Havas Media report reveals how technology is shaping e-commerce and consumer experience in India. Increased smartphone usage and internet connectivity are providing comfort and accessibility to shoppers across the country.
Havas Media Report
The recent report- ‘Shaping Consumer Experiences: How India Buys & How Tech is Shaping E-Commerce Adoption & Experience’, published by Havas Media in collaboration with YouGov and NFX across 10 key markets, dug into the core of the Indian e-commerce realm. The report reflected the extensive incorporation of advanced technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Augmented Reality/ Virtual Reality (AR/VR), AI-driven Chatbots, Web 3.0, and Open Networks for Digital Commerce (ONDC) and its pivotal role in facilitating business growth. The study also sheds light on how these technologies are playing a catalytic role in evolving consumer behaviors, preferences, and expectations.
Data collected from tech enthusiasts and online shoppers between 18 to 45 years old revealed that comfort and convenience are more important to both millennials (78%) and Gen Z (76%).
In terms of consumer behavior, gender-based segmentation reflects that women are conventionally more discerning by nature. User reviews have been the major decision-making factor for 85% of consumers while 81% of them check for offers and deals before shopping.
There is also a major change in behavior with a shift in geography from the North to the South. While 78% of consumers in the north and 80% in the west prefer to have a wider range of products, the consumers from the south and tier-3 cities, about 76%, are more budget-oriented. The study also showed that a large number of people from tier 2 and 3 cities end up spending more while shopping online than they would have spent while shopping traditionally.
Category-wise, grocery, personal care, fashion, and F&B are ranked higher in shopping habits. While appliances are the least shopped online products, online medicine/pharmacy shopping has seen a surge of 33% in the last year.
The study also showed that social media has emerged as the main platform to discover new brands for 44% of shoppers. The platform is a stronghold in the category where visuals play a pivotal role, like fashion, make-up, grocery, and smartphones. While Instagram has the highest traffic among younger consumers, the older generation is still relying on Facebook.
Comfort and accessibility have been the key elements of online shopping. For the time-crunched urban residents, it brings the shopping experience to the comfort of their fingertips, thus enabling them to avoid the hustle and bustle of the city. On the other hand, it makes it more accessible for the smaller town people, providing them with wider choices and alluring deals. The shoppers are mostly in favor of shopping from top e-commerce websites like Amazon and Flipkart which offer facilities like easy returns, better service, and superior quality products.
Challenges and Concerns
However, the digital advancements still have left the users with uncertainty about the quality of the products. Even data privacy issues have ranked higher among shoppers across most regions barring the North, where there are more concerns regarding returns and limited control over the sellers.
Mohit Joshi, CEO, of Havas Media Network India said that the findings of this report emphasized the transformative power of technology in reshaping the retail landscape in India. He also shared that as consumers embrace the convenience and possibilities offered by e-commerce, businesses must adapt to these changing dynamics.
“At Havas, we recognize the significance of these trends and remain committed to innovating strategies that bridge the gap between businesses and tech-savvy consumers. Our data-driven approach enables us to create resonant and meaningful connections, ensuring that brands thrive in this evolving business environment," Joshi added.
Sanchita Roy, Chief Strategy Officer, Havas Media India, added, "Understanding the nuances of consumer behavior at various city tiers is pivotal for brands to connect meaningfully with their audiences. The insights from this study underline the importance of localized strategies that align with distinct preferences."
She also added that, as the retail landscape evolves, customization of marketing approaches becomes a powerful tool for capturing consumer loyalty and driving growth.