About 51% of consumers doing festive shopping this year will use e-commerce sites and apps as their primary channel, a sizable change from previous years, according to a survey by community platform LocalCircles. In the September 2019 survey of LocalCircles, only 27% of those planning festive spending had indicated using e-commerce sites as their primary channel for shopping.
Covid-19 has had a deep impact on the Indian economy and its businesses. The country has crossed 6 million positive cases. LocalCircles said many businesses have been struggling due to the reduced sales and flattened revenues, but the festive season is likely to throw them a lifeline.
The months of October and November are considered as festive months in India. People usually spend on major purchases during this time. New vehicles, consumer electronics, whitegoods, apparel, gifts for the family and home furnishing upgrades are some areas where Indians spend during the festive season.
Over the last few months, an increasing number of consumers have been shopping online to get things delivered at home. The primary reason for this is to reduce their exposure to crowded markets and protect themselves and their family from Coronavirus. Various e-commerce platforms have said that they have already reached the pre-Covid levels in terms of the number of orders and expect the numbers to substantially rise in the next couple of months.
The LocalCircles survey said that Indian consumer spend has significantly changed during 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. An increasing number of consumers are now using e-commerce sites and calling or sending WhatsApp messages to local stores and getting home delivery. For many, shopping through these channels has become a new habit with rare visits to malls, shops and even the local market.
LocalCircles conducted an extensive study on understanding how the Indian consumer will spend during the festive season via online and offline channels. This exercise conducted at a national level and specifically in 50 top cities of India received over 300,000 responses from consumers across more than 330 districts of India. In the overall study, 63% of respondents were men while 37% participants were women. About 52% respondents were from tier-1 cities, 32% from tier-2 places and 16% participants were from tier 3 and 4 and rural districts.