Shopping habits of Indians are changing due to their growing disposable income, relative increase in the younger population, and the change in attitudes towards shopping.
The new cluster consists of very young consumers who follow trends they see on television, in magazines and the internet. They want to match steps with the changing fashion and go shopping. The high net worth individuals have high disposable income and they are smart with their purchases. The country is witnessing a definite shift in the consumer buying pattern and hence creating a pathway for so many international brands coming to India. The retailers need to be highly informed and to be on their toes to tap this booming surge.
Latest trends in consumer buying pattern
The buying pattern of consumers has changed drastically over a couple of years. People today want value for money. Everything, be it design, fabrics, materials used, finishing and packaging along with the staff behaviour needs to be perfect. They have become very brand conscious. They want to support the biggest designer their pocket can allow and the trend is gradually picking up pace.
“These days, customers are very particular about their dressing and they do not do shopping in bulk. They prefer buying at the time of the occasion, so as to maintain their fashion instinct. Nowadays, customers are more conscious about fashion and trend as they were in the past”, opines Vandy Mehra, Director, Study By Janak. Further commenting on the change in consumer’s attitude, Mahesh Mohnani, Director, Vasari India Pvt Ltd says that “if one gets anything which is not 100%, then they do not hesitate to claim an exchange or return the product. There are many, who because of the increase in awareness, do not hesitate to knock the doors of the consumer courts. In a nutshell, the consumer today, is confident, bold, aware and knows their rights.”
Keeping pace with changing consumer behaviour
The needs and preferences of the consumer is fast changing, thanks to the kind of exposure the Indians are enjoying these days. As stated above, they are well aware of the fashion and knows exactly what they want, as a retailer if you are unable to keep pace with your consumers, there is no one who you can blame. “We pay close attention to consumer feedbacks through emails, feedback from the stores, sales analysis for styles and colours and of course a watch on changing consumer and fashion trends”, quips Hidesign’s Brand Manager, Dipen Desai. Our dedicated marketing team which comprises of not only marketing officials but also designers who go forthnightly into the market and study the changes in the buying patterns of the customers. Also, daily feed back in form of feed back forms from the customers and sales personnel helps us understand the changes better, is how Mr. Mohnani keeps Vasari abreast with the latest consumer preference. This research is very crucial for any business be it of apparels, accessories or life style products because till the tie understand and anticipate the customer buying pattern, we would not be in a position to satisfy their needs, he further adds.
“Everything has a price tag on it. If you want to be a leader you pay the price”, opines Muzzaffar Zaffer, Head Designer of Cheemo. Justifying the premium attached to their attires, Mr. Mohnani explains that Research & Development, which is invariably important for a company to survive, needs specially trained people who come with a price tag. This is the hidden cost which the company has to bear to survive which is indirect but marginal. Ms. Mehra also seconds what Mr. Mohnani has to say by adding that a lot of professionals, designers and workers collaborate to produce each piece thus justifying the cost.
Future of buying pattern
With each generation, people are getting more aware about the global market, have an increased creative bent, know what they want, What colours to go for, what to wear when, how to, in other words, be a show stopper any where, be it college, house warming party, festivals or a wedding. To design something for them, the retailers have to step into their shoes and be them. Think how they think and feel how they feel. Keeping pace with customers is difficult as every person has a different choice and mind set. Thus, the designers have to keep pace with changing situations.
Studying the current scenario, the future of retail would be very competitive and challenging. There would be cut throat competition and the brand which would provide the best quality products, at reasonable prices, with after sales services and pampers the customer would win.