2020 has been an unusual year. However, life goes on and so do Indian festivals. With the festival season upon the Indian consumer, retailers are seeing a surge in purchases. Having been confined to their homes for so long, away from relatives and friends, the excitement around gifting, highlighting the need to rekindle relationships and reconnect is the most important reason why people are looking towards gifting. In a recent survey, the Retail Association of India captures the aspects that are influencing people to shop this festive season.
The Festive Shopping Index 2020 by the Retailers Association of India (RAI) and LitmusWorld, an experience management firm, captures the consumer sentiment on several aspects influencing purchase decisions this festive season. According to their findings, 80 per cent of Indian consumers are excited about this festive season. Of course, there have been significant changes in consumer behaviour due to the pandemic, with an increase in preference for omni-channel shopping.
The survey highlights that 80 per cent of Indian consumers are looking forward to festive shopping. While online is the primary mode of discovery, consumers are looking forward to purchasing at physical stores too. While at least 75 per cent of the consumers are shopping online, they are also considering stepping out and shopping in stand-alone stores (66 per cent), as well as malls (37 per cent), reflecting the rise of omni-channel shopping. According to Kumar Rajagopalan, CEO, Retailers Association of India (RAI), said, “Retailers are looking at the festive season with some amount of cautious optimism. We believe that all formats of retail will see resurgence, but on an omni-channel basis. Customers do feel the need to reconnect, and are slowly coming out to shop. However, they may not shop in the same way they have been shopping all these years. There is a lot of reliance on what is being shown to them digitally,” he says.
The Festive Shopping Index is an annual consumer sentiment survey by the Retailers Association of India (RAI) and LitmusWorld. The survey initiates conversations with Indian consumers to measure their shopping sentiment during the festive season. The Index predicts the predominant consumer shopping behaviour during the festive season, which retailers can use as a guide to becoming more consumer-centric during the most crucial quarter of the year.
So what are consumers interested in buying? Apparel (53 per cent), home appliances and electronics (47 per cent), work-from-home products (37 per cent) and home furniture (34 per cent). A big positive for the retailers is the fact that there is excitement around gifting. About 23 per cent of the respondents expressed their intent to purchase gifts along with items for their personal use. Digital modes of payment such as credit cards, debit cards, mobile wallets and UPI are the preferred modes of payment.
The pandemic hasn’t dampened the consumer’s enthusiasm. Of those surveyed, 26 per cent have a budget of Rs5,000-15,000 for this festive season compared to (24 per cent in this price bracket last year). The way things pan out depends on how the retailer’s respond with “interesting value propositions and customer experience they can offer across both offline and online channels to boost festive demand and increase the wallet share of consumers,” says Khushaal Talreja, head of marketing & partnerships, LitmusWorld.