After an arduous year with the pandemic, consumers in India are gearing up to celebrate the festive season and making new purchases during the upcoming shopping sales for Diwali, Dussehra and Christmas. A survey conducted by The Trade Desk and YouGov called The Festive Season Pulse 2021 found that 91 percent of Indian consumers are planning a purchase during the upcoming festive season and six in 10 are interested in learning about new brands during festive season sales.
The survey outlines consumer sentiments and behaviours toward India’s festive season sales and the channels that marketers can leverage on the open internet to maximise the effectiveness of their ad campaigns.
Indians gearing up for the festive shopping season
The festive period is important to Indian shoppers, and the research provides a positive outlook for marketers. Nearly three in five Indians are excited about the upcoming festive season sales with nine in 10 planning to make a purchase during this time.
The survey also reveals that 82 percent of respondents shopped online at least once a month in the past six months, and nearly one in four made online purchases several times a week or more often.
The open internet’s impact on consumers' purchase behaviour
When asked about the channels with the biggest impact on their purchasing behaviours, respondents cited channels on the open internet (34 percent), which includes video streaming platforms (OTT), music streaming services, websites and mobile apps while social media stands at 33 percent and traditional offline channels (direct mail, traditional TV commercials, outdoor advertising and word of mouth) at 32 percent. The findings demonstrate that just as many consumers turn to the open internet as they do to social media to inform their purchase decisions. This comes at no surprise as people are spending the majority of their time at home on the open internet, consuming content such as watching OTT, streaming music, and reading online content for entertainment.
The surging open internet has provided new opportunities for marketers to add these channels to their digital marketing mix, enabling them to influence the consumer at every stage of their journey.
The findings also highlighted the growing importance of OTT and music streaming in aiding consumers’ discovery of new deals and promotions. More and more frequent online shoppers are learning about new deals and promotions from either ads on OTT (nearly one in two) or from ads on music streaming services (more than one in four).
Tejinder Gill, General Manager of The Trade Desk in India, said, “An increasing number of brands are becoming more judicious about their marketing spends. As such, marketers are going beyond search and social media, and leveraging omnichannel strategies on the open internet to reach their target audience. The Festive Season Pulse 2021 affirms that the open internet is a powerful bridge to reach new customers and the upcoming festive season is an opportune time for marketers to capture consumer curiosity and test the efficacy of the open internet.”
Festive season sales present a challenge and an opportunity for marketers
According to the research, Indians tend to be ‘brand switchers,’ as more than half of Indians (53 percent) are neutral or indifferent to the brands that they purchase. In addition, six in 10 Indians are interested to learn about new brands during the festive season with women more likely to be interested than men (68 percent versus 58 percent). This also indicates that women are more open to ads during the festive season sales and gives reasons for marketers to target women well in advance for festive sales as opposed to targeting men, who may have pre-decided needs for their shopping.
Festive season sales present an ideal time to capture the attention of both ‘brand switchers’ and ‘brand loyalists.’ With the plethora of choices consumers have today and coupled with their excitement for the festive season sales, marketers can feed on their enthusiasm by offering ‘brand switchers’ deals where they see the most value for money. To retain ’brand loyalists,’ marketers can look beyond last-mile marketing and instead, drive brand fundamentals by staying top-of-mind throughout the consumer’s digital journey.