The hygiene and risk factors have contributed to the increased adoption of e-commerce channel among customers who have either been inactive in digital buying or preferred traditional channel for touch-and-feel factor before making purchases.
Covid-19 is changing the way Indians buy goods as the virus has influenced a shift in consumer behaviour with respect to the adoption of e-commerce and embracing digital buying. Out of the leading developing economies in the world including China, Brazil, Indonesia, Thailand and Philippines, the surge in preference for the online channel is sharper in India, according to a study by Facebook India and Boston Consulting Group. Across multiple categories such as household care, personal care, fresh food and packaged food, e-commerce adoption looks higher than the other five countries.
For instance, 33 per cent respondents in India (in the BCG Consumer Sentiment Survey, 2020 cited by the study titled Turn the Tide) expect to buy household care products online in the next one month vis-à-vis 19 per cent respondents in China, 18 per cent in Indonesia, 4 per cent in Brazil and 9 per cent in Thailand. The Philippines reported a negative growth of 6 per cent in preference towards e-commerce channel. Similarly, for personal care, fresh food and packaged food categories, 44 per cent, 31 per cent, and 34 per cent Indian respondents respectively led the table showing a maximum preference for online buying in comparison to the buyers in the said countries. For health supplements, 47 per cent Indonesians expect to choose e-commerce route followed by 43 per cent respondents from India.
“We are experiencing unprecedented shifts in consumer attitudes and behaviors,” said Nimisha Jain, Managing Director and Partner, Boston Consulting Group in a statement. More than 40 per cent of consumers are dialing up on health and wellness spends, e-commerce adoption has already advanced by two-three years, Jain said. “These aren’t just temporary surges, and many will last longer and become more defining traits.”
The hygiene and risk factors have contributed to the increased adoption of e-commerce channel among customers who have either been not active in digital buying or preferred traditional channel for touch-and-buy factor before making purchases. These customers have also been, as a consequence, pushed towards e-commerce mitigating the risk of Covid contraction while contributing to the growth of the sector.
The Facebook India – BCG report also said that around 50 per cent consumers expect to increase their e-commerce spend in the coming one month even for traditionally offline categories like vitamins, supplements, personal care products, cosmetics, non-prescription medicines.