach when it comes to buying high-ticket size items like furniture. So, we have opened a lot of experience studios in Tier II and III cities to build trust among the consumers. Once you get an experience offline, and if you have a good reputation online, customers are okay to buy the product.”
Instilling trust in customers
Reiterating the trust factor, Gaurav emphasised that startups need to create policies such that they extend their trust towards customers, and in turn, customers will begin to trust them. “There is a second order impact of that trust problem into many other factors. If I trust a website or a marketplace, my intent in online shopping will increase. Startups can then try to add discounts, better payment mechanisms, brand partnerships etc to improve the intent problem. You need to find your way into trust especially when you are a new brand,” he says.
In every ecosystem, the maximum loss is because of bad actors. There will be some entrepreneurs who compromise on the product quality instilling mistrust in the customers. Such entrepreneurs who play the short game create a different set of challenges in the market with respect to trust. One bad experience can leave a bad taste in the mouth for a customer. That barrier stands tall in front of customers and you need to break that barrier, Gaurav concludes.
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