Home >Companies >News >Indian e-commerce consumers hold back purchases before sale periods: Nielsen

Bengaluru: Indian online shoppers tend to contract their spends, holding back purchases just before the festival season from August to October, according to data sourced from market research firm Nielsen Holdings Plc.

More than 84% of e-commerce purchases during the season was registered between 27 September and 25 October compared with just 16% during days without any sale or discounts, the data showed.

During discount days, high-value purchases such as electronics, large appliances, and home decor saw a 3-4 times jump, indicating that Indian e-shoppers prefer higher discounts over loyalty-based purchases.

“If you look at festive months, it does drive shopping in a different way (compared to the rest of the year), and it’s not just in e-commerce alone. Online consumers have become much smarter in terms of how they want to shop and when they want to shop by making full use of these sale periods," Kunal Gupta, head of e-commerce, South Asia said in an interview.

Although mobiles continue to enjoy a larger share of online sales (48% contribution in 2019), consumers in India are increasingly buying fashion products online, the Nielsen data showed. This includes categories such as apparel, footwear, luggage and accessories, with men’s clothing contributing 58% and women’s clothing 36%. Fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) segment comprised around 11% of online sales in 2019.

Mobile and electronic accessories, other consumer electronics such as printers, routers, laptops, and home décor category together contributed around 13% of the online sales in 2019.

Gupta said that around 23% sales were registered between 8 pm and 11 pm and a third of the sales came through the course of the night. “This reinforces the consumer’s quest for convenience with anytime anywhere access to the shopping cart," Gupta added.

Nielsen said that the data was sourced from its recently launched E- Analytics solution that “passively captures digital shoppers behavior through an opt-in panel of 190K internet users spread across 52 cities". Out of this base, 56% of the users were found to be new to e-commerce consumption, while the rest 44% were regular shoppers.

While most first time shoppers go online to purchase mobile phones, these consumers come back the second time to purchase products from other categories such as fashion, TV and big appliances, and electronics. Their second purchase is registered after a one-month period, while the third purchase instance is usually registered after a 2-3 month period, according to the Nielsen data.

“The (average) online shopper in Top 8 metros is expanding their basket including FMCG, home decor and electronics—evidence of an evolving relationship with the channel. Consumers in Tier 1 cities continue to use mobile phones as an entry point to the channel with half of the contribution coming from the category," AJR Vasu, executive director, Sales Effectiveness, Nielsen, South Asia said in a statement.

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