Online shopping has gone mainstream: Zee5 Intelligence Monitor

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Mumbai: The growth of India’s e-commerce industry has accelerated in recent years and has become one of the largest online shopping areas in the world thanks to the proliferation of smartphones and the internet. And the string of lockdowns has further fueled its growth. “Zee5 Intelligence Monitor – E-Commerce Report Consumer Insights & Trends” aims to understand this changing phenomenon of the e-commerce industry and to analyze where the industry is heading.

The report, based on a Zee5 consumer survey in over 146 cities, delves deep into consumer insights, tracking changes in consumption patterns and consumer attitudes in India. Let’s take a look at the findings of the report to understand the expected and asynchronous eCommerce industry trends.

Online shopping has become a mainstream trend

The survey found that 95 percent of respondents shop online and use more than one e-commerce platform to meet their shopping needs. Among those surveyed are many shoppers who made their first online purchase during lockdown. In addition, the report revealed that 60 percent of respondents have more than three apps, and 25 percent regularly use more than five e-commerce apps.

The numbers reflect that e-commerce, which was one of many ways to shop in the pre-pandemic world, has gone mainstream today. Note that respondents include people from Tier I, Tier II, and III cities. Lockdown has been an excellent opportunity for consumers to explore online shopping.

Numbers from the Zee5 survey now clearly show that while this shift was initially triggered by movement restrictions, people began to like the convenience and ease of online shopping.

Increase in the frequency of online purchases

The early lockdown also marked a surge in the frequency of online shopping. While online shopping was an erratic trend before lockdown, people now make frequent online purchases, according to the report, with a whopping 60 percent of users shopping online at least twice a month and 20 percent at least five times a month.

People over 35 started spending more on e-commerce

What makes the data more interesting is that online shopping, which used to be a Gen Z thing, has also gained significant popularity among Gen Y, including those over 35. Speaking of numbers, 55 percent of Gen Y users have spent over 20 percent more on online shopping since the first lockdown. A key reason for this remarkable growth is the dissolution of the barriers between online and offline shopping.

Male buyers are outpacing women in e-commerce

It’s a widely held belief that women are the main drivers of e-commerce growth, but the survey found that it’s currently male shoppers who are leading the race.

According to the results, 22 percent of male consumers made more than five online purchases versus 14 percent of female shoppers. The mobile user asymmetry between males and females in Tier II and Tier III markets could be a major reason for this demographic shift in e-commerce sales. Another factor could be the increased use of social media exposing men to the latest fashion and lifestyle trends, leading to e-commerce purchases. This shift opens up a tremendous opportunity for brands that primarily deal with men’s products.

Ecommerce window shopping: mood lift

When lockdown prevented people from going out and having fun, they found new ways to get involved. While some of them resumed their old hobbies, others found new pastimes. Interestingly, online window shopping has become a favorite pastime for many people. The Zee5 report suggests that 25 percent of respondents see online shopping as mood-enhancing. Online platforms are offering unprecedented levels of product discovery and a shift in perceptions of e-commerce from “need fulfillment” to “mood lift”.

OTT shows have become a platform for fashion discovery

Since the first lockdown was imposed, people have unknowingly been spending more time online. With all family members locked in their homes, consumption of OTT content has seen tremendous growth. Interestingly, as an offshoot of increased consumption, OTT shows evolved into a platform for fashion discovery among consumers. According to reports, 87 percent of users look forward to discovering fashion and lifestyle products in the shows they watch online. That’s not it; as many as 75 percent of people are likely to buy similar products and clothing items that their favorite actors use or wear. And of course, OTT platforms have become a platform of choice for all ecommerce advertisers.

People make online purchases after reviewing products in store

The report found that 70 percent of male users shop online after reviewing the same products in-store. It would not be wrong to say that consumers today no longer differentiate between online and offline and make their purchases according to their preferences. Brands need to invest in hybrid and omnichannel models that allow them to serve their customers anywhere. As the lockdown eases over time, we can look forward to an integrated market where e-commerce will most likely complement the offline market.

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