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Brands need to have a robust Omnichannel approach this festive season: OMG

Omnicom Media Group (OMG) has come out with a report, titled ‘COVID-19: Gearing Up for the Festive Season’, which provides insights into the outlook of Indians towards the festive season, the categories they intend to shop, the tectonic shifts in media & the media channels that brands should deploy in the festive season to win consumers as 2020 draws to a close.

Not surprisingly given the current times, the report states that Indians feel a strong need to be cautious and are avoiding engaging in activities where they have to step out of their homes. Their focus is to work on self development and on their mental & physical wellbeing.

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Increased consumer spends are seen on Daily essentials, Personal care & Entertainment at home. On the other hand, subdued cues are observed for many discretionary categories like Auto, Apparel & Hospitality.

According to OMG, it is important for brands to have a robust Omnichannel approach as consumers across categories have indicated shifting to buying online, particularly for FMCG & Consumer Electronics categories.

The report notes substantial shifts in media consumption as Indians evolve to adapt digital technology indicated by high time spent on Video & Music streaming, Social media & Online learning apps.

TV, Social media & Video streaming platforms have emerged as the top performing media platforms that influence consumers across categories, which is reflected in the increased spends by brands on these mediums vis-à-vis last year.

Consumer Stance on day-to-day activities

  • With the pandemic still at large in India, Indians strongly feel the need to be cautious and show sombre cues towards stepping out of their homes.
  • A high percentage of Indians have shown an inkling to increase shopping online, which is a strong cue for businesses to adopt an omnichannel approach.
  • While taking long vacations still seems a far-fetched notion in their minds, Indians show a lower resistance towards taking short trips around their cities.
  • A high percentage of Indians have indicated that they shall continue to focus on self development with high intent on continuing with a hobby and focussing on their mental & physical health.

According to the OMG report, 65 per cent of the respondents said that they won’t be shopping at a mall this festive season, while as high as 72 per cent of the respondents have shown an aversion to travelling for a vacation. Get-togethers with family & friends as well as house parties at friend’s place are also out for most of the respondents this festive season.

On the other hand, 66 per cent of the respondents will be focussing more on their mental and physical health, while a whopping 75 per cent will be shopping online.

Festive Outlook by Categories

  • Daily essentials, Personal Care & Entertainment at Home are the categories that show the highest consumer intent in the upcoming festive season.
  • Consumers are looking at curtailing their spends on discretionary purchases like Tobacco & Alcohol, Personal accessories & Automotive.
  • With a majority of time being spent at home, consumers show some positive cues towards Electronics and allied categories that assist them whilst at home.
  • Consumers are still apprehensive to travel, which reflects in the low consumer intent and doesn’t augur well for the Hospitality industry.

People will be spending more on groceries (58%), entertainment at home (57%), and health food drinks for children (55%) than on car purchases (13%), taking domestic flights (12%) or international flights (8%), even visiting restaurants (17%).

The Pivot to Online Shopping

  • In the age of pandemic, it has become imperative for brands to adopt an omnichannel approach as consumers across many categories show higher inclination to buy online.
  • While for high ticket purchases consumers still prefer shopping through offline channels, there is a prominent shift to shopping online particularly for FMCG, Apparel & Consumer Electronics categories.
  • The rise of e-commerce is promptly taking marketeers back to the basics with high consumer focus on Product quality, Pricing & Packaging.

The Media Revolution

  • The ongoing pandemic has brought about significant shifts in the media landscape of India.
  • An increased adoption and surge in time spent is seen on new age mediums on like Video on Demand Platforms, Music OTTs & News Apps.
  • While TV manages to hold its ground, some reduction in time spent on other traditional media like Print & Radio is observed.
  • Nearly 60% consumers have access to Connected TVs in India & about 20% of them claim to use their Smart TVs for streaming online content with no subscription to cable/satellite companies.
  • Close to 40% consumers say they solely subscribe to cable/satellite and do not have online streaming capabilities on their TVs.
  • With over 500 million smartphone users in India, its no surprise that Smartphones emerge as the ‘Numero Uno’ device for consumers to watch video content.
  • An average Indian uses about 3 devices to consume online video pointing towards marketeers to adopt a smart multi-screen planning approach in their media plans.
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