Bangalore, 4th October 2023: Axis My India, a leading consumer data intelligence company, unveils the latest insights from the India Consumer Sentiment Index (CSI), revealing noteworthy trends in consumer behaviour. The report showcases a diverse range of data, such an increase in overall household spending for 53% of families, highlighting a nuanced 2% dip from the last month. Additionally, the festive spirit seems to be in full swing, as 55% of respondents plan to prioritize spending on festive delights, from food and groceries to clothing and accessories. Significantly, 43% of shoppers spotlight product quality as their foremost consideration, indicating a discerning and quality-conscious consumer base. The report also celebrates the enduring appeal of local markets, with 56% of participants favouring them, echoing the “vocal for local” ethos. With the festive season ushering in renowned sales events and diverse shopping experiences, the findings provide a vibrant and optimistic outlook for businesses and consumers alike.
The October net CSI score, calculated by percentage increase minus percentage decrease in sentiment, is at +8, which is the same as compared to last 2 months.
The sentiment analysis delves into five relevant sub-indices – Overall household spending, spending on essential and non-essential items, spending on healthcare, media consumption habits, entertainment & tourism trends.
The survey used Computer-Aided Telephonic Interviews and included 5452 participants from 35 states and UTs. Among them, 66% were from rural areas and 34% from urban areas. In terms of regions, 32% were from the North, 20% from the East, 39% from the West, and 9% from the South of India. Among the participants, 64% were male and 36% were female. Looking at the largest groups, 29% were aged between 36 and 50 years old, while 28% were aged between 26 and 35 years old.
Commenting on the CSI report, Pradeep Gupta, Chairman & MD, Axis My India, said, “As we navigate through this festive season consumers are showcasing a harmonious blend of traditional values and modern preferences. As we enter this festive season, it is evident that quality and local sourcing remain paramount, yet the digital realm is undeniably shaping purchasing decisions. Brands that understand this synergy and can cater to both aspects will undoubtedly thrive. Furthermore, the survey insights reveal an undying commitment to supporting local businesses, echoing the spirit of self-reliance and the ‘vocal for local’ ethos. The commitment to local vendors and businesses emphasizes a deep-rooted sense of community and reflects a collective effort to foster and support local ecosystems. We see a conscientious shift towards responsible consumerism, where the emphasis is equally on the source as it is on the quality of the purchase. The consumer today is informed, engaged, and values-centric, shaping a transformative era in retail that is rich in trust, quality, digital savviness, and a deeply rooted community spirit.”
· Overall household spending has increased for 53% of the families, which is a decrease by 2% from last month. Consumption remains the same for 36% of families. The net score, which was +45 last month, has dipped to +42 this month.
· Spends on essentials like personal care & household items have increased for 43% of families, which marks an increase by 2% from last month. Consumption remains the same for 40% of families. The net score, which was at 22 last month, has surged to +26 this month.
· Spends on non-essential & discretionary products like AC, Car, and Refrigerators have increased for 9% of families, which reflects a spike from last month by 3%. Consumption remains the same for 84% of families. The net score, which was -1 last month, is at +1 this month.
· Expenses towards health-related items such as vitamins, tests, healthy food has surged for 36% of the families. This reflects an increase in consumption by 2% from last month. Consumption remains the same for 48% of families. The health score which has a negative connotation i.e., the lesser the spends on health items the better the sentiments, has a net score value of -19 this month.
· Consumption of media (TV, Internet, Radio, etc.) has increased for 20% of families, depicting a slight increase in media consumption percentage by 1% from last month. The net score, which was -4 last month, is at -1 this month. Media consumption remains the same for 59% of families.
· Mobility has increased for 8% of the families, which is a dip by 1% from last month. The net score, which was -1 last month, has dipped to -2 this month. Mobility remains the same for 82% of the families.
On topics of current national interest
· The survey delved into consumers’ intentions regarding their shopping preferences for the upcoming festive season. Notably, 55% of respondents plan to prioritize spending on food and groceries. Moreover, 37% of respondents indicated a desire to spend on clothing and accessories. The rest are leaning towards allocating their expenditures on home décor and furnishings, electronics, and gadgets, as well as discretionary items like cars, ACs, and refrigerators. These insights underscore potential shifts in consumer patterns and their anticipated repercussions on the market.
· The survey thoroughly explored various factors and determinants that shape the respondents’ purchasing choices during the festive period. Remarkably, a prominent 43% of respondent indicated that product quality is the primary factor guiding their buying choices during the festive period. Meanwhile, 21% of respondents mentioned that discounts and promotions substantially sway their purchasing decisions during these times. On the other hand, 16% of respondents recognized personal preferences as the leading factor in their festive buying choices.
· Participants place a high value on product quality, highlighting its importance above other considerations such as discounts, brand reputation, and personal preferences when shopping. A commendable 48% of participants prioritize product quality when investing in durable goods like cars, ACs, and refrigerators. Similarly, an encouraging 44% and 43% of participants seek top-quality products in the realms of food and groceries, and clothing and accessories, respectively. Furthermore, 42% and 38% of participants champion product quality as a key factor when choosing home decor and furnishing, as well as electronics and gadgets. This underlines a positive trend toward informed and quality-conscious buying choices.
· The survey delved into participants’ inclinations regarding different shopping channels they prefer when purchasing festive items. A significant 56% of respondents expressed a preference for local markets and vendors, reflecting a strong inclination towards supporting local businesses. Interestingly, a modest 36% of respondents showed a preference for in-branded physical stores for their festive shopping. Meanwhile, 8% of respondents favoured e-commerce platforms for their festive purchases, showcasing the diversity in shopping preferences.
· Echoing the spirit of self-reliance, respondents demonstrated a commendable preference for shopping from local markets and vendors, championing the “vocal for local” ethos. A remarkable 62% of participants choose local outlets for their home décor and furnishing needs. Similarly, 58% of participants opt for local sources for their food and grocery shopping, while 53% of participants look locally for clothing and accessories. Notably, even for more substantial discretionary purchases like cars, ACs, and refrigerators, a significant 39% of participants still favour in-store shopping. This showcases a strong community-focused consumer trend.
· The survey delved into participants’ perspectives on big ticket spending during the festive season. Interestingly 77% of participants are opting to refrain from making any big-ticket purchases during this festive time. On the other hand, 18% of participants are demonstrating a willingness to engage in significant spending, showcasing a sense of optimism and economic resilience. Meanwhile, 4% of participants are still contemplating their spending decisions, reflecting a sense of careful consideration during the festive season.
· In the vibrant landscape of festive shopping, payment preferences reflected a blend of tradition and modernity. Amid the festive hustle and bustle, a substantial 78% of respondents gravitate towards the timeless charm of cash for their transactions. In a modern twist, 16% of respondents are inclined to embrace digital wallets to settle their festive purchases, while an innovative 6% of respondents opt for the convenience of debit/credit cards and online banking for their seasonal transactions. These eclectic payment preferences underscore the harmonious blend of tradition and innovation in the festive shopping experience.
· The survey explored the preferred channels through which participants stay updated on festive promotions and discounts. 34% of participants stay updated through social media ads, showcasing the growing influence of digital platforms. Additionally, 32% of participants trust word-of-mouth, reflecting the enduring value of personal recommendations. Interestingly, a modest 12% of participants choose newspapers as their source of information on festive offers and deals, indicating a diverse range of preferred mediums.
· Social media ads emerge as a highly effective channel, with a significant majority leveraging them to stay abreast of festive deals and offers, showcasing the growing influence of digital platforms in today’s festive market. 50% of respondents rely on social media advertisements for updates on offers related to electronics and gadgets. Similarly, 42% and 41% of respondents tap into these ads for offers on discretionary spends and home decor. 36% of respondents stay updated on festive offers and deals for clothing and accessories through social media ads, emphasizing the platform’s significance. Interestingly, traditional word-of-mouth still holds sway for 35% of respondents, particularly when it comes to food and groceries, emphasizing the blend of digital and traditional in today’s market dynamics.
· The 84-day festival season joyfully welcomes renowned sales events on e-commerce platforms, enticing shoppers to delight in making high- value purchases during this celebratory period. 20% of participants hold off for these exceptional sales to benefit from the abundant discounts and offers available. Meanwhile, 71% of participants stick to their regular spending habits, unaffected by the festive season’s sales and promotions. Furthermore, an opportunistic 9% of participants make substantial purchases, contingent on the appealing discounts presented during the festive season sales. All in all, the festive season not only lights up our spirits but also opens a gateway to smart, joyous shopping experiences for everyone.
· The festive season presents an excellent opportunity for brands and businesses to forge deeper connections, fostering meaningful conversations with their customers. 33% of respondents are more likely to interact with brands when presented with compelling offers. While 39% of respondents cherish the classic touch, choosing not to interact with brands on social media for festive deals, a mere 22% of respondents abstain from leveraging social media for their online shopping needs, showcasing the enduring charm of classic approaches.
· As the festive season unveils its charm, participants’ interactions with brands on social media paint an intriguing picture. In the radiant tapestry of festive season engagements, 42% of participants choose to keep their experiences with brand deals close to their heart, refraining from broadcasting them on social media. On the brighter side, 23% of participants show a budding interest in sharing their brand interactions, while an enthusiastic 10% of participants are eager to highlight their festive finds on social media. This diversity in sharing exemplifies the varied yet vibrant ways in which people choose to celebrate their festive shopping journeys.