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COVID-19 made 49% respondents opt for e-commerce: LocalCircles survey

Joe C Mathew     March 15, 2021

COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns have clearly impacted consumers' shopping behaviour as 49 percent respondents of a nationwide online survey chose e-commerce to buy goods in the last 12 months.

The survey conducted by community social media platform LocalCircles, received 130,000 responses from over 42,000 unique consumers located in 358 districts of India. 49 percent of consumers in the survey said they preferred "e-commerce sites and apps" for shopping in the last 12 months, 18 percent said they "called local retail stores" for home delivery, 31 percent "visited malls, local retailers, markets".

Asked about why consumers trusted e-commerce sites and apps more than before, 86 percent said "safe deliveries or no reason to step out". Competitive prices, ease of return or return policy, expanded product selection, faster deliveries and increased product information and relatable reviews were other reasons.

The survey also tried to understand the category of products e-commerce shoppers purchased in last 12 months. While 69 percent purchased "essentials and groceries", 54 percent bought "medium-value items" like electronic accessories, apparel, sporting goods, etc. Meanwhile, 32 percent purchased "high-value discretionary items" like gadgets, white goods, furniture, the survey found.

Incidentally, 33 percent of e-commerce shoppers purchased everything they needed via e-commerce sites and apps, and another 29 percent made majority of their purchases via e-commerce sites and apps. When consumers were asked about what information they found helpful when shopping on e-commerce sites, 71 percent of consumers said product description, delivery dates, return policies, ratings and reviews, high-quality pictures, and warranty information.

66 percent of the respondents were men, while 48 percent of the respondents were from Tier 1 cities and 31 percent from Tier 2 cities.

Also read: Govt to put in place safeguards to prevent data misuse: Draft e-comm policy

Also read: Trader body CAIT launches vendor onboarding app ahead of e-commerce portal

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