As India eases out of lockdown restrictions, with its festive season kicking off, non-essential goods brands are ramping up efforts to entice shoppers.

The Indian government issued orders splitting goods and services into essential and non-essential categories, at the start of the countrywide lockdown in March. However, by design and default after months of conditioning, many consumers are still differing non-essential purchases and services – marking an uphill climb for brands that fall within these categories.

That’s mainly because most “consumers were forced to skip large shopping occasions in the first half of 2020,” Kishankumar Shyamalan, vice president, Wavemaker India told ETBrandEquity.

In many parts of the country, April-May is typically the year’s first wedding season, but many weddings were pushed to the second half of the year. There were also several regional festivals during the lockdown which were low-key and summer vacation-related spending was also put on hold.

But now marketers operating in non-essential categories are scaling up their experience offerings to bring in more customers in a bid to drive sales during the anticipated spike in spending for the festive season.

Fashion brands and retailers are accelerating their efforts to reach out to loyal customers with at-home video shopping experiences. Speaking to ETBrandEquity, Sheetal Seth, head marketing and digital media, Raymond Apparel, thinks of these experiences as the new ways of ‘moment marketing’.

“As marketers, we must understand that consumers are more agile than us and we need to adapt our business model to serve them better. We must ensure we have an obsessive-compulsive focus on the customer,” she added.

Jewellery brand Tanishq has pressed on with customer engagement initiatives since March, asking customers to celebrate “golden moments” with families when at home, hosted live music shows, and released occasion-based campaigns across digital and print media.

“This is a year of staying salient (not silent) and solving problems instead of merely selling products,” said Arun Narayan, AVP, marketing, category and retail, Tanishq told ETBrandEquity.

In an interview with Business Insider India, Saahil Kumar, head - marketing, Sennheiser India said that as the consumers continue the shift to online purchases, the luxury audio brand has been investing in an omnichannel approach to provide customers with all available choices for shopping.

“We are avoiding allocating spends for traditional BTL and events as consumers will avoid such gatherings and focusing more on engaging with customers digitally,” he added. “Most of our planned events and other important announcements took place via digital platforms.”

Kumar added that there have been some early signs that show quick recovery for premium and luxury brands, leading to optimism about recovery. The International Monetary Fund has predicted India would grow 1.9% for the fiscal year that ends on March 31, 2021, making it one of the few major economies, alongside China, expected to register an expansion despite the pandemic.

It further predicted that India will grow at 7.4% in the fiscal year that starts in April 2021, if the coronavirus outbreak is brought under control sufficiently and more stimulus is injected into the economy.

Sourced from ETBrandEquity, Business Insider India, CNBC