Consumers are carefully evaluating needs versus wants of products and services making a shift towards less discretionary purchases
Over the last six weeks of lockdown, consumer habits have evolved leading to a shift in spending patterns towards less discretionary purchases, locally sourced items as well as the rise in intent to leverage digital services, said a study conducted by Deloitte. The report ‘Deloitte Global State of the Consumer Tracker’ highlights the current state of Indian consumer who is anxious about health and safety at one end and is also trying to stitch up a plan for the new normal.
According to the survey, spending pattern of the consumers has changed with 55% respondents willing to spend a lot more on less discretionary items like groceries, 52% on everyday household goods, 31% on healthcare, 47% on medicines and 46% on home internet/mobile phone vis-à-vis discretionary items like cable TV (31%) and entertainment (29%). Moreover, 72% consumers want to buy from locally sourced items going forward which also goes on to show the trust built by kiranas during lockdown.
The report also draws attention towards the intent to use digital services, which has seen a rise with 44% respondents very likely to use it for groceries, 27% for virtual doctor appointments, 36% for exercise programs, 52% for video conferencing with family and friends, 47% for streaming entertainment and 53% for payment apps/services. “51% respondents feel the trend of online buying and pickup in-store is a safer option, while 37% respondents feel that it’s faster than shopping in the store,” the report stated.
The survey gives a pulse of the consumer behaviour and trend during these challenging times, Anil Talreja, partner and leader, Consumer Industry, Deloitte India, said. “It gives a reflection of the heightened consumer apprehension, which are at the core of their decision-making. This, in turn, will also steer consumer product companies to build their new strategies around sales and marketing. Building value for brands virtually is going to be another task that companies would need to focus on in the future”.
Going ahead, consumers are more likely to purchase from brands that have responded well to the crisis. “The India shopper is thus loyal to the demand fulfilment and authenticity of brands much more than brand loyalty during crisis,” the report highlighted.