How to conquer the Indian online market

Publication date: 18 Feb 2020

India attracts investors from around the world as much as China and the U.S do.

Advantages of online audience from India

  • There is potential audience of 450 million active internet users—these are all Indians who have access to 4G high speed internet.
  • Population is partially English-speaking.
  • Unlike China, India hasn’t banned Google’s search engine and Google Play.
    Audience is mostly young-aged.

What is risky about the Indian market?

Few Indians are ready to pay for apps, subscriptions, or online products. Everything can be downloaded for free with the help of torrent files or found on online resources; friends share logins and passwords with each other.

Indians, however, treat educational products and services in a totally different way. Parents willingly pay for education of their children. For example, an app for learning physics, algebra, or other school subjects with a teacher online is extremely popular.

Android accounts for 91% of the smartphone market there. The common belief is that Android users are less likely to pay for apps than iOS users. If you decide to work with the Indian market, you will have to deal with the Android platform. It means your products have to run very smoothly on Android rather than iOS devices.

Price does matter
The big question is how to price a subscription or product. Generally speaking, Indians would rather buy products under 200 rupees than for 500 rupees—such price makes people ask themselves whether they really need this product.

Entering the Indian market with card or PayPal payments means having fewer opportunities. Most people there choose PayTM (the largest payment system in India), Razorpay, and Mobikwik payments. Availability of local payment systems for web, Android, and iOS products is a must. In India, App Store and Google Play allow using third-party payment systems inside apps.

Traffic from India: how to get the most

Indian online audience is used to high-quality apps. If there are any bugs or complicated sign-up forms in an app, users simply delete it.
The market is very promising, but consumption behavior peculiarities make it a difficult place to get quick results. Many companies start with focusing on DAU (daily active users) growth and then proceed to revenue growth. If you can’t afford losing money for some time, you’d better postpone your Indian market entry.

Facebook, YouTube Ads, and blogger marketing give the best conversion rates. Look for cross-promotional partnership or B2B deals with locals. Run split tests to find out what can boost your conversion rate: longer-term trials (for example, offer users to try out your product for free for one month), various coupons and promo codes (introduce a 1 rupee offer for the first month), prices.

Despite the fact that the Indian online market reaches 500 million user mark, only 70-100 million people speak English. Others will be unable to consume content due poor English language proficiency. Start advertising in English, but you’ll need Hindi and local languages to reach the largest audience possible.

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