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Consumers who postponed purchases will buy during festive season

According to Axis My India’s consumer sentiment index, spends on essentials like personal care and household items have increased for 45% of the Indian families, however spends on non-essentials and discretionary products like AC, car, and refrigerator are still cautious and postponed. Girish Upadhyay, Chief Marketing Officer, Axis My India, remarked that the bigger concern was that the rural markets witnessed slower growth compared to urban markets.

In an interview with Adgully, Girish Upadhyay speaks about the festive ad spends this year, the changing behavioural patterns of brands and consumers, categories that are expected to see higher traction during this festive season, and more. Excerpts:

Online media saw overall surge in viewership during the last two years of pandemic. Was there a concomitant increase in ad spends during the period? Do you think the ad spend has returned to the pre-COVID levels?

With increasing penetration of digital and the growing relevance of OTTs, short video apps, e-commerce, and now connected TVs in a consumer’s life, digital has been growing with twice the pace of traditional media in the last two years and the trend will continue this year. It now has the second highest share, almost equal to TV. The ad spend has returned to pre-COVID levels, even off shooting it, but the recent drying of VC funds might cause a temporary blip in spends by new-age start-ups.

Can we expect a shift in brands’ behaviour, especially after the effects of the pandemic have ebbed? What are your outlook and growth projections for this season?

Though the direct effect of the pandemic has eased out, inflation and the lack of employment opportunities continue to be of concern in the recent past few months. Axis My India’s consumer sentiment index shows that spends on essentials like personal care and household items has increased for 45% of the families, but spends on non-essentials & discretionary products like AC, car, and refrigerator are still cautious and postponed. The bigger concern was that the rural markets witnessed slower growth compared to urban.

But we anticipate that consumers who are postponing purchases till now are expected to buy during festive season, and therefore outlook for the upcoming festive season is positive.

Primarily, what kind of ad spends are you expecting and which categories will see higher traction during this festive season?

Key festive categories like e-commerce, durables & automobiles will contribute the most along with FMCGs, although the lack of spends by ed-tech, gaming & crypto brands will be felt. A lot of spends will also be done around the big-ticket sporting events that are scheduled to be held amid the festive season, such as the T20 World Cup and FIFA.

What are the changes and shifts in consumer behaviour patterns that you have witnessed?

The top consumer behaviour patterns that we are witnessing include:

  • Economic inequality has deepened during the pandemic. The rich are spending more, travelling more and consuming newer categories, whereas the poor are trying to make ends meet.
  • From preferring Indian brands over imported ones to paying extra for sustainable products, Indian consumers have evolved to identify themselves as ‘educated and conscious’ consumers.
  • Fast track of digital acceptance: From mobile payments to OTT consumption, consumers are getting used to the positives of a digital-first life.
  • Healthcare has taken precedence as consumers are taking preventative care in terms of the food they eat or the lifestyle they are choosing for ensuring long-term well-being.

Adgully

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