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Digital Experience 2012: The Top Six Trends for India


2011 was an impressive year for the digital world in India, and you can expect even more growth this year. Point of View by Sudhindra Venkateshamurthy, Head Experience Design, SapientNitro India

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									          POINT OF view
          POINT OF view

Digital Experience 2012:
The Top Six Trends for India
By: Sudhindra Venkateshamurthy, Head Experience Design, SapientNitro India

 2011 was an impressive year for the digital world in India. We saw companies and services proliferate
 and profit, and there was a strong social media presence among big brands such as Airtel, Mahindra,
 Babyoye, and Chivas. Ecommerce spending grew almost eight times from 2010 to 2011 and those
 people living in smaller towns are well on their way to becoming the biggest Internet consumers,
 out-surfing their tech-savvy metro neighbors.

 You can expect even more growth this year. The following are the six main trends I anticipate in 2012:

 Now that Flipkart has found success, we will see many more ecommerce sites follow suit and offer
 Cash on Delivery (COD). Although this seems to be the newest “in thing,” what we should realize is
 that it is not just COD that creates a winning business model; it is the whole package. COD with a
 favorable return policy, great customer service, plus a seamless integration between online and
 offline is what makes it tick.

 For example, Flipkart acknowledges the receipt of an online order through emails and SMS. And when
 the goods are on their way, they ensure the customers are informed well in advance so that they are
 ready with money. This level of detailed human experience thinking is what can make a service truly

 Mobile penetration is at an all-time high. As smartphones get cheaper and better, and the Internet
 bandwidths provide adequate browsing capabilities (though there still is a lot of room for improvement),
 companies will get their mobile version sites up and running.

 In the past, companies often only invested in a mobile site. Now, they will start looking at options to
 leverage location-based technology, offer downloadable free mobile apps, and create stripped-down
 versions of their main sites usable on mobile browsers.

 The latter part of the year may see major retailers creating digitized experiences within their physical
 stores. Think: interactive exhibits and Kinect-like interactions. These experiences and devices that are
 already making strong appearances in the Western world may become a reality in India sooner rather
 than later.

                      IDEA ENGINEERS                                                     © Sapient Corporation 2012
            POINT OF view

  Similarly, kiosks and digital interactive walls will see the light of the day—for entertainment purposes
  at first and as a support for operations in the longer run.

  Today there is a lot of focus and effort on “pushing” products through ads, but the same intensity lacks
  on the service side of things. A lot of ecommerce portals will try to establish a strong customer service
  network. And companies and brands have already started realizing the value of good customer service.

  For example, you have portals such as that will give you a call the moment you get stuck
  in any commerce action, like during checkout. Of course, one would argue that it is better to create an
  online experience where people do not get stuck in the first place, but a timely call greatly helps the
  less tech-savvy.

  Ecommerce sites will increasingly face the challenges of delivery and returns of goods. An online
  experience may be great, but it has to be complemented by an equally capable offline experience
  for the brand to make a strong mark.

  Smaller companies, start-ups, and new players will increase their spends in order to provide an
  experience to people who use their digitized properties. Companies have begun to realize the value
  of understanding human behavior in terms of their interactions with digital products and that will
  show in enhanced experiences—be it booking tickets online or sharing a private celebration with
  family and friends.

  As is tradition, we will continue to see a thousand other “copies” that aim to make a quick buck. And
  as history has shown, they may make a short-term gain, but eventually the market will separate the
  wheat from the chaff. Remember, copycats may be able to closely follow the original, but they will
  never surpass it.

  People have shown their faith in the digital world, as is apparent through the sheer growing volume of
  transactions online. But companies and brands that understand the difference between experience and
  expertise will lead the race in 2012.

                                    Sudhindra is a Certified Usability Analyst with over 12 years in various
                                    roles and capacities architecting User Interfaces. He heads the
                                    Experience Design for SapientNitro in India and leads the capacity in
                                    client delivery and standards. He has extensive hands-on experience
                                    in the length and breadth of the User Centered Design Methodology,
                                    having led several medium to large projects across Corporate Banking,
                                    Airline, News and Media, Drug Discovery, Healthcare, and IT Domains.

                                    Sudhindra is an advocate of Emotional Design and is passionate about
                                    aesthetics and usability. His interests include exploring and developing
                                    interfaces that shape behavior and habits and that enhance the quality of
                                    everyday life. He has conducted trainings on User Experience and is also
                                    a regular speaker at local conferences and events.
Sudhindra Venkateshamurthy

                       IDEA ENGINEERS                                                    © Sapient Corporation 2012

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