Much hope is being placed on this year’s festive season in India to help brands bounce back and with the online shopping momentum expected to continue in the wake of COVID-19, the focus is on digital strategies.

Speaking to ETBrandEquity, Panasonic India head (marketing communications and brand) Shirish Agarwal said with social distancing norms and other health safety measures still in place, digital platforms will be the main channel for many consumers.

"A lot of brands will be experimenting with digital platforms which will not just be limited to promotion but will also be the preferred points of purchase," he said. "We will see the contribution of high- end appliances such as 55 inches and above television models, 550-litre refrigerator, fully-automatic washing machine, and grooming products going up this festive season."

Even India’s embattled auto sector is expecting a pickup in sales, with Tata Motors noting that this year's festive season will be an important time for the auto industry, as customers look to make big-ticket purchases post-lockdown.

"Despite the slowdown caused by the pandemic, this year's festive season has already begun on a positive note for the company. Our market share has already doubled after the first quarter of this financial year to 9.5%, as compared to the same time last year," Tata Motors Passenger Vehicle Business Unit Head, Marketing, Vivek Srivatsa told the Press Trust of India.

Meanwhile, laptop and smartphone manufacturers are likely to boost India's overall advertising expenditure thanks to the anticipated spike in demand during the festive season, with many consumer electronic brands focusing spend on TV and digital channels.

Speaking to Best Media Info, Sooraj Balakrishnan, Head, Marketing, Acer India noted that in the short term, digital will drive more spends but as the situation improves, the company will expand mediums by observing consumer trends and shopping behaviour.

“Mediums like digital will see increased spends as audience spend more time on phones, laptops and OTT platforms. Advertisers will move where the audience is and that’s natural as they want to maximise ROI. We are also seeing media consolidating their offerings to ensure they remain relevant. Print would have affected in the short term but as the situation improves, I am sure we will witness a bounce-back,” he added.

According to research firm Mintel’s Global COVID-19 Tracker in August, 42% of Indian consumers are looking forward to meeting family and friends in person compared to 34% of consumers in early July. This desire has accelerated due to the onset of the festive season. In addition, the research firm’s data indicates that consumer sentiment is improving and with more willingness to spend on luxury items and good brands in the market.

Nidhi Sinha, Head of Content, Mintel India said as people continue to be under restrictions due to the pandemic, this year's festive season is expected to be low key compared to prior years. However, Mintel research highlights that 30% of Indian consumers are planning to spend more on clothes and accessories, presenting an opportunity for brands.

“This is indicative that people are planning to spend on indulgences despite a negative economic outlook. Brands like Gemini oil, Ferns and Petals and Cadbury have been very agile in talking about the changing face of the festivities and how it is an opportunity for people to spend such festivals at home with their loved ones,” he told Business Insider India.

Sourced from Business Insider India, ETBrandEquity, Best Media Info