COVID19 prompts Indian consumers to go digital

COVID19 prompts Indian consumers to go digital
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The coronavirus pandemic has shifted focus of Indian consumers towards digital experience and they intend to use it to procure products, including discretionary purchases, going forward as the number of infections increase, says a study.

As per Deloitte Global State of the Consumer Tracker survey, the net spending intention for India stood at 55 per cent for groceries, 49 per cent for household, 44 per cent for medicines and 26 per cent for books.

The study defined net spending intention as how consumers plan to spend over the next four weeks compared to the previous four week.

"There is also a growing trend of using online/e-commerce for the purchase of select discretionary items such as apparel (53 per cent) and electronics (50 per cent) over next four weeks," the study by global consultancy firm Deloitte said.

The survey findings highlighted how with the number of rising infections, consumers are focused on reducing exposure to infection by avoiding the point of sale terminals and cash transactions.

The survey was conducted between April 15 and July 15 across 18 countries, targeting 1,000 per country with feedback taken from consumers over 18 years old.

"Already consumer-facing companies are adopting automation to better manage their stocks by reducing congestion in stores, and restocking efficiently. Using online channels, consumer expectations for seamless shopping experience are poised to grow and companies are fast catching up with this eventuality," Deloitte India Partner and Leader, Consumer Industry Porus Doctor said.

The survey also found that with the fear of using public transportation (81 per cent) or ride-hailing services (75 per cent), the intent of respondents to buy their next vehicle online has gone up. Also, 79 per cent of Indians would like to keep their current vehicles longer than originally expected.

However, Indians have shown an intent to travel for leisure which is higher than the other countries, it said adding 58 per cent of respondents were willing to take domestic flights while 55 per cent were willing to take International flights over the next three months.

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