Predominance of online shopping alters the way Indians make purchase decision, says survey

48 year old Arya has been a regular online shopper for many years. But when it comes to buying home appliances or big ticket electronic products, she prefers to buy from a nearby physical store. But with the pandemic, shopping habits are changing- not just for Arya, but for the majority of urban Indians.

Surveys show that Indians are increasingly preferring to shop online, not only for grocery, health care and such minor purchases, but also for big ticket items. Safety, assured delivery, easy returns and better prices are driving this demand. But it was the pandemic that gave that much needed push for the Indian consumers to embrace online shopping.

The increase in demand is mainly owing to the Millennials upgrading old appliances as they seek newer features and technology to make their life easier. With people staying at home all day, they are looking for appliances that make life easier. As per the survey by Smart Home Guide, moving to a new home is also a motivation for as much as 17 percent of large appliance buyers. As expected, the older generation is sticking to their frugal habits with a majority of those aged 55+ saying that they bought new appliances only when the old one stopped working. 

Though consumers are unable to get the actual look and feel of the products, online platforms are trying hard to bridge this gap and help consumers make an informed choice. Parvathy Pothan of Smart Home Guide says, “ In our survey, we found that people are increasingly resorting to YouTube videos and blogs to understand more about the products and find best options for their needs as they cannot go to the store and physically inspect the product.” 

About 22% of the respondents of the home appliance purchase survey says that they checked YouTube reviews before making a purchase. This helps to not only understand how the product looks, but also plays the role of a salesman educating consumers how to use the appliances or understand the features of a new computer or laptop. A portion of consumers who want in-depth understanding also resort to expert blogs.

Online reviews and ones found on the e-commerce portal itself are also helping consumers understand the pros and cons of every product. It proves to be immensely useful for understanding about the after sales service of various brands. However, a caveat is that most consumers post a review when they are excessively satisfied or utterly dissatisfied with their purchase. Blogs and YouTube channels on the other hand provide an unbiased review of the products.

With the new wave of covid-19, people are becoming more cautious to venture outside. While they are depending on e-commerce players for their needs, major players are having their own challenges. With a huge number of delivery personnels reporting sick, and companies yet to come out with a solid plan to vaccinate them, companies are hiring in massive numbers. But their efforts seem to be paying off as the Indian consumers are leaving their old ways and embracing the convenience of online shopping. 

From Brand Desk

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