GUEST COLUMN: Changing Winds – The Rise of Online Services in India

Mumbai: The online service industry is on a continuous upward trend. Today, this industry contributes up to eight percent to the GDP of a fast-growing country like India. Online services have always existed in the market, but in the last two years it has massively expanded into other subcategories.

The hybrid working model and the growing need to have the essentials on the doorstep are increasing the demand for online services. Some of the main categories that have been shown to be part of individuals in Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities are online education, software, OTT and entertainment platforms, food delivery, groceries, cleaning services and many others that count under.

Various initiatives have been taken over time to increase consumer awareness of the ease of use of these services, which is rapidly leading this industry to become profitable and efficient. In an era of regular technological upheaval, the need to update and learn new technologies has become a top priority. The online services platform has seen 70 percent growth in 2021 – Rs 46 crore GMV on the Admitad platform. The major categories contributing to this growth are software programs, educational programs, OTT programs, and many others. It can be observed that consumers prefer these services and integrate them into their everyday lives.

Let’s dive deep into the two main categories of online services we’ve observed this year.

software programs

Not surprisingly, software programs are one of the most important drivers of success in the digital world. Whether your focus is B2B or B2C or both, there’s no denying that you’re in a lucrative playing field. In 2021, the software programs came into being as more and more end users started using different software and applications to help them in their daily work from home. Norton, BigRock, GoDaddy, HostGator, Namecheap, Tenorshare, Mcafee, and Easeus are some of the best online software platforms to name a few. The growing need for secure cloud platforms given the increasing frequency of cyber attacks and hacking is driving the demand for security software. With more visibility in this category, publishers have seen their traffic converted into revenue with an overall growth of 12x.

e-learning programs

The boom in e-learning has attracted a lot of attention this year. In order to achieve career growth and upgrade their knowledge, professionals in India focus on developing their skills. Post-pandemic, 2020 saw the rise of online education and e-learning as a service, but 2021 boomed. We saw an immense amount of traffic being diverted to the educational programs. More and more loyal partners, banks and telegrams focused their traffic on driving the online education programs. We saw an overall growth of 4.5x in the Education category. This category offers publishers an opportunity to thrive as more and more educational programs go live by the end of the year. Brands like Edureka, Unacademy, Harappa, Udemy, Skillshare, Top rankers have been the top contenders in the e-learning segment and have been offering the best to their users.

Influence of partner channel on online services

With an eye on the demand and market trend, these brands are trying to find low-cost channels to reach end consumers and to develop and implement strong growth strategies to move forward and differentiate themselves from the competition. To take advantage of such marketing strategies, companies have started to adapt performance-based channels. Aside from targeting a larger number of audiences, they are conscious of their ad spend and in order to maximize their ROI, they spend heavily on the low-cost affiliate channel. It allows brand marketers to fully conquer the market and leverage the various affiliate inventories to target all audiences. Online utilities generated 46 crores worth of GMV through the Admitad platform. The key partners behind this growth are cashback 43 percent, social affiliate 36 percent, coupon five percent, content 10 percent, email two percent, and four percent other year-to-date.

The online services market has tremendous potential now and certainly in the near future, and with the increasing use of the internet, businesses are creating more unique ways to reach every geography and potential customer. Even in the pandemic, we have seen them create great services and reach out to every person to meet their needs and requirements.

(Neha Kulwal is Country Manager at Admitad India. The views expressed in this column are personal and cannot subscribe to them.)

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