MUMBAI: Indian consumers are 22% more likely to buy brands they see advertised during the festive season and are 18% more likely to be influenced by online reviews during this period, a leading consultant at Kantar has revealed.

Deepa Mathew, a consumer insights specialist at Kantar IMRB, also says in an article for WARC that accumulated research has shown that Indian consumers are 12% more likely to buy expensive brands during the festive season.

(For more, including advice for marketers about the best time to launch new products, read WARC's exclusive report: Shopper behaviour and trends in India's festive season.)

"[Today's consumer] is definitely in a mood to splurge and buy the best. In his quest for the best, he is more influenced by advertisements and peer reviews than in the non-festive season," Mathew asserts. "Online research also plays an important role in purchase decisions in the festive season."

Citing data drawn from Kantar IMRB, Kantar Worldpanel and others, Mathew further reveals that the sharing of reviews with friends and peers online tends to increase by 16% while there is an 11% increase in the number of consumers who search online for products advertised on TV.

Taken together, she says the season, which usually runs from the start of October until the end of November and includes major events such as Diwali, is the time of year "when Indian consumers tend to spend with abandon".

Among the wealth of research she highlights, Mathew also reveals that consumers are 6% more inclined to purchase a new brand during the festive season and are 11% more willing to experiment with foreign food.

In addition, there is a 20% surge in debit card usage while the proportion of consumers who report spending money "without thinking" increases by 19%.

"Risk taking behaviour increases particularly during the festive season spurred by peer pressure and the celebratory atmosphere," Mathew explains.

"The need to shop also drives risk taking and this reflects in consumer debit and credit card usage and their approach to financing."

Data sourced from WARC