Expanding MSME retail through digital channels

The Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) sector plays a vital role in the current economic scheme of things in India. The MSME sector adds to manufacturing output, employment and exports emerging as a dynamic and rapidly growing segment of the economy.

When it comes to MSME retail via digital channel, it is perhaps a great way to expand retail as MSMEs who do not have large budgets for marketing. Indeed micro, small and medium size businesses are more probable to flourish with this kind of marketing which lets them reach their target customers. Many misunderstand that marketing through digital channels is a strategy strictly meant for online businesses especially in the tier-2 and tier-3 cities. Spreading digital awareness in these regions of the country is the need of the hour.

According to various studies conducted by Accenture, Forrester Research, Yahoo, and comScore, almost 92% of purchases take place offline following online consumer activity. Going digital is not only the new way of business but also the need of the hour. Digital channels can prove to be a boosting platform for MSMEs retail in the following ways:

  1. Taping the power of Big Data: Leveraging Big Data & Analytics can empower MSMEs with vital business insights to figure out the behaviours, preferences, and demographics of the customer. The data can be better comprehended from a wide range of sources including search, social, customer relationship management (CRM) systems and third parties. Analysing relevant data will not only help MSME to interpret the customer’s perception of the brand but it will also bring out the level of commitment that the enterprise is currently having with the customers. This also helps to develop targeted campaigns around user behaviours and patterns, type of content they find interesting, and where they choose to interact.
  2. Improving Customer experience: In today’s time, most consumers like to voice online, their opinions, viewpoints about the products and services they have used. Review sites are a great way to reward the most loyal customers; while it can also help to solve the problems of those who are not fond of the concerned brand.
  3. Focuses on building a brand: It is truly said in the modern times, that offline popularity reflects in your online presence. Using digital channel networks and third platforms in SMAC helps in channelizing business interests and leveraging new marketing and growth channels. Having a good online presence goes a long way in establishing credibility of even offline brands.

MSMEs have been skeptical because of a lack of knowledge which renders them unable to figure out the ROIs on online investment and its impact on their offline retail. Online users are the real customers and can influence your offline sales not just in a big way traditionally but also through new business avenues and sales and marketing channels.

During the week long digital literacy drive, women were trained to use mobile apps to buy groceries and daily products, to help them manage work-life more effectively. PwC volunteers also spent time with girl children and shared with them valuable lessons on how to be focussed and career-oriented.

Bal Umang Drishya Sansthan (BUDS) Counsellor, Sandhya Mandal said, “I’m grateful to PwC for training the children as well as our team at BUDS. This learning has enhanced our experience with technology and will empower our trainers to guide children in their quest for knowledge in the digital space.”

According to UNESCO’s Sustainable Development Goal 4, this particular target focusses on equipping young people and adults with specific skills, which includes technical and vocational skills, to find decent employment by 2030.

By: Asma Javed, GM, M3M India Private Limited.

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