Jain noted that right now, there is a strong "downward trading behaviour" and consumers are bargain hunting as they want to conserve cash.
Consumers in the country are starting to downtrade and hunt for bargains in certain product categories, and many people are trying their hands at DIY (do-it-yourself) items as they stay indoors amid the COVID-19 pandemic, according to reports released by Facebook India and BCG.
The three reports sought to delve into the COVID-19 induced changes in the consumer path-to-purchase across various categories. They found that digital influence has increased significantly among urban consumers in categories like mobile phones, apparel, and non-food consumer packaged goods (CPG) categories.
Boston Consulting Group Managing Director and Partner Nimisha Jain said over the course of the last three months, consumer attitudes and behaviours have undergone some very fundamental changes.
“We are starting to see a behaviour of trading down and bargain hunting. India was a country where over the last decade, we have actually seen a strong trading up behaviour where every time the consumer bought something, they actually looked to trade up to superior brands, to higher priced offering, in mobile phone category for example,” she added.
Jain noted that right now, there is a strong “downward trading behaviour” and consumers are bargain hunting as they want to conserve cash.
“We are also seeing a big shift where rather than being driven by what’s trending, consumers are starting to be more thoughtful and becoming much more functional in the way they make choices.
“Also, trust is a lot more important than experimentation and trial, whether it is local or international brand,” she said. Jain said new consumer habits are also emerging.
“Consumers are really trying their hands at DIY as has never been seen before. Whether they will continue, will depend on how the need for safety evolves. But this is giving rise to a need for different set of categories like cooking kits,” she added.
Sandeep Bhushan, director and head, Global Marketing Solutions at Facebook India, said it is important that brands amp up their digital engagement and customise their proposition to win in the new normal.
“We know that digital influence has significantly increased across the path-to-purchase…We are now seeing businesses convert this increased digital influence into tangible business outcomes. A significant digital acceleration has happened on the back of social media,” he said.
The opportunity for businesses now is to adopt new solutions, replicate in-person experiences by bringing alive virtual experiences, focus on efficiency and leverage friction-less ways of staying in touch with the consumer in times of physical distancing, he added.