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
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.
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.