A recent survey shows how the stay-at-home lifestyle and the increasing dependency on mobile phones could alter consumers' shopping patterns. The Facebook and Boston Consulting Group found that digital influence could increase up to 70 per cent for mobiles, up to 60 per cent for apparel and up to 25 per cent for non-food consumer packaged goods (CPG) categories.
The report states that some of the trends are likely to stay beyond the coronavirus pandemic. The Facebook-BCG study found that 90 per cent of consumers who have purchased apparel online during the lockdown are willing to continue. This figure is 80 per cent for food-related and 84 per cent for non-food sub categories within CPG.
Consumers also intend to explore online channels a lot more to purchase smartphones, CPG and apparel in the coming six months, the study said. As much as 55 per cent intend to increase online spends for mobile phones in the next six months.
Nimisha Jain, MD and Partner at BCG said that they expect online sales market for mobile to touch 45 per cent in the next two years. As eight out of 10 consumers are now unwilling to go out, casualisation of wardrobes are likely to take place. Jain said that nearly one in two consumers plans to increase spend on health and immunity-related food. "70 per cent urban consumers for mobile and 55-60 per cent for apparel will be digitally influenced. It's critical that brands amp up their digital engagement and customise their proposition to win in the new normal," she said.
The report also mentioned that there are three kinds of consumer trends that have emerged making the smartphone more central to the lives of consumers -- bringing the outside in-home through virtual experiences, acceleration of past trends leading to stronger adoption of digital and online, and formation of new habits such as DIY.
Sandeep Bhushan, Director and Head, Global Marketing Solutions, Facebook India said, "We know that digital influence has significantly increased across the path-to-purchase - up to 70 per cent for some categories. 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, and with 400M+ Indians connected on the Facebook family of apps in India, we play a consequential role in the consumer journey."
Brands are also cashing in on the trend. For instance Samsung is aiming to target local consumers digitally, making purchasing of Samsung products easier as well as financial solutions. Asim Warsi, Senior Vice President, Samsung India, said, "As India's largest consumer electronics company, we have taken the onus to create new shopper journeys to aid physical distancing by leveraging our digital technologies with our deep retail presence in India. Facebook is our partner in this journey of helping our retail channel discover and target local consumers digitally. In addition, we have enabled consumers to purchase our mobile and electronic products online, whilst getting the deliveries offline from their neighborhood Samsung retail stores. Also, we are now delivering our financing solution - Samsung Finance+ - to the consumers' doorsteps. These digitally forward initiatives have helped us make a sharp recovery post lockdown."
Mondelez India is also looking at home-snacking as a priority segment. Anil Viswanathan, Director - Marketing (Chocolates), Mondelez India said, "At Mondelez India, we understand the role our products play in our consumers' life. While essential items continue to remain a key priority amongst consumers, in-home snacking has come to take precedence as part of the ritual of spending more time with family or with oneself. Amplified social media influence has also triggered a trend wherein homebound consumers are now increasingly looking at ways to indulge in or create at home moments and in doing so they are predominantly relying on trusted brands like Cadbury, Oreo, Tang etc., which represent superior quality and the assurance of safety amid these uncertain times."