Consumers are looking at less spending for more value: Vikram Agarwal

The great Indian Festive season has started amid the COVID-19 pandemic. We all know what kind of a washout the first half of 2020 has been when it comes to businesses and even personal lives being completely disrupted. Given the strict Government directives on maintaining social distancing, the huge crowds of shoppers that usually throng the markets during this time might be a lot less this year.

In normal circumstances, brands look at the festive season as an opportunity to gain maximum ROI, leveraging the consumer sentiments during this time. However, the unprecedented conditions have dampened the economy so far. While some are sceptical about businesses picking up during the rest of the year, we are also seeing a general mood of optimism.

Also read: Consumer sentiments are slowly improving with time: Vijay Kumar Mikkilineni, TCL India

Amid such a scenario, Adgully has reached out to marketers and publishers across India to gauge the sentiments during the festive season this year as part of our special series on ‘Festive Mood’. Over the next few weeks, we will be bringing the views and insights from various markets on how marketers and publishers are endeavouring to trigger a revival and give a boost to festive sentiments. 

In conversation with Adgully, Vikram Agarwal, Managing Director, Cornitos, speaks about the consumer sentiments this festive season amid the pandemic conditions. He also elaborates on the increasing shift to digital by brands to gain maximum traction and ROI. 

How do you see the consumer sentiments across the nation this year? Which markets are seen as leading the rebound and how? What factors will drive growth this festive season? How much do you see festive sales getting impacted due to COVID-19 this year?

In the current times, the consumers are looking at less spending for more value. They are also looking at more value-added services at less prices. Also, digital platforms allow great offers to consumers that are looking at shopping online and not venturing out. During this period, giving away of Festive Gifts as it used to be might fall drastically as personal meetings or visits are avoided. Lockdown is mostly enforced during the weekends, which also affects the sales as weekends are the time when people visit stores to buy. The only option left is buying online.

All brands are making sure to make their festive strategies to maximise sales. Most brands will be adopting festive offers that are available for a limited time period and offer maximum quantities on minimum ranges to ensure sales secondly this will also promote bulk orders.

This year, most sales will happen on online platforms, since most people are choosing not to venture out and gifting has become a way of showcasing love since people cannot physically meet to spread the cheer in this season. Hence, brands will be putting their focus on digital advertisements to promote the products during the festive season. 

What kind of integrated marketing activities are you planning for the festive season? On which platforms will you be investing your ad spends more and Why? What kind of digital push are you looking at?

During the festive season, ad spends are huge and now with the limited sale expected, ad spends will definitely  be impacted, as now the brands will spend more on Digital rather than on Print/ OOH and other platforms. Radio will be a secondary platform, wherein collaborations with channels and shows can be explored.

Digital will witness a high path as every brand is adopting this route. We have recently launched our e-commerce website,, and our main focus will be to bring more traffic to our e-commerce website through our social media handles and do marketing that will reach the correct target audience.

The current times call for a change in strategy and brands should shift their focus to the digital space as it has become a new normal of today. Digital has become a prefix to most terms in the current scenario, hence Cornitos expects to keep seeing growth in digital sales during the festive season. 

Do you see retail footfalls increasing during the festive season, given that people are still not venturing out for shopping in a big way? What alternate routes are you looking at to shore up sales – such as e-commerce, online purchases, D2C initiatives?

Retail footfall will slightly increase during the festive season, but the focus will also shift towards digital. Recently our festive packs for Raksha Bandhan got good traction in retail stores. Cornitos has a range of festive gifting options – 9-star Dip O Treat, Festive Blaaast, Pop N Crunch, and Party Mix packs. This Independence Day, we ran a digital ad campaign – enjoy the #AzaadiKeFlavours from Cornitos from August 12-16. The customer had to use the code FREEDOM15 to get a flat 15 per cent discount on checkout.

We are going to mainly focus on the digital space, where there will be regular offers on our website for all our products, including combo packs. We will be coming with a full range of gift packs as we do every year and are confident of doing well this festive season, too, though market sentiments are not fully favorable.


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