By Arun Fernandes
The festive season has always been essential to Consumers in India, but it has become even more so in the aftermath of the pandemic, when everyone has less reasons to celebrate and indulge. Having said, our country which is well known for its resilience showed a whopping retail sales surge this year. Shoppers across the country bought Rs 1.25 trn worth items, which is the highest for the whole decade! The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), which represents 70 million traders across the country heaved a sigh of relief, as this was a much needed relief and “bounce-back” after almost a two years’ lull. With record vaccination under the government’s belt, this year’s Diwali heralded in optimism, which the trader’s feel, will continue. The festivities are not yet over, as the country is expecting more shopping and tourism with sectors opening up. And brands are all geared to make this work. A few insights on how overall the marketers changed their gears during this festive season are listed below and this looks like a trend that will sustain for a long –term.
Tier 2 and tier 3 driving online sales:
Amazon and Flipkart, two e-commerce companies, recently announced that the early trends of their festival sales event showed greater involvement from tier 2 and 3 cities. The month-long Great Indian Festival 2021 on Amazon and Flipkart’s The Big Billion Days began in early October. In 2021, the first week of online festival sales in October, which included numerous e-commerce enterprises, witnessed a 23 percent year-over-year increase in sales, which translates to $4.6 billion (Rs 32,000 crore) in internet sales.
Influencer marketing’s growth accelerated by a decade or more by 2021, fully revolutionising the Indian marketing industry. Because of the epidemic and consumers’ significant reliance on social media platforms, the influencer marketing business has seen a rapid metamorphosis, evolving into a mainstream marketing vehicle in a short period of time. The festive season witnessed a 40-50% increase in ad spends for influencer marketing. According to the INCA analysis, the Influencer Marketing business is expected to develop at a CAGR of 25% over the next decade, reaching Rs 2200 crore in 2025.
Diwali provides brands and organisations with the ideal opportunity to connect with their customers through their advertisements. Companies spend a lot of money on Diwali commercials in order to dissolve or conclude a relationship with their audience in order to reach out and try their products. Around Rs 7000 crore was generated by the advertising business, which is 12-15 percent greater than the previous festive season. Consumer activity and spending were heightened in categories such as home appliances, smartphones, food, and furniture, particularly work-from-home items.
As it is the ad budgets are being skewed towards and a massive jump of around 300 percent in terms of sheer volume of brands were noticed this year (TAM Media Research reported). Contests, consumer gratification and as they say fishing in deep waters with targeted engagement with consumers, was and will be the digital way to go. In fact, with the tourism sector opening, many marketers, will sort the digital way to approach consumers. Much use of OTT and music streaming platforms were key to driving awareness festive season deals and promotions. Consumers in India have opened to internet and digital modes of communication and they are making the most of it.
Consumer sentiment has been improving in recent months, and it is expected to continue to rise during the upcoming pivotal seasons. Indian traders are expecting the wedding season as another peak point and marketers will find these insights of value to re-calibrate their marketing & advertising strategies to ride this wave effectively.
(The author is Arun Fernandes, founder and CEO, Hotstuff Medialabs. Views expressed are personal.)