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6 top consumer trends India experienced this Diwali 2019

This year during the festive sale a steep competition was observed between online shopping and traditional shopping. While offline stores enjoyed complete dominance a decade ago the tables drastically turned this year with 48% of the consumers directly commenting that they prefer online shopping over traditional brick and mortar shops[1]. Here are the top 10 consumer trends we saw this Diwali:

  1. Nostalgia: Statements such as “My mom is taking us ‘Diwali Dress’ shopping today,” became ultimate throwback to the 90s! Consumer’shighlighted factors such as better prices are one of the major reasons why they preferred online shopping over traditional shopping this Diwali
  1. Effort and aesthetics:Another key highlight this year was the effort and aesthetics of the process, 21% of consumers were quite blunt in pointing out that the inconveniences linked with traditional style of shopping made them turn to more online shopping this year. Some major inconvenience consumers faced while shopping ranged from thick traffic jams to heavy crowds. For example, 11 % consumers felt that statements such as “People are not spending as much as they used to on festival season” by shopkeepers is a traditional antic used to promote footfall in their stores and has nothing to do with the actual consumer buying habits
  1. Brand expectations rise:Consumers also suggested that the shop owner can no longer sit idle and expect consumers to just walk into their shops if they don’t take any efforts to deliver to additional festival requirements such as better prices, improve aesthetics of their stores, maintain more hygienic washroom and provide better parking facility.Consumers turned a new leaf this year whilst exploring new ways of catering to their demands irrespective of age. We also saw a rise in what consumers often call “Sensible shopping” (10%) where consumers suggested that the “Consumer culture” is losing its hold and the buyers are more educated and spending wisely. Some other reasons suggested for a drop in buyer spending include a fear of economic slowdown (13%) among consumers and well as a belief that there has been reduced flow of black money in the market
  1. Brands invested more on social media: Some interesting changes we observed in the past year from buyers to sellers are that apparels (39%) followed by E commerce (26%) have invested the most on social media content for Diwali. Almost 64% of the content put up on social media was Images. 68% and 64% of the content for Apparel and E commerce brands were as images. Mostly all the brands went ahead and created their own custom festival Hashtags for the season while only 38% of the posts which contained hashtags used generic ones such as “Diwali” and “HappyDiwali”. We also gathered that video greetings and image posts put up by brands for Offer and Contests gathered significant engagement
  1. More engaging posts:While mostly all brands invested in Promotion, Greetings and Offer Posts mostly Apparel and E Commerce brands invested on Contest posts on social media. It is interesting to note that rather than commenting to Apparel, E commerce, Food or Automotive brands users tend to communicate more with posts put up by Banks and Financial service. They use the posts as a venue to raise complaints and concerns as they feel the brand will lend them more attention

From the social media analysis we have undertaken this year it is clear that online shopping is gripping a strong hold within the consumer community and thus it would be apt for brands to invest in advertising via social media content to boost themselves in the consumer’s eyes for upcoming festivals like Christmas and New Year’s. Greeting the consumers on the festival occasion and putting up interactive posts in the form of competitions is another successful way to garner engagement with least investment. Another best practice includes opting for generic and more well-known hashtags by the consumers for the season. Lastly, proper ORM is necessary especially during festival seasons as both the brand and the consumers will become equally active on the social media platform. The consumers will reply, react and comment more to posts revolving or highlighting their experience both good and bad while interacting with the brand as a means to catch the attention of both the brand and a larger online audience

[1]All research in this article has been undertaken by Germin8 using the Germin8 Social Listening™ Germin8 has identified key Diwali consumer trends by running an analytical search across all social media platforms, they have captured an overall public social sentiment across social networks on the current Diwali trends

BY: Dr Ranjit Nair (PhD AI), CEO and Founder of Germin8 Solutions, a digital intelligence firm

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