2014 was a great year for local businesses in India. With the emergence of Zomato and Justdial, many local businesses established their online presence. This presence, which was earlier limited to a facebook page in some cases, has changed the perspective of internet for Indian businesses. Now shop owners/ restaurants believe that their online presence does impact their offline sales. Customers in local vicinities can find the desired product(eg. Food) or service(eg. Laptop repair) by a simple Google search.
2015 would bring more such businesses online and each will compete for the top position in third party websites. They will customise their description or collect huge number of positive reviews to become the preference of a customer.
But what if they acquire the customer without the customer going through all those reviews?
Year 2015 should mark the move of local businesses towards Google Adwards, especially search ads.
Here is a sample of Biryani in Mumbai search result.
One can set one's phone number in the ad and customers can directly click call and place an order.
This way they can tap a customer well before he/she compares you with your competitors. As this space would be nascent, businesses would not have high bids to pay.
Businesses should not look it as pure ROI terms, they should consider the long term association with the customer(Customer Acquisition). They should use AdWords as a business development tool. The extent of customization and targeting AdWords have is amazing and should be exploited by all the intelligent local businesses to stay ahead of the competition.