With the onset of summers along with the continuance of school from home and work from home culture due to the pandemic, both offline and online sellers are witnessing an increased demand for cooling appliances across categories. Both for Flipkart and Amazon India, the demand for cooling appliances has almost tripled. This includes air conditioners, refrigerators, coolers as well as fans.
For Flipkart, ACs witnessed a rise of 4x in demand, the rest of the categories saw 2.5x, 3x and 2x increase respectively. "It is really interesting that these trends are not only concentrated in metros but smaller cities and tier 2 and 3 cities are also contributing to this growth. This clearly indicates a change in sentiment and buying preference in the smaller towns," says Hari G. Kumar, Vice-President, Large Appliances at Flipkart.
With the onset of summer in 2021 and harsh temperatures across North & West India, ACs witnessed a 3X demand growth on Amazon India, whereas refrigerators saw a 2X spike. "Top-performing segment in air-conditioners was Inverter Split ACs, while we saw an increase in demand for energy-efficient models such as 4 & 5 star rated products across both Refrigerators & ACs," says Suchit Subhas, Director, Category Management, Amazon India. Interestingly, for Amazon, more than half of the growth is coming from non-metros & Tier 2 towns such as Lucknow, Kanpur, Panjim, Chandigarh, Indore & Gandhinagar.
But it isn't just e-commerce as organised as well as unorganised retail to is witnessing a huge surge. The increasing number of Covid-19 cases and sudden lockdown experience of last year has got consumers thinking and preparing for tougher times. The popular electronic retail chain - Vijay Sales has witnessed the best March for cooling products in recent years. "Looking at the way March 2021 has performed, we feel that this year we can see a growth of nearly 20 to 30% over 2019, provided there is no lockdown situation and we are able to control this second wave," Nilesh Gupta, Director, Vijay Sales.
"Overall consumer durables seems to be in a good place, primarily because now the consumer durables has become a focal point in all households. Hence, we have seen a tremendous spike in average selling price as most consumers need bigger and better products," adds Gupta.
The pandemic has also marked a shift in the purchase pattern of consumers. A survey done on Flipkart revealed that in-built air purifiers were one of the top features preferred by customers. "With people continuing to stay indoors to fight the pandemic, consumer preferences for these appliances have changed drastically. Increased focus on health and hygiene and cost savings have led to customers opting for products with anti-bacterial, air purification and energy-efficient properties with an increasing number of customers opting for COVID ACs. While these functionalities existed even before COVID, it is witnessing greater traction since the pandemic with the growing focus on air quality," adds Kumar of Flipkart.
Subhas of Amazon revealed that post-COVID, there was a shift towards higher capacity refrigerators driven by a need for larger storage space, feature-rich microwave oven models with instant-cooking options, front-loading washing machines with features like steam-wash & heater. "We saw consumers trying to be more self-sufficient instead of relying on external help for household chores. Consequently, we saw dishwashers grow by almost 4X and a shift from semi-automatic to fully automatic washing machines. There was also an increased preference for energy efficiency across all home appliances."
In addition to this, Flipkart has also seen an almost 20% increase in the adoption of No Cost EMI since the pandemic.
Copyright©2023 Living Media India Limited. For reprint rights: Syndications Today