India is a land of festivals and festivities. It is one of the most exciting nations for marketers as they can woo consumers with exciting offers, freebies, discounts, and sales year-round. From January to December, there is never a dearth of opportunities for marketers to entice shoppers to loosen their purse strings and soak in the festive spirit with family and friends. The much-awaited Christmas and holiday season is just around the corner, and everyone is in the mood to spend just a bit more and not count their pennies. After all, holidays and the spirit of gifting go hand-in-hand, and the marketers would like to make the most of it.
After a damp 2020, consumer brands are hopeful of an upswing in purchasing this year. As the market slowly begins to crawl back towards normalcy, brands are likely to go all out to ‘create a need’ among consumers with ‘never before’ ‘cannot-afford-to-miss offers and messages. As 2021 draws to a close, and if the buzz in the market is anything to go by, brands are likely to go all out to cash in on 2021. So, what does the last few days of 2021 hold for marketers?
Most preferred product category purchased across genders – Apparels and Mobiles
‘The market waits for confirmed signs of recovery with trepidation after 2nd wave – Cautiously optimistic’, research published by Market Xcel Data Matrix Pvt Ltd during the pre-festive 2021 season noted that across genders, 51% of respondents showed interest in apparel purchasing while 50% preferred mobiles.
While men are looking at consumer electronics, groceries, health and personal care, and home appliance products, women, on the other hand, are looking at health, personal care, consumer durables, make-up, and fragrances this festive season. These categories pretty much make up for the season’s shopping basket and are in line with the shopping trends during most festive seasons. Going by this trend, marketers of these products are likely to fascinate consumers with irresistible offers that will make consumers go out and splurge.
The real estate and gold market, primarily driven by the festive seasons, is also showing a significant upturn. “The last quarter of the year is the peak selling period in real estate category, and it is expected to cover 25% of the annual target. Overall, the market has recovered and is up by 20-25%. There is a price appreciation of 20-25% for plots and non-IT office spaces; however, it is limited in the residential sector.” said Vishal Oberoi, CEO of Market Xcel.
He further elaborated, “There is a marginal recovery in the gold sector, especially in the lightweight traditional and contemporary jewelry segment. The market is expected to make a considerable recovery with a 40%-50% increase in 2021 sales compared to that of the year 2020.”
Online shopping to rule the roost:
Online shopping has been gaining momentum over the last few years. Marketers, over time, have realized that it is essential to hit the ground running early than waiting for the ‘actual’ festive season to begin. Being the early-bird gives e-commerce firms the edge to catch early shoppers with customized offerings, bundled offerings, deals, discounts, and a host of other benefits. This year, a more considerable thrust of online shopping would be faster and free delivery options, quicker and probably even same-day deliveries to delight the consumer. The shoppers are looking for a satisfying experience, and brands are ready to provide that. Especially the E-Commerce sector has taken up the challenge to fulfill the need and demand gap in the consumer experience.
Ashwani Arora, Executive Director at MX2.0, stated, “Looking at the current scenario, we believe that e-commerce sector will claim the most significant slice of the market pie with the 73% of customers preferring to purchase from online stores driven primarily by offers & discounts (70%), free shipping (52%) and return policy (44%). This year, e-commerce sales are expected to be around 9.2 billion compared to 2020 festive sales, which recorded a gross sale of USD 8.3 Billion. Surprisingly,20% of this sale is boosted by orders from tier 2 and tier 3 cities, a welcoming statistic for e-commerce retailers.
Over time consumer demands and preferences have drastically changed, necessitating markets to adapt to this change and devise strategies to grab the consumer’s attention. Brands personalize products using technology to provide customers with an impeccable shopping experience.
Omni-channel marketing push:
With the growing popularity of social media, OTT platforms, marketers have realized that the best way to grab consumers’ attention is through any or multiple avenues, both online and offline, while ensuring a positive and seamless experience throughout the customer journey. 92% of marketers say video is an integral part of their marketing strategy.
Beyond product sales: Creating world-class customer experience:
Marketing has evolved, and it is no longer about convincing customers to buy a particular brand/product. Instead, the shift has happened towards providing a world-class consumer experience or customer delight. More so, after a devastating 2020, providing a holistic and superior buyer experience is the name of the game to create brand loyalty and make people yearn and return for more.
A famous quote reads, “opportunities don’t happen. You create them”. It all boils down to what marketers will do and, more importantly, how for a great 2021 sign-off.