How to use social commerce to reach rural India

J Venkat, Co-Founder, Woovly, writes that leveraging the power of social media, connecting with local influencers, creating value-added content and embracing regional languages can unlock the vast potential of social commerce in rural India

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J Venkat

Social commerce, a method to sell products through social content has gained significant traction in recent years. Social commerce allows users to make purchases directly within the social media platform, unlike traditional e-commerce.

With its interactive and engaging nature, short video content has become a popular format for social commerce. Moreover, social commerce offers a time-saving advantage for rural shoppers, combining the features of social media and online shopping. To effectively utilise social commerce and reach rural India, it is crucial to adopt a strategic approach that considers the unique characteristics and challenges of this market segment.

Market research is essential to gain valuable insights into the demographics, preferences, cultural nuances, and purchasing power of rural populations in India. This information enables businesses to customise their social commerce strategies and tailor their messaging and offerings to resonate with the rural audience. By understanding the specific needs and aspirations of the rural population, businesses can develop a strong connection and build trust.

Utilising influencer marketing

Creating awareness, building trust, and driving engagement for products or services can be accomplished by collaborating with local influencers in rural areas. Leveraging influencers to create content around the product, especially in a short video format, can amplify its appeal. Infusing creativity and entertainment into the content helps captivate the attention of rural audiences and generate interest in the offerings.

Creating value-added content

To engage rural consumers effectively, businesses should focus on creating informative and engaging content that addresses their questions and concerns. Answering queries such as the product's purpose, its benefits, and price points, as well as comparing it with competing products, can be presented as a video catalogue. This approach provides rural customers with the necessary information to make informed purchasing decisions and highlights the unique selling points of the offerings.

Building trust and credibility

Establishing trust and credibility is crucial in social commerce. Authentic communication, transparency, and avoiding exaggerated claims or false promises are key elements in cultivating trust. Clearly communicating the features, benefits, and limitations of products or services sets realistic expectations. Sharing success stories, case studies, or user-generated content that showcases how the offerings have positively impacted rural customers can strengthen the reliability and effectiveness of the brand.

Leveraging regional languages

To connect with rural audiences, it is essential to create content in regional languages that resonate with their culture, values, and aspirations. This demonstrates a genuine understanding of their unique needs and preferences. By embracing regional languages, businesses can forge deeper connections and build trust, ultimately increasing engagement and conversion rates.

Adapting to local payment preferences

Offering multiple payment options, including cash on delivery (COD), is crucial to accommodate the preferences of rural consumers. COD remains widely preferred in rural areas, and businesses should leverage it to facilitate smooth transactions. Additionally, incorporating mobile payment solutions like UPI (Unified Payments Interface) caters to the increasing adoption of digital payments in rural India.

Simplifying the user experience

Since smartphones are the primary mode of internet access in rural India, optimizing websites and online stores for mobile devices is vital. Providing users with a seamless and user-friendly experience requires an intuitive, lightweight user interface that is compatible with slow internet speeds. Simplifying the user experience enhances customer satisfaction and encourages repeat purchases.

Reliable and accessible customer support

Providing excellent after-sales support is essential for building trust and customer loyalty in rural areas. A customer service helpline or online chat support that responds promptly and efficiently to queries, concerns, and grievances demonstrates a commitment to customer service. Reliable and accessible customer support contributes to a positive brand image and fosters customer loyalty.

Reaching rural India through social commerce requires a dedicated commitment, ongoing adaptation, and a deep understanding of the needs and aspirations of the rural population. By customising approaches to suit the unique characteristics of rural India, businesses can successfully tap into this market segment and foster engagement and sales through social commerce. Due to the rapid growth of the social commerce industry in India, businesses have a tremendous opportunity to expand in rural areas and achieve substantial growth. By leveraging the power of social media, connecting with local influencers, creating value-added content, building trust and credibility, embracing regional languages, adapting to local payment preferences, simplifying the user experience, and providing reliable customer support, businesses can unlock the vast potential of social commerce in rural India.

Social commerce social media regional languages local influencers J Venkat content influencer Woovly rural India