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Consumers more 'excited' about festive shopping this year, 73% intend to shop online

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The survey has also indicated that a majority (73 percent) of consumers intend to shop online while they are also considering shopping at malls (66 percent) as well as at stand-alone shops (46 percent).

Apparel and home appliances are on top of the shopping lists of consumers this festive season, with 94 percent of consumers excited to shop during this festive season, up from 80 percent last year.
The Festive Shopping Index, an annual survey by the Retailers Association of India (RAI) and LitmusWorld indicates that this augers well for retail businesses and could lead to a turnaround.
The survey has also indicated that a majority (73 percent) of consumers intend to shop online while they are also considering shopping at malls (66 percent) as well as at stand-alone shops (46 percent).
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This comes at a time when out-of-home picks up and things move towards normalisation post the second wave. Footfalls in malls pan India are picking up and as of post-October, Durga Pooja was at 70-75 percent of pre-COVID levels of 2019 and sales at 85-90 percent of pre-COVID levels and 100 percent of 2020 levels.
In terms of what’s on top of shopping lists of consumers, the Festive Shopping Index has shown that 63 percent of consumers have apparel at the top of their shopping lists, followed by home appliances and electronics (50 percent) and mobile phones (36 percent).
Jewellery sales this festive season could also pick up as compared to last year with 27 percent of consumers surveyed having Jewellery among the top things to buy this festive season as against 9 percent last year.
There is a slightly higher demand for automobiles as well at 11 percent wanting to them as against 9 percent last year. However, with work from office also resuming, lesser consumers (24 percent) are likely to prefer buying furniture this festive season as against 34 percent in 2020.
There are slight changes in the budget's of consumers this year as well. While the number of people willing to spend over Rs one lakh this festive season is up at 9 percent as against 5 percent last year.
Twenty percent of consumers surveyed want to spend between Rs 30,000 to Rs 1 lakh (Vs 23 percent in 2020), and 48 percent are willing to spend Rs 5,000 to Rs 15,000 this festive season. The Buy Now Pay Later trend will also continue with 21 percent intending to opt of EMI or pay later schemes.
In addition to retail shopping, consumer buying patterns will also see a change this festive season, according to a survey conducted by SnapBizz, a tech solutions provider for Kirana stores. For example, products from the categories such as household cleaning, health drinks & food grocery like atta, rice masala, oil, fast food, and ready to eat, dry fruits are being bought more, the survey indicates.
Fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) sales in the July-September quarter increased 8-9 percent over pre-COVID levels of 2019, and 18 percent over the same period in 2020.
Not just that, the Pay Later trend is spilling into daily grocery sales (though not a new trend) with Snapbizz seeing a spike in the credit given to the consumers by the stores during the festive season period.
"Festive season has given an opportunity for retailers to recover from losses occurred during the covid lockdowns. Kirana stores have been making the best of the festival season by offering their customers discounts and reward points on products to result in more sales. For example, some products such as oil and ghee are on display at the counters, with some seasonal festive offer packs," Prem Kumar, founder and CEO, Snapbizz said.
These signs of improving consumer sentiment are giving both FMCG major and retailers confidence in a possible turnaround this festive season.