Online retailers have seen a boon in the country since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. While people were reluctant to buy large products online, home appliances, laptops and furniture are now seeing high sales on major e-commerce platforms.
An online survey conducted by Smart Home Guide found that more than 50% of respondents buy their appliances through an online platform rather than a physical store. In fact, the main e-commerce portals have seen that the demand for appliances has increased by 200%.
It has profoundly changed the way people consume information. People used to make a purchase decision with one or two visits to the mall, but now consumers take much longer and do more research before buying.
According to the Smart Home Guide survey, 49% of respondents said it took about a week to make a purchase decision. While the younger generation will shop faster, it took most of those over 45 two to three weeks to complete the purchase.
Branded websites, YouTube videos and reviews on ecommerce platforms have replaced marketer wisdom. 67% of those surveyed said they relied on one of these three sources of information. Of these, YouTube was the source of information for 22% of the respondents. This should come as no surprise, as YouTube saw a 13% year-over-year audience increase in the first quarter of 2020.
Additionally, the millennials’ buying habit of prioritizing value for money can be seen in the fact that 38% of respondents rated brand credibility and 33% rated price as the most important factor in their purchase decision.
However, it was also found that they did not mind worrying about the new features, as most of those under 35 bought a new device to replace the old ones. In contrast, most people over 35 year bought a new appliance because the old one broke.
Although there has been a decline in sales in the real estate market, moving to a new home motivated around 18% of those surveyed to buy a new device. This is especially true for large appliances and electronics, such as refrigerators, televisions and washing machines.
With the second wave of Covid-19, consumers are unlikely to return to physical stores anytime soon.
Surveys have previously revealed that consumer safety is one of the main reasons why consumers depend on e-commerce portals. It remains to be seen whether Covid-19 will forever change the shopping habits of Indian consumers.
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