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Here is how consumer buying behaviour has changed between December'19 and August'20.

E-commerce sales for mobile phones that are above 15,000 have doubled up: Report

Here is how consumer buying behaviour has changed between December'19 and August'20.
  • 48% of e-commerce sales came from mobiles and accessories during December’19 to August ‘20.
  • Sales of mobile phones above 15,000 has doubled during the unlock period.
With the ease of lockdown and Freedom Day Sales, e-commerce sales for mobile phones that are above 15,000 have doubled up, reveals Nielsen’s latest report titled COVID-19: Evolving Consumer Trends.

Mobiles continue to enjoy nearly half of the share (48%) of online sales and smartphones with price range >15K range have doubled in this period indicating consumers need for staying connected with uninterrupted access to media and communication.

There is also a 26% increase in order contribution in home appliances and electronic gadgets. Improving ease of living at home is reflected in increased sales for appliances and electronics.

Fashion, on the other hand, has seen a slump in sales despite season sales. Less than Rs.500 Fashion/ Apparels have grown by 28% and now contribute to 40% of the category as shoppers lower spends from Rs.1000 or more. This is
resulting in slow recovery despite the slight boost from the sale period in June.

In the e-commerce space, major categories such as fashion witnessed a restrained recovery and there has been greater demand for mobile, home appliances & electronics online during the unlock period. This is a result of pent up demand from lock down, coupled with recent sales by e-commerce players. The steep jump in sales by 1.3X
times during the ‘freedom sale’ in August indicates consumer sentiment towards deal seeking and price consciousness.

“The E-Commerce channel is seeing a “sale” triggered cautious recovery. The shoppers today are anticipating and holding back their purchases for sale periods. While some categories such as home appliances are seeing a pent up
demand in lieu of safety and personal home convenience. We believe the festive season will see a big release of this pent up demand with e-commerce players gearing up for the upcoming sale season," Kunal Gupta, Lead, Consumer Intelligence, South Asia, Nielsen Global Connect.

CxOs lean towards innovation

64% of CxOs agreed that they are planning to modify their innovation pipeline in the unlocking period.

New entrants

After the lockdown, in the period between March’20 and August’20, around 1897 new brands have forayed into the health and hygiene category. Home-cooking category saw 125 new entrants.

CxOs speak about strategy shift

With the lockdown easing up, challenges that businesses were faced with are seeing some respite, as claimed by industry leaders in a study undertaken by Nielsen in the second half of Sep 2020. Bringing production upto speed, difficulty in sourcing raw materials, challenges to get products to retail outlets, limited opening hours/ store
closure were the key challenges faced during the lockdown. With the economy unlocking, some of the big challenges that keep the leaders worried are the limited opening hours of outlets in a day and decline in consumer demand. Majority of the corporate leaders are now optimistic of an improved business environment, with two-thirds anticipating a positive impact on their businesses over next four months i.e. rest of calendar 2020 - incidentally this period coincides with festival season in India!

In this constantly evolving situation, new consumer needs have emerged that businesses are continuously working to address the same. Some of these emerging consumer trends are increased adoption of e-commerce and seeking products delivering protection for self and family from germs/ bacteria. Apart from these, consumers are actively looking out for safety and hygiene practices at various consumer touchpoints.

These consumer needs are resonating with corporate leaders, who are crafting strategic actions viz. increased engagement and investments on expanding digital footprint, reprioritisation of capacity to rationalise product mix, and review communication strategy to convey safety/ health/ hygiene benefits. Companies need to address emerging health and safety trends of the consumers. As consumers are more homebound and relying more on online services, increasing digital and online investments could be beneficial. Companies unable to provide products that can fit the adjusted wallet and price sensitivities may ultimately lose long-term traction
with core users. With dynamic times, it will be critical for manufacturers & service providers to be close to the changing consumer trends and behaviour and adjusting strategies accordingly.