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Consumer sentiment reviving, ‘Cautious living’ likely to rise : Report

By Retail4Growth Team | August 18, 2020

Cautious living is emerging as the new theme, where consumers feel it is time that they need to resume their activities albeit with a lot of caution, said the report.

Consumer sentiment has started showing signs of improvement despite the fact pandemic continues to worsen, according to a report by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG).

The revival is stronger among lower-income segments and lower-tier cities, said the report titled ‘COVID-19 Consumer Sentiment Research’, which has covered around 3,000 respondents across metros and Tier I/II/III & IV cities from July 20 to August 2, 2020.

“Cautious living” is emerging as the new theme, where consumers feel that it is time that they need to resume their activities albeit with a lot of caution, said the report.

There is also a pick up in routine activities with 53 percent consumers stating that they have been going out to work and 66 percent consumers saying that they have been visiting friends in the latest round as against 15 percent and 10 percent respectively in the last round.

Kanika Sanghi, Lead, Centre for Customer Insight for BCG India said, “We are beginning to see a change in the consumer sentiment. The overarching feeling in all the previous rounds of survey had been more around fear, worries about the economy and their own incomes, whereas the latest round speaks much more about learning to live cautiously with the virus.

As per the report, the extent of revival is much faster in smaller cities. “For example, 52 percent consumers in Metro and Tier 1 think their income will be lower, while only 41 percent in Tier 2 and below think the same. Similarly, 36 per cent of small town consumers are going to local markets for essentials shopping as much as they used to pre COVID compared to 27 percent in metro and tier I,” it said.

The report also sheds light on consumer’s spending sentiment that, according to report, has improved across many categories. While essentials, health, in-home entertainment continue to be winners, there is an uptick in sentiment across many semi-essentials like personal care, packaged food as well as discretionary items like apparel, cosmetics, auto, consumer electronics. Travel, out of home entertainment, on the other hand, continues to show little to no improvement.

The strong acceleration in e-commerce continues. As per the survey, around 20 percent new users have been added to the universe of online shoppers in the last 3-4 months. Many of the categories have seen an even faster acceleration with fresh foods, staples seeing up to 40-50 percent new users.

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