Nepa, a leading Consumer Research and analytics company, providing insight solutions to drive brand and sales by increasing marketing effectiveness, did a prelude of changing consumer behaviour during COVID in the last quarter. The report addressed the changing consumer patterns across categories relevant in current times and how consumers are tackling the lockdown on the emotional front. The consumer insights firm recently conducted a quantitative survey to understand how the audience is preparing for the festive season this year. The OND 2020 is crucial equally for brands & agencies given the festive spends.
But the dynamics are so different this year with the pandemic. Are the consumers excited about the key festivals? In the Consumer Narrative report released during the early stages of lockdown, Nepa talked about ‘Conscious Shopping’ where consumers were looking at purchases centred around basic necessities of grocery, health & hygiene factors. Over the last 6 months, the paradigm has shifted. As lockdown is easing out and as home quarantine is becoming a new normal, 71% of the consumers are looking forward to buying new clothes for themselves and family. After all the baking and cooking ventures over the last few months, close to 70% of consumers are keen on gifting the basics in the form of sweets/chocolates/ confectionaries to their loved ones.
After a wave of digital normalisation, the latest research by Nepa tells that smartphones became the 3rd clear choice for gifting for close to half of the consumers who participated in the survey, specifically males. Personal care and grooming products are next in line followed by health/immunity-boosting products, foods. While females and younger audience in the age group of 18 to 34 are planning to invest in apparel, electronics and health-related products, the older audience (35-45) is considering high investment products like television, furniture for home and home appliances to make the homestay more comfortable. Most importantly, despite COVID, there’s almost no one who is not willing to spend on gifts this Diwali & year-end.
Close to 30% in fact see themselves spending more on gifts this year as compared to last year. 20% would spend at least the same they spent last year, while a half would be conservative with their gifting budgets. However, there are some concerns that are clouding consumers. 43% feel that their usual gift options are not available due to COVID. Close to 1/3rd are speculating that they won’t get discounts from retailers like previous years. 28% worry that home appliances would be costlier this year.
Though the majority believe in delivery services provided by digital marketplaces across categories and aren’t worried about getting their gifts delivered to their desired locations. “We know that current times have definitely impacted the festive sentiment. But at the same time, it looks like a season to look for a reason too. There is no definite answer on “What will Matter” as we get back given the changes in affinity for categories month on month.
“But the positivity from consumer sentiment is definitely hinting at a narrative based on optimism. To spend, to celebrate & To continue the festivities with safety at the core,” said Esha Nagar, Managing Director Nepa India. “Priorities and Purchase patterns are definitely undergoing a possible lasting transformation with every month. In this situation, regular mapping of underlying missions behind the reason to purchase is critical.” Nagar further added As lockdown eases out, consumers are able to go back to their usual choice of brands and products. In most parts, the daily routine has started normalizing, however, the yearning for travel is a common theme across.
Travelling restrictions are slowly being retracted and most consumers are already planning for excursions at a scale that are acceptable. Though 40% of them would not be travelling at all this festive season, not for a vacation and not even to visit their families. Of those who are planning to travel, 1 in 4 are hoping to get away for weekend trips in locations near their city. 32% plan to visit their families or friends in other city, while 20% resort to only long drives within the city to get a travel window. It is the age group of 25–34 that is most inclined to travel in any capacity they can.
On travel optimism, our client partner, Pratik Mazumder – CMO, Mahindra Holidays & Resorts India Limited says “Tourism is steadily reviving in India with several states opening up for travellers. As health and safety take precedence over leisure, people are opting for off-beat, non-congested tourist destinations and stays. We are seeing an increased demand for trends like weekend getaways, staycations and road trips.” He further added,”There is a significant increase in domestic travel and people are holidaying in destinations that are within drivable distances and in the safety of their own vehicles.
The focus of the hospitality sector on hygiene and safety protocols will only get sharper in the coming years as travel behaviour changes in the post Covid world. People are choosing trusted brands like Club Mahindra as their holiday experience partners. In lieu of this, companies are taking extra care and efforts to ensure contactless services and offer access to good healthcare facilities, wherever possible.”
Travel sentiment also is a mixed bag of optimism and caution that we see through our quantitative results and several consumer connects last few months. Consumers are either restricting themselves and family keeping in mind the greater risk of the second wave and ever-increasing COVID +Ve count or they are stepping out with their belief on the immunity system and precautions they take. To further discuss findings of this report – You can book a session with the team at Nepa by sending an email to [email protected] The study was conducted among 1000 consumers across top cities majorly comprising Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Pune, Lucknow, Vizag.
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