As of January 2018, there are almost 7.6 billion digital users worldwide. Roughly 4 billion of those are internet users. That means that over half the world is now online, with a quarter of those users joining in 2017 alone. Social media usage is at nearly 3.2 billion. Facebook is still the most popular platform at 2.17 billion users, with YouTube the second runner-up at 1.5 billion. For better or worse, technology is here to stay, and companies that want to stay in business will have to stay abreast of constantly evolving trends. This includes trends in technology as well as social trends like the health-and-wellness industry, which has become less of a trend than a lifestyle, thanks to younger generations’ interest in organic food and natural products.
While the natural health boom is a major aspect of modern American culture, it’s important to note that many of the products and techniques associated with it come from other countries, like India, where the mind-and-body wellness philosophy known as Ayurveda has been practiced for centuries. In fact, according to Naturevibe Botanicals’ CEO, Rishabh Chokhani, India could become the largest provider of natural health products in the US due to the countries’ focus on the industry and India’s growing emphasis on the following technological issues. Thus, when it comes to marketing eastern health-and-wellness in the west, here are three factors to consider:
The Convenience of E-Commerce
Almost 1.8 billion people, or 23% of the global population, make purchases digitally. Many of these people are millennials. Millennials love online shopping. They also represent the largest generation of consumers in the US. While India trails the rest of the world in terms of online shopping at only 26% of the population, the country’s digital imprint is expected to increase. This is due to several factors, including an increasingly free-market economy; the demonetization of cash currency that began in November 2016, which is designed to increase the country’s digital imprint; and the growing emphasis on entrepreneurship, startups, and technology.
The Popularity of Smartphones
With millions of people queuing up to buy an iPhone every year, calling smartphones “popular” is something of an understatement. Over two-thirds of the world’s population has a mobile device and most of those devices are smartphones. Combined, mobile usage accounts for 52% of web traffic, versus 43% for desktops and laptops. In India, smartphone usage is a whopping four times greater than desktop usage. For Facebook, this means that 91.5% of its active users access the site via smartphone, while only 31.8% do so from a desktop or laptop. According to another survey, 63% of millennials are also using their smartphones to make purchases online, while the 53% that prefer to shop in-store often use their mobile device to search for coupons, snap and post pics of potential purchases, and browse the internet while they’re waiting in line. Current statistics indicate that increased mobile usage will continue to fuel online interactions and sales among the next generation of digital users.
The Importance of Social Media
Social media isn’t going anywhere either. According to Rival IQ, 30% of online shoppers are willing to use platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to make purchases digitally. Businesses with a strong social media presence are much more likely to attract a millennial shopper, especially if they have a fast response time for questions or complaints, as well as a professional demeanor. Social media also plays an important role in the time before and after a purchase, with shoppers liking, commenting, and sharing items with their friends and followers online. According to HubSpot, video marketing is also on the rise, with consumers being four times more likely to watch a product video than to read a product description. The same study indicates that 45% of people watch an hour’s worth of Facebook or YouTube videos per week.
Thus, if India’s economy continues to grow in relation to its population, the nation is projected to have the third largest consumer market in 2030, ahead of Japan and Germany. That means that more people will be investing in technology and using it to make purchases digitally. It also means that it’ll be easier to buy, sell, market, and share cross-cultural commodities – such as natural botanicals, essential oils, and other holistic supplements – with the global community.