The green shoots of recovery are expected to grow faster in non-metro markets due to "higher resilience" shown by non-metro cities during the COVID-19 pandemic, says a survey by consultancy firm EY. The EY survey, which polled over 4,000 respondents equally divided between metro and non-metro markets, was conducted to ascertain the potential impact of pandemic-related disruptions on consumer sentiments, its report said.
Categories like consumer goods, travel, entertainment, automobiles and white goods are all expected to see increased and faster recovery of demand from non-metro markets post the lockdowns, it added. "Non-metro markets have shown higher resilience than metro markets in our study and could recover faster. The percentage of respondents who expected to spend more than before on a majority of categories was much higher in non-metro markets, indicating that when the lockdowns end, green shoots of recovery would probably sprout faster in these markets," EY said.
Respondents in non-metros are expected to spend much more on consumer goods, travel, outdoor and automobiles as compared to their metro counterparts, it said. According to EY India Partner and Media & Entertainment Leader Ashish Pherwani, the COVID-19 pandemic has radically shifted way of life.
However, despite uncertain and challenging conditions, our research shows that non-metros express a higher degree of resiliency and a resolve to bounce back quicker compared to metros. We may see long-term and even permanent changes in consumption patterns, he said.
During the lockdown period, digital trials increased significantly, indicating a significant mindset change. However, adoption continues to be higher for metros as compared to non-metros, said EY report 'Will non-metro markets propel India's recovery'.
Moreover, EY report suggests COVID-19 could have some significant and even permanent change to consumption patterns. Our study of alternative consumption options indicates that more people will consume in-home entertainment as compared to out of home entertainment options for some time to come..., it said.
The pandemic has impacted overall consumption, categories like health and online services are expected to benefit. Staples continues to remain largely unaffected, while household hygiene products, personal care and vitamins could see increased demand, it said.
According to it, the lockdown has led to a surge in consumption of online media contents such as OTT and online gaming. It has also increased the consumption of online services -- e-learning, Internet, mobile banking, e-wallets, online order of groceries and essentials etc.