More than 85% of India's retail marketers cited email as being an important channel in their overall marketing mix, with email marketing continuing to be placed in the top three online marketing channels, according to a joint survey by Octane Marketing and the Retailers Association of India (RAI). This article is copyright 2015 The Best Customer Guide.

The survey, entitled 'The India Retail e-Marketing Study', was based on responses from more than 80 major retailers nationwide and aimed to provide a clear snapshot of the present state of retail marketing in India, as well as their marketing plans for 2015 and beyond.

Among the study's key findings:

  • Customer acquisition remains the primary marketing goal of Indian retailers, with 58% voting for this goal;
  • Social media was cited as the primary online marketing activity by 79% of Indian retail marketers - a full 30% increase over 2014;
  • Print promotion remained the top choice for 77% of Indian retailers as their preferred offline marketing channel;
  • 95% said that the mobile channel is "important" or "very important" to them and that they currently use it as their part of their marketing strategy;
  • 72% of e-commerce companies with an annual turnover of Rs.20crore - 100crore (approx. US$3.1m - US$15.6m) generate 30% or more of their revenue from online marketing.

The study also noted that shopping cart abandonment is a critical issue for all of the online retailers who participated, and that deploying relatively simple cart abandonment programmes (CAPs) can increase revenue significantly. However, only 12% of Indian retail marketers have yet deployed such a programme.

"Going forward we expect to see a rise in the use of social media, and the continued importance of both email and SMS marketing," concluded Punit Modhgil, managing director for Octane Marketing. "And the deployment of cart abandonment programmes could result in a 10%-15% increase in revenues for e-commerce companies in India."