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Study: Internet users in India Plan their Online Visits Better
Study: Internet users in India Plan their Online Visits Better
By: Sahil Shah

According to a recent survey done by Microsoft Advertising, MEC and Mindshare, Internet users in India are planning the majority of their online visits better than ever before. It seems like the consumer is putting some thought to the whole experience of being online. 

This certainly is a great sign for the online marketing industry as it gives insights into consumer’s online behavior that has now become more serious online. This survey was aimed towards providing marketers and brands with a better understanding of how to utilize insights to shape up their communication strategies.
The following are excerpts from the survey with regards to India’s Internet usage:
  • Besides most Indian users planning their online visits, shopping & creative activities online remain impulsive.
  • 81% of Indian users spend time online finding information and social networking online. Both these activities are planned by all the users
  • 60% of planned activity online comprises of users seeking for online entertainment including downloading or streaming of videos, playing games or listening to music
  • About 48% users randomly use their time for transactions such as paying their bills or online shopping
  • Most interesting is that 44% of users initially plan to participate in various activities, but instead end up updating their blog, profile page, or even upload photos or videos
As the study explains, meaningless surfing is declining opposed to a more time-efficient, planned and deliberate approach by the Indian users. With the increasing clutter of information, it is very important for marketers to understand their target audience’s surfing habit and patterns; and realize where, how and when is the ideal time to best engage with them. 
What Indian Internet users are doing online:
  • 49% of user activity is related to communicate with others via social networking sites and IMs
  • About 35% of activity is involved with seeking information online thus explaining the importance of SEO and SEM usage by marketers
  • Surprisingly entertainment, being at a modest 22%,is not a big motivation for users to go online
  • Creation of content in the digital space comprises of 14% of online activity while 12% is activity is given to online transactions
Also as per the study, most of the time users spend is in communicating and seeking information. This is where the role of media planning and buying as well as content creation and development will make a difference. Advertisers should seriously consider these trends while planning their media and communication strategy
Platform Usage:
  • Smartphone and Laptop users activity while using social networks for communication and content creation is higher than the desktop users activity
  • Interestingly, except for online information seeking and content creation, laptops are more favorable when it comes to: 
    • Communication: Laptop (51%) versus Smartphone (46%)
    • Entertainment: Laptop (23%) versus Smartphone (17%)
    • Transaction: Laptop (13%) versus Smartphone (8%)
All platforms in India are currently doing equally great with the amount of online surfing happening these days. It is inevitable for marketers to be present and active on platforms that consumers use to go online. For e.g.the increasing use of mobile browsing clearly explains the dire need for more applications and mobile websites.
This clearly shows the important consumer trends online and how marketers are evolving with their targeted campaigns. The opportunities in the online space are immense and it is about time marketers look at such insights to get their brand communication across to the end consumer in the best possible manner.

Sahil is an Account Manager with WATConsult, a leading Social Media Agency who has worked on an array of brands like Gillette, Warner Bros, Sony Music, Virgin Mobile, etc. He also writes for a popular blog Penn Olson & has himself mentioned as a ‘Digital Media Expert’ in the Digital Media in India wiki doc. Follow him on twitter @sahielshah