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India: Consumer study shows consumer shopping needs

May 29, 2020

India’s lockdown was split into zones with new rules being different in each zone, a new study shows what consumers are looking for during and after the lockdown for the red zones which is the most restricted.

Earlier this month, the second phase of the COVID-19 lockdown came to an end. In the new notification issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on 1 May, it was announced that the lockdown will be extended by two more weeks, but many economic activities started to be permitted in areas classified into red, orange and green zones.

Ecommerce platforms over the last several years have made life convenient for consumers as anyone could buy all kinds of products from the comfort of their home and offices and receive it in a few days. During the lockdown, ecommerce was restricted by the Government to deliver essentials only which was largely done to minimise people on the roads.

While that was ok for most people for the first two weeks, people started realising a need for various items as they started Work from Home and as children in many families started their Online Classes from home, this latest study revealed.

According to the 1 May guidelines, ecommerce sites were allowed to deliver all products, including non-essential items, in orange and green zones. However, people in red zones could only receive essentials via ecommerce per the MHA order. The red zone covers most major cities and 33% of India’s population.

People soon took to expressing concerns about their inability to purchase items beyond the essentials which some call the secondary essentials during lockdown, things like stationery, printer cartridges, batteries, books, basic tablets for children to participate in online classes.

Given a large number of consumer concerns that had been received, LocalCircles conducted a survey to get a consumer feedback on how they would shop after the lockdown is relaxed by the Government. The survey received more than 16,000 votes from 12,343 unique consumers located in 210 districts across India.

The survey revealed that after lockdown ends, 26% said they will continue to buy from eCommerce sites, 41% said they will go to the local retail stores/markets and buy, 24% said they will try to get it delivered from local retail stores, while 4% said they will go to the mall and buy what they need.

LocalCircles said: “It is pretty clear that consumers will not go to the crowded malls to shop for some time even after the lockdown is relaxed and local retail stores and ecommerce platforms would be their first choice to buy non-essential as well as essential items. A new model where they call or WhatsApp a local retailer or service provider who then delivers goods at the doorstep has quickly emerged as a new model during this lockdown period of the last 40 days.”

The same survey revealed that 78% of consumers that took part, said that the Government must permit ecommerce platforms to deliver all goods beyond essentials during the restrictions.

LocalCircles said: “This will ensure that goods move to people as opposed to people moving to goods and minimise the number of people on roads.”

LocalCircles said it will submit these findings to all key Central Government stakeholders so this consumer ask is considered and preferably acted upon by the Government.

Categories : Around the Industry

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