Staples, personal care products, supplements, and electronics were the only categories wherein over 50 per cent new online users are likely to buy ahead also.
Covid-induced and health and hygiene concerns have not only resulted in an increase in the share of online spends by existing digital buyers on Amazon, Flipkart, Grofers, BigBasket, and other e-retailers, there has been a significant increase in new user adoption as well. First time online shoppers have increased 1.2X during the lockdown in comparison to the pre-Covid scenario, said a survey by Boston Consulting Group (BCG). The increase was highest for food and essential goods category with fresh foods category witnessing a maximum jump of 1.56X in new users followed by 1.43X for buying staples, and 1.32X for packaged foods and beverages showed BCG’s latest consumer sentiment survey of 3,000 consumers from metros to Tier-IV cities from July 20 to August 2. The increase in first-time online buyers was also significant in categories including household care (1.38X), personal care (1.33X), non-prescription medicines (1.29X), etc.
However, the willingness to continue in the future wasn’t quite encouraging. For instance, only 30 per cent new users who bought fresh foods during the pandemic are likely to buy ahead as well. Similarly, only 46 per cent new users in packaged foods category, 40 per cent in household care, 32 per cent in non-prescription medicines, 34 per cent in apparel may continue to buy in future as well. Staples, personal care products, supplements, and electronics were the only categories wherein over 50 per cent new online users are likely to buy ahead also.
“Now that we have been into the crisis for 4-5 months, the shape of new normal for consumer behavior is also beginning to emerge. There has been the adoption of many new behaviors ranging from online shopping, digital-first in everything, new ‘do it yourself’ regimes – which are all sticking to varying degrees,” said Nimisha Jain, Managing Director and Partner, BCG India.
The adoption of the digital channel was also significant across payments, telemedicine, education, fitness, and hobby segments. The highest growth of 1.42X in the number of users was recorded in the edtech segment vis-à-vis pre-Covid situation. Other leading online segments witnessing an increase in the number of users were shopping of essential goods (1.40X), hobby classes (1.37X), fitness classes (1.34X), and doctor consultation (1.27X). Digital payments including e-wallets, cards, e-banking also saw growth in new users 1.14X, 1.16X, and 1.20X respectively.