The chang­ing con­sumer be­hav­iour

Progressive Grocer (India) - - Contents -

Trends show a steady and pro­gres­sive shift in con­sumers’ as­pi­ra­tions and spend­ing be­hav­iours—in cer­tain cat­e­gories. For one thing, shop­ping is be­com­ing more so­cial—in­volv­ing all fam­ily mem­bers—and much more fre­quent, thanks to the rise of online shop­ping.

Many con­sumers are mak­ing dif­fer­ent buy­ing and trade-off de­ci­sions. For ex­am­ple, im­me­di­ate grat­i­fi­ca­tion is be­com­ing more im­por­tant. So while the big­gest de­sires of as­pir­ing house­holds are still about own­ing a house and a car, nowa­days more of these con­sumers also want to take in­ter­na­tional va­ca­tions. Sim­i­larly, af­flu­ent house­holds are be­com­ing com­fort seek­ers, and they are will­ing to pay for it.

Spend­ing Be­hav­iour

As­pir­ing house­holds are also trad­ing up more fre­quently in cat­e­gories such as ap­parel, buy­ing bet­ter brands for ev­ery­one in the fam­ily. At the same time, con­sumers in nu­mer­ous ba­sic cat­e­gories such as bis­cuits, salty snacks, tea, and kitchen and floor clean­ers are far less con­scious about the brands.

So­cial me­dia is play­ing a big role in bring­ing about the change in con­sumer be­hav­iour and our spend­ing pat­terns. Peo­ple want to fit in with their peers. This is true for all man­ner of ur­ban and ru­ral con­sumers. Na­tion­wide, in­ter­net pen­e­tra­tion rose from 8% in 2010 to al­most 25% in 2016. It is likely to grow to 55% or more by 2025, when the num­ber of users will likely reach 850 mil­lion. The com­po­si­tion of the user base is also chang­ing. Most of the dig­i­tal fo­cus to date has been on ur­ban users, but ru­ral ar­eas will see much of the ac­tion for the rest of this decade.

We ex­pect that more than half of all new in­ter­net users will be in ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties and that ru­ral users will con­sti­tute about half of all In­dian in­ter­net users in 2020. Also, the users are older and more ma­ture. To­day, more than half of all users are 24 years old or younger, but by 2020 about 65% of users will be 25 or older.

Com­pa­nies need to con­sider these as­pects of ris­ing dig­i­tal pen­e­tra­tion and its in­creas­ing in­flu­ence on con­sump­tion pat­terns and get ready to win the bat­tles of re­tail for to­mor­row.

The au­thor has over 30 years of learn­ings and win­ning ex­pe­ri­ence with Food Re­tail, New con­cept/ brands, FMCG and Or­gan­ised Re­tail. Cur­rently he heads Dubai Over­seas Trade of­fice in In­dia and is on the Board of Skill De­vel­op­ment – SME for Re­tail – be­sides also ad­vis­ing on in­ter­na­tional food re­tail­ing in In­dia. He is reach­able at rakeshgamb­hir@im­ages­group.in

As­pir­ing house­holds are also trad­ing up more fre­quently in cat­e­gories such as ap­parel, buy­ing bet­ter brands for ev­ery­one in the fam­ily. At the same time, con­sumers in nu­mer­ous ba­sic cat­e­gories such as bis­cuits, salty snacks, tea, and kitchen and floor clean­ers are far less con­scious about the brands.

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