Axis My India is India’s foremost Consumer Data Intelligence Company that has revolutionized the field of election polling in the country, with an accuracy rate of ~95%. Today the market research capabilities have been written as a case study in Harvard Business School. Axis My India has strived to constantly delight clients with accurate insights that demonstrate their hold over the nation’s pulse, particularly in rural communities. Axis My India is now launching India’s biggest syndicated consumer behavior study, Consumer Trust Index. With a 1 Mn. sample representing 700+ districts, across 40+ categories and a quarterly district level reporting on consumption & future purchase intent – usage, loyalty, net gain/loss to which brand & analysis across audience segments it will provide rich actionable data & insights.
As the festive season approaches, consumers are slowly stepping out for non-essential activities like going out to malls/restaurants/mini-vacations reflecting a steady return to normalcy. While this would positively impact the hospitality industry, the spending on other non-discretionary items is still cautiously increasing. For instance, the recent survey for the month of October shows that 46% of families prefer spending on affordable items like wearable’s/apparels over big-ticket items on account of Dusshera/Diwali. In fact, 88% of the families specifically denied any interest in buying white goods (AC, TV, Washing Machine, and Refrigerator) or jewellery. Moreover, insights from previous reflect that 42% of families will shop more or same as compared to last year giving an indication that there is a sense of optimism and the pent-up demand or degree of revenge shopping which happened last year might not be the same this year.
In addition, some other interesting facets include that; in terms of online shopping behaviors 33% are buying electronics like a laptop, mobile etc online while high-value items like jewelry are still bought physically. Furthermore, 27% of respondents reported an increase in UPI transactions, while almost 49% still don’t use UPI/Wallets, suggesting a tremendous opportunity in digital payments. However digital is still a preferred medium when it comes to enjoying a good IPL season which is seen as an emerging trend amongst audiences as they are increasingly viewing it on digital especially in tier 3/rural markets which still have electricity cuts & are single TV households.
In an exclusive chat with Medianews4U Girish Upadhyay, Chief Marketing Officer, Axis My India, speaks to on consumer sentiments, on digital now reaching out to tier 3& 4 markets, and much more…
What are the trends you are seeing when it comes to shopping during the festivals?
As the festive season progresses and the pandemic retreats, a steady return to normalcy is pretty evident. We had seen consumption dropping last year and in the first half of this year because of several restrictions. However, now with ease in mobility, shops &malls re-opening and travel curbs being lifted, consumption is also rising. But is there a cautious control over spending considerations, yes? The same is highlighted in our Consumer Sentiment Index survey, where spending have increased for 56% of the families but the preference is reflected in small purchases over discretionary products. However one can also expect a gradual increase of non-essentials spending as a result of ongoing regional festivities leading up to Diwali.
What are the studies from your recent survey in regard to consumers’ buying habits this festive season?
Our monthly consumer sentiment analysis delves into 5 relevant sub-indices – Overall household spending, spending on essential and non-essential items, spending on healthcare, media consumption habits & mobility trends. If we look at this study, there are 2 sections where spending is reflected. First is the top 10-15% of the urban population, who are in a high consumption mode. They are traveling more, doing more and more online and offline shopping, booking cars, and this is beyond just ‘revenge shopping’. These people have accumulated savings which they are now using for buying things that they desire. And then we have the rural segment, where the sentiment recovery is again much faster. However, the middle class is still cautious.
Digital is in the forefront now, how do you see Tier 3 & 4 relating to this trend?
Digital in Tier 3 & 4 markets reflects a sharp growth trajectory. Be it e-commerce, digital media consumption, digital payments; digital overall is coming to the forefront. Mobile is the biggest tool in a consumer’s hand, and he is using it to shop more & get more information. Our survey shows,27% of respondents report an increase in UPI transactions in the last 1 year. Of the audiences who watched IPL, 31% said they watched it on a digital platform and this number is higher in rural segments power cuts and single TV households are still a common phenomenon in these markets. As a result of which mobile gives them the power to watch their preferred content on demand.
Is this festive season consumers more optimistic as compared to last year?
With improved consumer sentiment and an increase in mobility, consumers are definitely more optimistic as compared to last year. Last year’s festive shopping was maybe in the ‘revenge shopping’ space but this year it is actual demand and need-based. Our CSI study shows that 42% of families have indicated their intent to spend more or the same this festive season compared to last year. This year Diwali is therefore going to be bigger, brighter & better both for consumers and brands.
What are the categories consumers prefer to buy online and categories where they feel they need to shop physically?
Having mentioned the digital growth trajectory an online-offline gap still exists. 33% are buying electronics like laptops, mobiles etc. online while high-value items like jewelry and groceries at the lower end are still bought physically. In quite a few categories it is still about research online but shop offline. But an important point that we need to remember is that digital is not just about e-commerce. We need to see the aggregated impact of online touchpoints be it through a search engine, a social media conversation, watching an online video, reading a blog, visiting a website, or the final transaction point. There is an increasing influence of online on purchase decisions at this aggregate level.
Any other data this survey has thrown up?
There are 2 interesting emerging trends. First is the growing acceptance of digital be it for payments, e-commerce or media consumption.The pandemic has fuelled a substantial increase in the perceived usefulness of digital which has resulted in a permanent behavior change. Be it millennials or the rural segment, acceptance of technology has happened across.
Secondly, the rise of small-town and rural India is no longer a theory. With a degree of reverse migration, better sentiments, support by government schemes and a quicker bounce post-Covid, smaller town markets& rural India with 4000 towns & over 6 lac villages is now a huge playground for brands.