Now, Rural India is selling cows, buffaloes on the internet. Black ‘Murrah’ buffalo with short and tightly curled horns for Rs.80,000 and herd of 10 ‘Holstein Friesians’ cows at Rs.6 lakh on the click of the mouse — the Indian online classifieds are moving beyond usual items with increasing internet penetration in smaller towns and villages.
Online classifieds players Quikr and Olx are finding good traction for their business from semi urban and rural areas in states like West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Orissa, Assam and Uttar Pradesh.While the main metros continue to be top contributors to online classified players, the rapidly increasing internet usage in Tier 2 and Tier 3 towns has boosted their growth tremendously. Thus, it is not surprising that enterprising farmers are using them to sell their pets and animals as well. Still at a nascent stage, the sites are currently working on a hybrid model that includes paid listings and advertising.
With an internet user base of over 125 million, which is likely to grow to half a billion over the next few years, and an established mobile base of 950 million, coupled with a large and talented pool of human resources, India is a key player in the cyber world.
Connecting 10,000 Indian villages to high-speed broadband
Broadband connectivity connectivity not only improves delivery of government schemes, but also empowers rural people. The Bharat Broadband Network (BBNL), the company which has the mandate to rollout broadband network, will oversee the rollout of a 100Mbps fibre broadband network that will reach 250,000 villages across India, known as gram panchayats, according to a report in The Hindu.
The network will have sufficient redundancy to survive multiple blackouts and a “ring architecture is also being considered” to provide multiple backup points. If a cable connecting to a village gets disconnected, other cables in the vicinity will help the village office remain online.
India’s Rural Online Marketing is Untapped
The rural customer is different from urban customers. Their needs are definitely different and how they buy and use your product might be different. It’s also importantto understand their digital behavior. How do they use digital if at all they use it? What is their reason for using technology? All these are part of the questions need to answer if you want to be effective in anticipating and satisfying their needs profitably using e-marketing. Another challenge that needs to be tackled might be that conventional means of understanding online customers might not directly apply to rural customers in India. You need to be come up with ways that will be effective for this group.
- Online marketing is viewed as less expensive than traditional marketing
- Small town businesses see the potential for business growth using the Internet
- A practical mind will always look for the writing on the wall
- Even rural small business owners realize that a website is a necessity in today’s high-technology fast-paced world
- The rising cost of gasoline means business owners in the area expect customers to come to them, not the other way around
The important thing is to understand rural customers’ needs; there is a challenge of making the right technology and marketing choices. What e-marketing channels are being utilized? What other marketing are going to be engaged in?
Probably the only channel that could be effective for e-marketing in rural India might be mobile. A decent population of those within working demographics in the rural areas of India might be mobile savvy and could be marketed to using SMS. Integrating mobile with other offline marketing might be effective for such customers.
When we are thinking about e-marketing, Internet penetration is inherent. What if there is no internet connectivity?