As the festive season approaches, brands are all set to loosen the pockets of the customers. From launching new products, attractive offers and discounted prices, marketers are leaving no stone untouched where the customers might look at. Following the league, many of the brands have chosen the ‘Puja Pandals’ as the favoured destination to catch the consumers wherever they are.
In this festive season, the Puja organisers have found a lot of sponsors and brands looking to buy a retail space in and around the deity. Home appliances’ brands, Apparel and designers, Jewellers, etc have been trying to engage the crowd coming to worship and celebrate the festival. But is this strategy working for them?
Customers on the Phone, Brands on the ground
“These shops around the ‘Puja Pandals’ have created just a mess and is very inconvenient for the crowd to move around,” said Annie, a resident from Vasundhara Enclave. The strategy to follow customers wherever they go is at the moment seen not working for the brands. The consumer habits have changed and people are trying to avoid crowd while shopping.
According to a survey conducted by eBay India, Indian users have stated that they would shop on their phones this festive season to avoid crowd. Ironically, brands are waiting for the consumers to step in with big wallets; customers are behaving differently this season. 59 per cent of Mobile Shoppers stated they would consider shopping on their Mobile phone during the festive season to avoid crowded market areas. Categories which are hot on the m-commerce are Phones (62 per cent), Home Appliances(44 per cent) and Clothes and Footwear(41 per cent).
M-commerce and E-commerce are also preferred by the users as they will give the user a liberty to choose his own price points and is not a victim of impulse buying at the shop. Comparing product prices (68 per cent) is the top activity for Mobile Shoppers.
Mobile shopping is catching the trend as a result of popularising 3G connectivity in the metros. Muralikrishnan B, Country Manager, eBay India stated, “Mobile Commerce is very popular with many smart online shoppers as they always have their phone with them as an anytime, anywhere device. As 3G Penetration increases, many online shoppers will prefer Mobile Commerce over Digital Commerce.”
Even the E-commerce portals like Shopnineteen.com and Pehraan.com have been targeting the audience who are trying to avoid going to the crowded market places. Woodland is coming up with a mobile application which will track you around and pass on the offers and will give you the liberty to make the purchase without even stepping in the store. In an interaction, Gobind Pehwa, Vice President, Pehraan.com said, “We have sensed the changing shopping habits of the consumer and that is why we are expecting growth of around 300 per cent in this festive season.”
The customers want to step out of their homes with family and kids but do not wish to be trapped by the brand promoters to influence or engage them. The strategy of following the customer wherever they are has been successful till now but will it be effective is what will become clear in a few days. As of now the customers have plenty of alternatives if they wish not to shop among the crowd.