Indian Consumers Prioritize Health and Safety over Discretionary Consumption

With the significant increase in the number of cases, the Indian consumer is seen to cautiously approach the future by prioritizing health safety, preferring online channels for purchases, and choosing to delay large purchases.
Indian Consumers Prioritize Health and Safety over Discretionary Consumption

With the significant increase in the number of cases, the Indian consumer is seen to cautiously approach the future by prioritizing health safety, preferring online channels for purchases, and choosing to delay large purchases, reveals a study by Deloitte.

Porus Doctor, Partner, and Consumer Industry Leader, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India LLP said, “Our survey insights are a reflection of the heightened consumer apprehensions, which are at the core of their decision-making. As the health crisis again takes center stage in the country, the average Indian consumer prefers to use digital and online channels wherever applicable”

Key trends emerging from the survey include the following:

Online Purchases Continue to Show a Strong Trend - Throughout the pandemic, the online medium has emerged as the preferred channel for purchase and continues to grow. Here is how consumers have been buying online - medicines (22 percent), electronics (34 percent), clothing (33 percent), food ordering online from restaurants/ take-aways (33 percent), and if available, the next vehicle online (57 percent) as well due to various restrictions. 

Cautious Consumption – 
•    The spending intent shows consumers are focussing more on non-discretionary items as compared with the previous waves of the survey. For instance, 48 percent of consumers show net spending intent towards healthcare, 33 percent towards medicines, 42 percent towards Internet, 47 percent towards groceries, and 44 percent towards household goods, indicating that consumers want to focus on non-discretionary spending in the time of crisis.
•    The consumer persona shows, stockpiler (63 percent), convenience seeker (69 percent), and bargain hunter (51 percent) still remain high amongst the Indian consumers.

Concern on Returning to Workplace - Indians are significantly more concerned about returning to the workplace than they were in February 2021. About 28 percent today worry about returning to their offices, as compared with 15 percent in February 2021.

Consumers Gearing Towards At-home Economy - Individuals are not looking to venture out as they do not feel safe about going to a store, restaurant, engaging in personal activities, staying in a hotel, returning to the workplace, taking a flight, etc. 

Socially Conscious Shopping: 67 percent of consumers prefer more locally sourced items going forward even if they cost a bit more, and 71 percent prefer brands that responded well during a pandemic.
 

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