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The 'uncommon ratio' of Indian consumers

News, 14 September 2016

MUMBAI: Indian consumers have well-defined expectations and preferences when it comes to choosing brands, considering fashionable attributes equally important to reliability and ethical sourcing, a study has shown.

This is "an uncommon ratio" when compared to the preferences of consumers in other countries, according to The Future of Consumer Demand report from global bank HSBC.

India also came second after Poland on the list of countries whose consumers cared most about being able to try new products and services, the Business Standard reported.

Based on Trajectory Global Foresight Surveys and insights from business thought leaders, the report identified three macro trends that are contributing to significant changes in consumer behaviour around the world.

These include the emergence of a growing consumer class; the advances in technology which have revolutionised how people access, choose and pay for goods and services; and the need for greater transparency as consumers are increasingly able and willing to put business ethics in the spotlight and to make consumption choices based on their personal values.

Consumers in India appeared to place greater trust in business than those in other emerging markets, with around half of survey respondents from there saying they trusted national and multinational business leaders at least a little.

The timing of the survey that produced that finding wasn't clear but the recent woes of Nestlé and Volkswagen are unlikely to have improved the perception of business leaders.

As regards technology, the penetration rate in India remains low, although it is growing fast. Some 23% of India-based respondents had bought goods or services online in the month preceding the survey, with 17% doing so via mobile.

And while the country's e-commerce giants regularly grab the headlines, banking was actually the activity people were most likely to undertake online (73%).

Data sourced from HSBC, Business Standard; additional content by Warc staff