Anxiety down, Indian shoppers showing higher intent this festival: Deloitte

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New Delhi: Indians are more positive about stepping out and are reporting reduced level of anxiety about their physical well-being in the midst of India’s key festive season, a survey by Deloitte released Thursday said.

Indian consumers are open to spending more on convenience while scouting for better deals and bargains and exercising caution towards health, hygiene, and environment safety, Deloitte said.

The findings are part of its 90-day analysis of the ongoing Global Consumer Tracker survey held across 18 countries, that shows Indian consumers are gearing up for the festival season—they reported a significantly reduced level of overall anxiety with the anxiety index at 31%, a reduction of 17% compared with Deloitte’s July update.

Indian consumers, said Deloitte’s findings, are positive about visiting stores with 58% of those surveyed agreeing to the same, while 47% are okay eating at restaurants, and in-person service providers (52%).

Consumers here are less anxious about their physical well-being, health of their families, and making upcoming payments and large purchases, compared with the start of the pandemic and the lockdown. This is further reflected by a decrease in the fear of losing jobs, Deloitte said.

It said festival deals and the wedding season show a shift towards in-store shopping for both non-discretionary items, including groceries and household products, as well as discretionary items, such as clothing and electronics. In-store visits have increased now with the advent of the festive season, the survey said.

Several news reports suggest shoppers are back in markets ahead of Diwali indulging in both festival as well as wedding shopping. Clearly after bearing a strict lockdown, consumers are willing to step out and spend.

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It helps that India’s unlock has enabled mobility and opened businesses that were earlier working under restrictions.

“Our survey results reflect the Indian consumer behaviour that shows positivity in view of the upcoming festive season,” Porus Doctor, Partner and Consumer Industry Leader, Deloitte India, said in a statement.

Doctor added that there is a visible decline in people’s concerns over the fear of losing jobs as compared with survey results in July and August. “This could be attributed to the positive sentiment as well as reduced anxiety levels that Indian consumers experience,” he said.

Some consumer shifts are now more permanent with more shoppers buying goods online.

Over the past months, Indian consumers have prioritized non-discretionary expenditure with a tilt towards using the digital and e-commerce platforms, largely to avoid visits to grocery stores to ensure health and safety of self as well as that of their immediate family, Doctor said. This trend shows that consumers have gravitated towards online shopping for essentials and discretionary items. This trend is likely to continue in the foreseeable future, he said.

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