As we’ve noted previously, the Indian consumer is a connected consumer and thus expects a connected consumer experience. As mobile becomes central to how Indians across the country do everything from staying in touch with others to buying groceries, it imperils brands to provide their target audience with a seamless experience across their digital devices. After all, it’s what today’s digitally savvy customers expect.
A truly connected customer experience is especially needed in the retail world. The rise of e-commerce has in turn enhanced customer expectations from shipping to customer service and everything in between.
To illustrate how connected Indian consumers shop today, InMobi recently surveyed over 1,000 people throughout India to see when and how they would be shopping during the 2019 Festive Season. So what do our numbers reveal?
Understanding how mobile impacts the Shopping Journey in 2019
The festive season records some of the most significant purchase decisions throughout the year, making it the basis of our study. How will connected consumers in India be buying during the four-month period from Dussehra through Christmas this year? As our research shows, when it comes to shopping, connected devices are a crucial component of the buying journey.
At the beginning, middle and end of the shopping journey, mobile reigns supreme. Whether the festive shopping is online or in-store, mobile is the constant companion for learning, exploring and buying in the customer’s shopping journey.
Consider what our survey uncovered:
- 62% use mobile to learn and discover about products. Only 9% do the same in store.
- 77% use mobile to research and explore about products, while only 24% do the same in store.
- 67% use mobile to make purchases during festive season, while only 33% said they would be making in-store purchases.
How Do Indians Plan To Shop This Festive Season?
It’s important for brands to get this right, as festive season represents an enormous opportunity for a wide variety of retailers. Indians will spend INR 15,000 on average this festive season, with 56% of those surveyed saying that they expect to spend more this year versus 2018. This is why advertisers in India are expected to spend 28,000 Cr. this festive season, 8% to 12% more than what was spent last year.
Who stands to benefit from this shopping bonanza? According to our survey, 56% of respondents said they will spend the most on apparel and clothing this festive season. In comparison, 21% said they’d spent the most on jewelry, 20% said home appliances and 15% said gadgets like smartphones and tablets.
Conventionally a highly-planned affair, the festive season is witnessing a mixed bag of planned and impulse shopping. This change in consumer behavior is supported by shifting population demographics, access to a variety of choices and enhanced connectivity. India’s connected consumer is being defined by the ever-growing millennial and Gen Z population, who highly value the shopping experience and prefer to learn, explore and buy on the smartphone.
How Brands are Connecting with the Connected Consumer
While consumers are readily embracing mobile, it appears as though brands are not following suit. As our survey shows, consumers face issues throughout the buying journey.
- When asked about the biggest issues faced while learning and discovering about products on mobile for the festive season, survey respondents cited lack of communication in local languages and too much or too little information about brand/product as some of their top concerns.
- When asked about the biggest issues faced while researching for festive season shopping on your mobile, top cited concerns included not enough reviews/ratings, multiple steps for discovering products on website or in-app, lack of trialability, not mobile optimised and irrelevant product offers/suggestions.
- When asked about the biggest issues you face purchasing for the festive season on mobile, survey respondents said their top concerns included actual product differing from online display, multiple steps for completing purchase, checkout not being mobile optimised, poor after-sales service (delivery, installation, etc.) and transaction delay/failure.
So what does this reveal? While today’s connected mobile consumer wants - nay, demands - a frictionless experience, brands are simply not able to deliver. Considering how important mobile is to today’s consumers, this is a huge missed opportunity.
“With the multitude of shopping options available, it’s important for brands to engage at every step of the customer journey. Whether the consumer is doing initial research online, stopping by the store to check a product out, or browsing a social media page, brands should facilitate a personalized, comfortable experience,” Deloitte Digital has noted.
Of course, providing a frictionless mobile experience for today’s connected Indian consumer is no easy feat. Stay tuned for our next blog post to learn more about why it’s necessary and what brands can do today to improve.
What has your connected shopping experience been so far this year? We’d love to hear from you on social media! Let us know your thoughts on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn!