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'Indian consumer more demanding & price sensitive'

By Fairy Dharawat | September 23, 2013

Akash Sahai, Managing Director, AIMIA India, a leading loyalty management company shares his insights on the shopper and the personal care category.

Can you share some thoughts on the Indian shopper and their peculiarities when it comes to personal care category and purchase behaviour?

The Indian consumer is extremely value conscious consumer and makes very considered purchasing decisions. But with the inherent Indian contradiction of being equally concerned about the brand she is buying. There are emerging segments for example the youth or the Global Indian who is very brand focused and wants the latest product launches. In such a vast and disparate market there really is no one Indian consumer but many different segments of Indian consumers. Marketing and creating products for these different consumer segments is one of the greatest challenges for consumer marketers. Analysing data on these different customer segments to uncover meaningful insights is a core part of what AIMIA does.

How important is shopper loyalty in personal care category?


Shopper loyalty is extremely important in personal care products after all by definition they are personal products. You could have a teenager, a mother and a father in the same household but all using different shampoos. AIMIA works with many leading retailers including Sainsburys, CVS, Sobeys and over 150 CPGs including Unilever, P&G finding actionable insights from shopper data to help these retailers and CPGs make better strategic decisions.

How can brands achieve shopper loyalty at retail? What are the influencing factors for triggering the purchase?


Brands have traditionally used branding and user experience to drive loyalty while retailers have used loyalty programs as a lever. The growth of the internet , digitization , the ability to form online communities have led to brands having an ability to forge direct relationships with customers to drive loyalty. AIMIA has partnered with P&G in countries including the US and Japan to relaunch the "Pampers Gifts to Grow Rewards " which helped create sustainable loyalty from Pampers best customers.

How different is an Indian shopper compared to the International shopper? How is their behavior different in personal care category?


The Indian consumer is more demanding and price sensitive than the international shopper. There are more socio economic segments and differences among the Indian shopper than in the international shopper segments. This is compounded by the urban / rural split among the Indian shopper. This multitude of segments reflect in a very different shopper behaviour : eg, the frequency with which they buy, the seasonality of purchases, the pack sizes that they buy and the multiple retail formats in which they buy.
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