The pandemic lockdown in India has unlocked new consumer behaviours that will impact online retail and be pivoted around the smartphone, Facebook India and Boston Consulting Group’s industry report on Mobile Phones, FMCG, and Apparel has shown. In the mobile segment, there is a clear trend towards larger digitisation of purchases and experiences, the study found.
With the mobile phone becoming more essential in the daily lives of consumers, 38 per cent respondents suggested that they will spend more on the category in the coming months. However, the decreased spending power prompted 29 per cent to say they will cut spends on phones and maybe opt for a cheaper variant.
The study also found that as consumers were triggered to replace their existing phones, at least “70 per cent of urban consumers for mobiles expected to be digitally influenced”, up from a high of 60 per cent before. Social distancing will also make more of them opt for online research before a purchase, even as the “importance of pricing as a choice driver to go up” by around 25 per cent in what is already a value-conscious market. Even among those looking to increase spends in the segments, 59 per cent “may trade down in their choice of purchase/look for offers and deals”.
“Mobile as a category has had as high online affinity and 38 per cent of mobile phones are being purchased online. This will go up further as this thing plays out,” Vikash Jain, who leads Boston Consulting Group’s Technology, Media & Telecom practice in India, explained to indianexpress.com Jain said while a good number of urban consumers were already using some kind of digital influence, 3D experiences and VR technologies will play a bigger role in helping purchase decisions in the present conditions.
The study found that in the new normal, brands will aid “digital discovery through virtual product launches and virtual roadshows”, the follow it up with virtual unboxings and targeted social media campaigns and lead generation. Consumers can be expected to benefit more from as there will be potential bundling with other in-demand services that drive consumer value like free subscriptions, data packs. As brands relook the media mix for spends, they will also start segmenting consumers to drive differential value, the study found.
Sandeep Bhushan, Director and Head, Global Marketing Solutions at Facebook India said this is already happening on Facebook with a cross-section of brands selling anything from cars to antacids. “Facebook has the ability to segment consumers because they’re on mobile, and mobile allows you to segment and target perfectly,” he said, adding how the targeting can be both for interests and region. “Now, also by PIN code, so they are able to run micro marketing is because today Bombay is not the same as Delhi. Given both containment and consumer state of mind. How can we be more specific on the use of mobile,” Bhushan told indianexpress.com, adding how the social network with its 400 million-plus reach in India was able to walk the consumer through every part of the journey.
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