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Indian consumers choose digital over physical modes of shopping: Deloitte

Indian consumers are avoiding cash transactions and choosing digital over physical modes of shopping as the covid-19 pandemic gains ground. According to the biweekly survey conducted by professional services network Deloitte, the Indian consumer appears to be tech-savvy, convenience seeker and one who has evolved to be socially conscious amid social distancing and resultant isolation.

Titled ‘Global State of the Consumer Tracker,’ the survey insights were fielded using an online panel where consumers over 18 years old were invited to complete the questionnaire (translated into local languages) via email. The current time frame is 15 April-15 July. Countries in focus include India , Chile, China, Mexico, Australia, UK, US, among others.

Health and safety-led mindset shows consumers prefer online shopping for everyday essentials with 55% saying they will spend more on groceries, 49% on household items and 44% on medicines. There is also a growing trend of using e-commerce for the purchase of select discretionary items such as apparel (53%) and electronics (50%), proving that with the number of rising infections, consumers are focused on reducing exposure to infection by avoiding the point of sale terminals and cash transactions.

Entertainment through digital means continues as 52% will spend more on mobile internet and 36% on digital entertainment as compared with the four weeks before the survey. Emerging consumer persona shows 71% as convenience seeker and 73% as socially conscious while 69% buy more from locally sourced items with ‘vocal for local sentiments.’

While 81% of the respondents fear public transportation and 75% ride-hailing services, the intent of respondents to buy their next vehicle online has gone up by 60%. Also, 79% of Indians wish to keep their current vehicle longer than originally expected.

Meanwhile, leisure travel is seeing a positive momentum in India. Indians have shown an intent to travel for leisure which is higher than other countries. 58% of respondents are willing to take domestic flights while 55% are willing to take international flights over the next three months. With 56% finding it safe to stay at hotels, a new trend of ‘workation’ has emerged during covid-19.

“Covid-19 has shifted the focus of Indian consumers towards an online digital experience even as organizations are redefining their business operations to make the last mile delivery seamless and by ensuring safety and hygiene to meet the new expectations of the consumers,” Porus Doctor, partner and leader, consumer industry, Deloitte India said in a statement. “Using online channels, consumer expectations for seamless shopping experience are poised to grow and companies are fast catching up with this eventuality”.-Live Mint

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