Kantar reveals consumer trends for 2020

Ride sharing, environment consciousness, remting goods, online course - are some of the key ones

MUMBAI: How are consumers going to behave in  2020? The economy is in a bind, consumer spending has been cautious. Will they be a little more prone to reach into their pockets to make purchases? Well, market research firm  Kantar has drawn up the top 10  key trends that will impact consumer behavior in India in the year 2020. The trends touch upon a range of categories including FMCG, durables, home buying, transportation, loans, infrastructure, online engagements, entertainment, imported goods and much more.

Speaking about the trends, Kantar insights division South Asia CEO Preeti Reddy stated, “If the consumer behavior in 2019 was driven by the desire to seek stability, the over-riding sentiment is one of ‘wait and watch’ in 2020 amongst Indian consumers. Meanwhile, with their wallets squeezed and aspirations intact, a large-scale reprioritization of spending is underway across the board”.

Kantar- Consumer Trends for 2020

Waiting for the economy to recover

Declining household saving is forcing shoppers to buy smaller packs, and cheaper variants of household consumables. Apart from millennials reluctant to own homes, tighter budgets and job uncertainty mean that families will put off purchasing homes. And yet the affordability and accessibility of credit, particularly with the entry of digital lending players that offer instant loans, will ease this scenario. Lenders have seen a 50 per cent surge in loan applications for holidays.

Waiting for deals

97 per cent of Indian households in 2019 bought at least one CPG (consumer packaged goods) product on promotion, with overall promotion volumes up by 6.4 per cent. Brands have no option but to find new ways of rewarding smart, well-informed, deal-seeking consumers, as information gathering becomes an integral part of the shopping experience. 85 per cent of consumers check at least two data points other than prices and discounts when purchasing.

But not waiting to sell

Social commerce platforms like Meesho, GlowRoad, Dealshare, Mall18 will tap into the next wave of online shoppers, that is,  200 million from smaller cities of India with very different behaviour and needs vs the current group. Their transactions are hyperlocal in nature and work by sharing deals over WhatsApp. New platforms are enabling sellers to find buyers by leveraging their social networks. Bulbul and Simsim users interact with sellers during live video streaming and make their purchases immediately.

Waiting for infrastructure

Tired waiting for roads, consumers have embraced technological solutions such as car pooling and shared bus rides. The shared transportation market will grow to Rs 35,000 crores by 2025. Cities plagued by congestion and infrastructure troubles, such as Mumbai and Bengaluru, are quick adopters. The lack of action towards improving the abysmal quality of air is encouraging people to work from home, even as solutions such as air purifiers and oxygen bars emerge to give them a breather.

Not waiting to deal with waste

22 per cent of Indians say that plastic wastage is the top concern for them environmentally – significantly higher than the global average of 15 per cent. 53 per cent of Indian consumers will pay more for environment friendly products. A similar proportion is prepared to make changes to their lifestyle for the environment. Expect greater awareness and action around food waste, and trends such as up cycling to take off, spurred by conscious business and activist youth.

Won’t wait for the experience

Tighter control overspending does not necessarily mean that consumers are cutting back on experiences. 37 percent of urban Indians say that they finance experiences by trading down in certain product categories including jewelry, mobile phones, apparel, and home furnishings. Some consumers are optimizing their spends by renting kitchen appliances, clothes, and furniture; 25 per cent of consumers would consider renting in the future. 

Won’t shy away from risk

Uncertainty in the social and economic environment has propelled Indian consumers to embrace new opportunities and create alternative futures for themselves. India is now witnessing reverse migration, as two-tier cities and state capitals emerge as attractive places due to lower land and home prices, cleaner air and availability of quality education. Consumption-wise, there is rising experimentation with an array of offerings on e-commerce platforms, even as consumers seek ways to mitigate risk of redundancy by reskilling themselves through online courses. [93 per cent of Indian learners are in the 18-39 age bracket]

Won’t wait for rcep

Despite the political reluctance to leverage trade opportunities within Asian, Chinese, Japanese and Korean consumer brands – which have won the hearts and wallets of Indian consumers – they will continue to do well. Expect an integration of technology and content in many of these products. From home appliances to automobiles to social platforms such as TikTok. While Korean pop culture will capture the imagination of youth across campuses and small-town India, Tokyo’s hosting the Olympics will create greater engagement with Japanese brands.

Will watch and play/relax

Our mobile gaming study reveals that 76 per cent of the gamers indulge in playing games on their mobile phone more than twice a day; and 31per cent play four to five times a day. 70 per cent of gamers spend more than half an hour and 42 per cent spend more than an hour playing mobile games. In-app purchases in online and mobile games present developers with financial opportunity. Some brands will deploy ASMR (autonomous sensory meridian response) - videos using audio stimuli like sounds of nature, mellow music, people whispering – to relax, soothe or invigorate viewers.

Will watch local

An average Indian spends 6.2 hours consuming online content daily. Going forward, spending per month on digital media content is expected to grow by 2.5 times. 95 per cent of online video consumption is in Indian languages. Bengali content growing more than 100 per cent year-on-year in watch time. Marketers will look towards online publishers and media companies to build engagement by learning techniques like transmedia storytelling, where single narrative cuts across multiple platforms and formats using available digital technologies.

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