Habits change in India

30 November 2010

NEW DELHI: Consumer habits are rapidly evolving in urban India, with shoppers now visiting more stores and becoming increasingly demanding when buying products.

Based on a detailed study, research firm The Nielsen Company reported that people now typically spread purchases between a "repertoire of stores."

Elsewhere, 40% of interviewees could recall the price of a majority of goods they regularly bought, and 45% generally knew the difference in the charges of modern and traditional retailers.

"While retailers usually see shoppers gravitating towards one or two shop types to meet their needs as markets evolve, the 'Crossover Shopper' is a phenomenon that has come of age," said Radhika Chandok, executive director, The Nielsen Company.

"In India … shoppers have now developed a fixed set of stores across format types to meet multiple needs."

Among the further key trends is an expectation of high standards, alongside opting for items offering superior packaging, as well as better taste, smell or other similar attributes than rivals.

"The new Indian shopper needs to have a tactile and sensorial interaction with products at the point of sale," said Chandok.

"Whether it is chewing rice grains, touching toothbrush bristles or sniffing soap wrappers to make a decision, she is unafraid to let her 'experiences' dictate her purchase choices."

Greater web usage and the rising importance of mobile phones is also reshaping popular preferences, according to Nielsen.

"Whilst interaction with mass media has not gone down in terms of time spent, the spread across more channels has reduced the opportunity for brands to have impact on shopper eyeballs," said Chandok.

Data sourced from Nielsen; additional content by Warc staff