Consumers go shop hopping for deals

Written by Neha Pal | Neha Pal | New Delhi | Updated: Nov 30 2010, 16:49pm hrs
A study by the Nielsen company on shopper habits and retailer strategies across urban India reveals that the modern Indian shopper, instead of depending on one store, is moving across store types. According to Nielsen, the Crossover Shopper is a phenomenon that has come of age in India. Radhika Chandok, executive director, The Nielsen Company, said, While retailers usually see shoppers gravitating towards one or two shop types as the market evolves, the Crossover Shopper is the new phenomenon in India as shoppers have now developed a fixed set of stores across format types to meet multiple needs.

Chandok further said that the modern Indian shopper is visiting a broad variety of stores, is brand loyal and value conscious. According to Nielsen, Of the shoppers studied, nearly 40% claimed to know the prices of most items and nearly half (45%) claimed to notice a difference in prices across modern and traditional trade formats. Armed with this value awareness, the Indian shopper is simultaneously loyal to multiple store formats rather than gravitating towards any one kind.

The study found shoppers were also more demanding and responded readily to products and packaging that smell, feel and taste better at the point of sale. According to Nielsen, as markets evolve shoppers usually gravitate towards certain formats. In the Indian case, however, shoppers are value hunting across formats simultaneously.

This opens up a wide range of opportunities for marketers who can then get a fix on what the right repertoire of stores for their shoppers are. In some cases, it may be a matter of frequency with the modern trade being used for monthly purchases and traditional stores for daily items. In other cases, it may be an SKU Play with bulk packs from modern trade and small packs from the traditional trade. But it will vary from category to category and thats where the opportunities for marketers to outsmart competition by understanding demand better will lie.

The new Indian shopper needs to have tactile and sensorial interaction with products at the point of sale. Whether it is chewing rice grains, touching toothbrush bristles or sniffing soap wrappers to make a decision, the consumer is not afraid to let his experiences dictate his purchase choices, said Chandok. She further said that mediums of communication with shoppers were fragmenting across multiple platforms.