Indian consumers moving towards omnichannel way of shopping: PwC

Mumbai, 10 February 2016 – PwC’s annual global total retail survey 2016 has tracked consumer behaviour across retail channels, bringing to light the changes brought about by multichannel retailing. From choosing between channels to being channel agnostic, Indian consumers today are moving with pace towards the omnichannel way of life.

According to PwC’s latest total retail survey, the value conscious Indian shopper believes that price is just a part of the larger value story. Convenience offered by the retailer also plays a major role in determining value. Consequently, our survey data shows that Indians buy online primarily because of convenience (65%), followed by price (31%). Unconventional product categories like furniture, grocery and jewellery are finding takers through the online channel. Further, shoppers are demanding a service-focussed in-store experience and want to interact with a knowledgeable store employee.

These findings are part of the PwC report ‘Building retail businesses for tomorrow today’ that gives insights into the changing buying behaviour of consumer across retail channels. Indian shoppers are redefining what it means to shop in today’s information-driven environment. The stakes have definitely been pushed higher for both retailers and consumer goods companies. This report was launched at the Retail Leadership Summit 2016 organised by the Retailer’s Association of India.

This year, the report looks at how consumer shopping trends, which have been percolating over the past few years, are now putting the onus on developing a retail operating model which is strategically aligned to business goals.

Anurag Mathur, Leader, Retail and Consumer Goods Practice, PwC India said, “Unlike global trends, digital transformation has become a means to overcome infrastructural difficulties in a developing country like India. Multichannel retailing has been helping India’s consumption story and increasing the share of organised retail in the total retail pie. In the present scenario, omnichannel agenda coupled with the pressures of delivering superior customer experience and in the face of aggressive competition will put the onus on developing an operating model which is strategically aligned to business goals.”

Kumar Rajagopalan, CEO, Retailers Association of India said, “The age of smart technologies is creating the capabilities for enterprises to function in a connected world. This connected world is capable of seamless processes across front-end as well as back-end of retail enterprises. RAI – PwC report on Building retail businesses for tomorrow today discusses how businesses can build an India-focussed operating model based on improving efficiency and customer experience. It also delves into innovation in retail. This report is a must-have for every business that is involved with the retail industry, irrespective of whether it is engaged in core retail or is a service provider to retail industry. We thank the PwC team for their efforts and insights.”

Notes to the Editor:

1.      Survey Methodology:

PwC’s Global Retail and Consumer practice, in conjunction with r2i, administered a global survey to understand and compare consumer shopping behaviours and the use of different retail channels across 25 territories–Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China/Hong Kong, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, the Middle East, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, the UK and the US.

A team of subject matter specialists representing each participating territory developed the survey based on last year’s survey. Where possible and appropriate, last year’s questions were retained in order to conduct year-on-year comparisons. Research2Insights, an external provider, carried out the survey between August and September 2015, resulting in 1,000+ completed responses in every territory.

More than twenty-two thousand six hundred online interviews were conducted across the 25 participating territories during August/September 2015.

The demographic profile of the respondents was defined by the age, gender, employment status and region.

2.     Graphs from the report:

Over the last three years, PwC’s total retail survey has consistently indicated an increase in the frequency on online shoppers, a trends which continues this year. An increasing number of respondents have admitted to shopping more frequently (daily/weekly) online as well as in-store. This has been indicative of the increased consumption behaviour driven by the proliferation of multiple channels.

According to our survey, debit cards are the most popular payment method in India as against credit cards and mobile wallets. Further, survey respondents in India demonstrate greater acceptance of smartphone/mobile based payment methods, as compared to the global sample average. Evidently, mobile devices have evolved into the primary tool for purchase activity and as compared to the global sample.

On being polled regarding the factors driving consumers to choose their favourite retailers, we have consistently found that good or reasonable prices offered by the retailer has been the topmost factor. This is followed by trust in the brand, returns policy and availability.

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