In India, Nutgraf estimates that the total number of users who buy stuff online is 70 million – 5% of the total population. More from Nutgraf on the Indian online consumer pyramid:
Level C: India’s entry shoppers. At the lowest level, with the broadest base, comprising roughly 40 million users. These users are the ones who have bought something online, but have done it very sparingly. Maybe once or twice last year, and they have done it because they heard that one gets a good deal online for a really important purchase, which is usually a mobile phone.
Level B: India’s occasional shoppers. At the middle level, comprising roughly 20 million users. These users may buy something online, but will venture outside online shopping very, very sparingly. Think of users like our moms and dads, who spend money online to get food from Zomato as a treat, or maybe take an Ola once a month if they are feeling particularly generous. It’s a base that’s somewhat comfortable online, but can’t be relied on to spend regularly.
Level A: India’s California users. At the highest level, comprising 10 million users. If you are reading this, you are likely in this category. You are a digital native. You buy nearly everything online—from products, to groceries, to food. You may even have a Netflix subscription. You are the elite user—the one with a lot of spending power. They may be just 15% of the active transacting customer base, but …they account for nearly 40% of the money spent by this pyramid.
In comparison, Nutgraf says that China, with a per capita income of 5X of India, has a transacting base of 800 million, more than 10X of India.
Indian businesses are spending Rs 25,000 crore annually for these 7 crore customers, with 80% of the spends going to Google and Facebook. That comes to Rs 3,500 per online customer annually. If we narrow it down, about Rs 10,000 is being spent annually on each of the 1 crore Level A customers. Since everyone wants them, their attention recession can become very expensive for brands.
The only way to break this cycle of ever-increasing acquisition spending is for brands to focus on the idea they have missed – Attention Messaging. Push messages hold the key to getting attention from existing customers. Other than the availability of new channels for pushing messages (push notifications, WhatsApp), there has been little or no innovation in this forgotten category. And yet, Attention Messaging is what will make the difference between continuous burn and persistent profits.