In the last four years, India’s internet population has almost doubled to 430 million. The number of internet users who conduct digital transactions online, however, is still relatively low: only 1 in 5 shops online, 1 in 6 book travel packages online, and even fewer pay for video and music streaming services. But that’s going to change, according to a recent study showing that today’s $40 billion in online spending will nearly triple by 2020, leaping to $100 billion in India. This is an incredible opportunity for marketers who can evolve with the technological and demographic changes and refresh online shopping (and marketing) experiences accordingly.

“Near me” is as much about need as it is about the place

You might typically associate a “near me” search with something like “restaurants near me” or “gas station near me.” But Google is seeing growth in “near me” searches for very specific items, everything from “cowboy boots near me” to “where to get a facial near me” and “tarragon near me,” writes Lisa Gevelber, VP of marketing for the Americas at Google.

And if you want a crystal clear example of purchase intent, “near me” mobile searches that contain a variant of “can I buy” or “to buy” have grown over 500% over the last two years. These include things like “where can I buy stamps near me,” “places to buy scrubs near me,” and “where to buy vinyl records near me.”

Whether it’s a jar of spices or a restaurant, today’s impatient consumers want things at the moment they need them — which is typical “now.” We’ve also seen more than 200% growth in mobile searches for “open” + “now” + “near me” (for example, “stores open near me right now” and “pharmacy near me open now”).

The challenge for marketers is to make sure you’re giving people the answers they’re looking for as quickly as possible. The reward is capturing their consideration — and the sale.


“When someone is searching for the nearest places to buy must-have items, we’re working to ensure our local store inventories are stocked. In those catastrophic moments when people need us most, we’re there for them — whether that’s in-store, online, or in search.”

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