For India’s retailers, the pandemic means this year’s festive season is unlikely to match those of previous years but there are signs that give rise to cautious optimism.

In its 2020 Festive Season Report, mobile advertising technology company InMobi states that sentiment remains positive despite the impact of the coronavirus. Its survey of over 1,500 consumers across 16 Indian cities (Tier I, II and III) found that 54% of Indians will be spending up to ₹10,000 (approximately US$137) this shopping season.

“People probably have been looking forward to this festive period to actually spend,” said Jayesh Ullattil, vice-president and general manager at InMobi, India.

“Step back and think about it. Psychologically, shopping to many is cathartic behaviour, it is a relief. If you haven’t spent money for a period of six [to] eight months, you would probably be okay spending it during the festive months. And if there are good enough deals out there, why wouldn’t they?”

And the deals are there as brands unveil festive offers galore and the ongoing annual sales of online marketplaces like Amazon and Flipkart mean consumers are spoilt for choice.

Elsewhere, the return of the IPL (albeit in the UAE rather than India) has added to the marketing clamour and arguably helped usher in a sense of a return to something like normality.

Then there’s the recently announced festive stimulus package that gives a spending boost to central government employees and which can only improve consumer sentiment.

While the level of spending remains in doubt, it’s a certainty that the behavioural shift that has been observed as shoppers moved online during lockdown will continue during the festive period.

At online fashion retailer Myntra, head of marketing Harish Narayanan sees the season as a “gamechanger” in terms of consumer behaviour and is targeting scaling the business to be twice that of the year before.

For more details, read: Muted yet a positive festive season in the offing for Indian marketers.

Sourced from WARC