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Indian consumers prioritise health and safety over discretionary consumption: Survey

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Deloitte’s 30-day analysis-based consumer survey was conducted across 18 countriesDeloitte’s 30-day analysis-based consumer survey was conducted across 18 countriesDeloitte’s 30-day analysis-based consumer survey was conducted across 18 countries

As the second wave of Covid continues to grapple the country, the Indian consumer is seen to cautiously approach the future by prioritising health safety, preferring online channels for purchases, and choosing to delay large purchases, a survey conducted by Deloitte revealed. The spending intent shows consumers are focussing more on non-discretionary items as compared with the previous waves of the survey. For instance, about 48% consumers show net spending intent towards healthcare, 33% towards medicines, 42% towards the internet, 47% towards groceries, and 44% towards household goods in the time of crisis. Throughout the pandemic, online medium has emerged as the preferred channel for purchase and continues to grow.

The consumer persona shows, stock piler (63%), convenience seeker (69%) and bargain hunter (51%) still remain high amongst the Indian consumers. “Our survey insights are a reflection of the heightened consumer apprehensions, which are at the core of their decision-making. As the health crisis again takes centerstage in the country, the average Indian consumer prefers to use digital and online channels wherever applicable,” Porus Doctor, partner and consumer industry leader, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India LLP said, on the findings of the study. Deloitte’s 30-day analysis-based consumer survey was conducted across 18 countries.

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According to the survey, India ranks highest amongst 18 countries in terms of anxiety during the second wave of the pandemic; 21% consumers in India are anxious, followed by Chile (16%), Poland (13%), South Africa (13%) and Italy (13%). Furthermore, Indians are significantly more concerned about returning to the workplace than they were in February 2021. About 28% today worry about returning to their offices, as compared with 15% in February 2021.

Given the pandemic, the trend of socially conscious shopping is likely to be the new normal as 67% of consumers prefer more locally sourced items going forward even if they cost a bit more, and 71% prefer brands that responded well during pandemic, the survey stated.

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