THE INDIAN SHOP­PER’S MIND­SET

For quite some time now, the trans­for­ma­tional growth of e-tail­ing glob­ally and in In­dia, has led to the death knell be­ing sounded for off­line, brick and mor­tar re­tail­ers. While it is re­sound­ingly true that the on­line chal­lenge has greatly im­pacted the fac

Images Retail - - CONTENTS - – By Kal­pana Si­tara­man, Akhil Almeida & Naina Ja­yara­jan

The key is to tap into consumer needs and be­hav­iors which tran­scend plat­forms

An over­view of suc­cess­ful tac­tics adopted by both off­line and on­line re­tail­ers

The Indian re­tail sce­nario has been the stage for many in­no­va­tive tac­tics – as brick and mor­tar re­tail­ers, across a gamut of cat­e­gories, strive to stay rel­e­vant while on­line re­tail­ers strug­gle to out­live the ‘val­u­a­tion eu­pho­ria’ to ac­tu­ally drive busi­ness value.

Yes, the ver­dict is clear – re­tail­ers, both off­line and on­line have to adapt or per­ish and not re­spond­ing is not an op­tion; but the key is to tap into consumer needs and be­hav­iors which tran­scend the on­line/off­line plat­form de­bate.

The Con­text:

Re­tail mar­ket­ing ob­jec­tives – both on­line and off­line, typ­i­cally cen­ter around 3 main ar­eas:

Build­ing foot­falls, and sub­se­quently turnover

Build­ing a brand im­age (to en­sure loy­alty, re­peats, big­ger ticket sizes and gen­er­at­ing WOM)

Build­ing a cus­tomer con­nect (which will sus­tain the above)

Most tac­tics that have worked aim to ful­fil one (or more) of the above ob­jec­tives – us­ing the levers pro­vided by in­sights on shop­per and consumer mindsets.

In our ex­pe­ri­ence, we find the most ef­fec­tive tac­tics

(in both on­line and off­line set­tings) have been those that are rooted in shop­per in­sights on mindsets and its trans­la­tion into ef­fec­tive shop­ping trig­gers or ad­dress­ing bar­ri­ers. Based on our body of ex­pe­ri­ence in re­search­ing shop­per in­sights across a range of cat­e­gories, we have iden­ti­fied a few core shop­per mindsets that tend to drive shop­per be­hav­ior in In­dia.

The ar­ti­cle is struc­tured as fol­lows: First, we pro­vide an over­view of these mindsets; then we fo­cus on how off­line re­tail­ers are tap­ping into these mindsets in craft­ing their strat­egy; fol­lowed by a look at on­line e-tailer tac­tics lever­ag­ing the same mindsets.

SHOP­PER MIND­SET FRAME­WORK:

1. THE VALUE-SEEKER

MIND­SET: The Indian shop­per is a value-seeker, no doubt about it. Char­ac­ter­ized for long by the ‘mid­dle-class mind­set, the In­dia shop­per has been one who val­ues thrift and fru­gal­ity over flashy dis­plays. While the re­cent years of growth and eco­nomic power have slowly worked to pro­vide ac­cess and ex­po­sure to both knowl­edge and pur­chase of prod­ucts across price points, the old habits of seek­ing value are too deeply in­grained to shake-off in an in­stant. This value-seek­ing mind­set con­tin­ues to un­der­pin the way Indian shop­pers shop, even to­day. Meet­ing the dis­coun­te­co­nomics head-on! Tap­ping into this mind­set, off­line re­tail­ers are bring­ing the same game to the ta­ble – with a re­newed fo­cus. From the reg­u­lar Wed­nes­day sales and Big Bachat days to Festival Sale Days, gro­cery re­tail­ers (Big Bazaar, Re­liance More et

al) in par­tic­u­lar, have adopted this with en­thu­si­asm. Event Sale Days (In­de­pen­dence and Repub­lic Day Sales) have been used for quite a few years now – and all Big Sale Days are key foot­fall driv­ers. In­ter­est­ingly, if used well, they also tend to be loy­alty driv­ers (as 7 out of 10 peo­ple only shop in a sin­gle store)!

Re­tail­ers con­tinue to rein­vent these ‘days’ - newer con­cepts like Women’s Day and re­cently, the Big Bazaar GST Mahu­rat bo­nanza are be­ing used to tap into pre­vail­ing pub­lic sen­ti­ment, cre­ate ex­cite­ment and trans­form that into foot­falls and billings.

2. THE CON­VE­NIENCE MIND­SET

This is a key consumer mind­set across In­dia (as it is glob­ally too). With hec­tic life­styles bal­anced be­tween work­ing hard, the de­mands of an ex­tended fam­ily and so­cial setup and in­ad­e­quate in­fra­struc­ture (roads, pub­lic transport), the Indian consumer is a time-poor, has­sled, con­ve­nience seeker in al­most all as­pects of life.

The ver­dict is clear – re­tail­ers, both off­line and on­line have to adapt or per­ish and not re­spond­ing is not an op­tion; but the key is to tap into consumer needs and be­hav­iors which tran­scend the on­line/ off­line plat­form de­bate.

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