With the coronavirus induced lockdown easing in India, consumers are no longer stocking up on home essentials more than what is immediately needed. According to the survey by Deloitte titled ‘Deloitte Global State of the Consumer Tracker’, this pattern has reduced from 78% in Wave 2 to 66% in Wave 3 and shows that the consumer is slowly taking conscious instead of drastic decisions.
The survey has also found that spending pattern of the consumers has changed over the last 6 weeks, with 72% consumers wanting to buy locally sourced items thereby reposing their faith in the kirana stores.
55% respondents are willing to spend a lot more on less discretionary items like groceries, 52% on everyday household goods, 47% on medicines, 46% on home internet /mobile phone, and 31% on healthcare.
This is in relation to discretionary spends like cable TV (31%) and entertainment (29%), which shows the consumers’ intention to get back to a normal lifestyle.
64% of consumers said they will buy from brands that have responded well to the crisis. Shoppers in India are thus loyal to the demand fulfilment and authenticity of brands much more than brand loyalty during a crisis, the survey states.
Intent to use digital services 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.
As far as consumer mobility is concerned, 77% consumers want to limit the use of public transit, 70% want to avoid ride hailing options altogether, while 79% consumers want to own a new vehicle and 73% would like to keep the current vehicle.
Commenting on the survey highlights, a Deloitte India subject matter expert said: “The survey gives a pulse of the consumer behaviour and trend during these challenging times. 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 in the future.”
The survey is being conducted using an online panel where consumers over 18 years old are invited to complete the questionnaire (translated into local languages) via email. The first survey was conducted during the week of 13 April 2020 and is fielded in 13 countries (targeting 1,000 per country/wave) and designed to be nationally representative of the overall population in each market.
The survey results would be coming out in almost 10 waves of bi-weekly analysis. The current analysis contains Wave1, Wave2 and Wave3 insights and the timeframe is April 15 - May 19.
India is among 13 countries that are part of the survey which includes Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, the UK and the USA.