Nearly 74% of Indian consumers shop across all channels—local retailers, modern trade outlets and online, according to a recent study by customer marketing company Hansa Cequity and lobby group Retailers Association of India (RAI).
The Omni-Channel Shopper report further reveals that around 40% of the urban Indian shoppers shop regularly using modern trade, the numbers have more than doubled as compared to 2012.
Launched at ‘Cequity Conclave: Data Driven CMO’, it revealed that with increased choices, higher disposable incomes and exposure to global shopping formats, the Indian shopper is changing. The survey received 1,368 responses from 86 Indian cities and towns. Download the complete report from here.
Listed below are the three major trends observed from the Omni-Channel Shopper report.
1. Changing behaviour of shoppers
Today from shopping malls to local shops to eCommerce stores, a shopper has a variety of stores to land and shop. In fact data shows that today Indians go online to shop more than to access social networking sites.
Convenience and value-based buying are the two most important factors for making a purchase decision. It’s interesting to see how there is an increasing trend of buying across various channels. 3 out of every 4 shoppers are comfortable and have shopped in recent weeks across formats. Additionally, a third of those surveyed responded that they have shopped at both physical and online stores of the same retailers.
A simple comparison of percentage share of shopping, as claimed by the respondents, across different retail formats is shown in the chart below.
The above data reflects modern retail stores drive more footfalls and 25-30 age group is more confident with eCommerce activities. However, the percentage of people comfortable starts falling with increase in age group, a clear indication of mindset gap.
The report further shared that roughly 10%-15% of their shopping goes into the apparel category, which has direct correlation with the rising income levels. This shopping, they do mostly from the large retailers while for other standard categories like books and consumer electronics, the shoppers turn to their browsers and mobile apps of online shopping.
The study discovered that the levels of penetration of omni-channel behaviour in the next multi-billion Rupee markets – small towns – are lagging. Some retailers are already taking measures, for instance Flipkart has launched 20 stores in 10 cities to let its customers collect the items they ordered online at their convenience. Landmark, Reliance Retail, Tata Group’s Infiniti Retail and the Aditya Birla Group are all aggressively starting new online channels, and integrating their physical stores to take advantage of changing customer behaviour.
2. Pre-purchase product information search
Today’s shoppers are information seekers with as many as 96% of respondents saying that they look out for product information before they go out and shop. “90% of those who look out for product information find the process easy.” While a large portion (76%) of these information hunters go online to learn and compare products, there are many who visit physical stores too to satiate their need for product information.
Social media plays a crucial role in the information gathering phase, with 70% of those who responded saying that they visit social media sites to seek out information about brands and products they are interested in.
The Deloitte Omni Channel strategy report – Navigation the New Digital divide published earlier in the year shared some more insights on how social media plays a big role in shopping. 52% of shoppers use social media before buying, 39% during the buying process and 15% after shopping, said the report.
For the same reason retailers are investing more on social media followed by email marketing said the extensive Indian Retail e-Marketing study, prepared by the ardent participation from more than 80+ retailers across India. “74% Retailers want to increase their investment on social media followed by Email Marketing.”
However a vast majority of respondents said they were OK with trading their personal information for gain as they evolve their shopping habits. “60% of the shoppers responded that they were asked for personal information when they shop and an astonishing 88% of those who are asked for personal info are OK giving the details (either in parts or all of it).”
Good news for marketers but this isn’t surprising specially in a country where we aren’t very keen on personal security laws.
3. The new age shopper
More than 50% of the new age shoppers are interested in offers and incentives to shop more.
Again this isn’t surprising as Indians love to follow brands on social media to receive general brand news (29%), discounts and promotions from the brand (27%) and better customer service (23%), informed the Waggener Edstrom Communications (WE) second edition of its proprietary Asia-Pacific research study, “Content Matters: The Impact of Brand Storytelling Online in 2015″
However, the Hansa Cequity Omni-Channel Shopper study has also shown that deal hunting is more popular among the younger shoppers while the older ones value experiential rewards. As the chart below shows, younger male shoppers are most comfortable sharing personal information with retailers. They are happy to do so in return for offers and discounts, while older shoppers are seeking more exclusive rewards and recognition in exchange for sharing their personal information.
The shopper has gone digital and they want digital to drive the shopping experience. In fact the Deloitte report informed that Digital influence increases in-store conversion by almost 50% and 23% shoppers don’t use digital touch-points because of the lack of retailer’s digital presence.
Retailers have given importance to digital and are adopting an omni channel strategy as stated by the 3rd annual Retail e-Marketing study done by OctaneGo.com along with RAI.