Voltas expects more business coming in from Tier 2 & 3 markets: Deba Ghoshal
After a muted festive season last year amid the COVID-19 pandemic, this year, the willingness to spend is higher. As per a ZestMoney Survey, 72% of Indians plan to splurge on electronics & gadgets, while 59% prefer BNPL to fund festive purchases. 62% of the respondents revealed that festive budgets have gone up compared to last year. A recent market research by YouGov gives a big boost to the Diwali Expense Index, which is generally indicative of Q3 sales growth in India.
The Indian festive season is a crucial time as consumer demand is at its peak with many planning several small and big-ticket purchases. With increased vaccination and the general opening of the economy, the survey has witnessed a positive sentiment around budgets and shopping at physical stores, even as online shopping continues to be popular among people.
As part of Adgully’s Festive Mood series, we have been covering the market, brand and consumer sentiments during the festive season this year. In conversation with Adgully, Deba Ghoshal, Vice President and Head of Marketing, Voltas, speaks about the company’s strategy for the festive season this year, the growing demand for need-based functional categories, leveraging digital activations and more.
What kind of trends have you seen in consumer spends, ad spends by brands and sales during this festive season?
During these times, especially after the lockdowns have been lifted, we have been witnessing an uptick in health and hygiene products like our PureAir Inverter AC, Air Purifiers, Microwaves and Dishwashers, as many customers are looking to upgrade or replace their existing home appliances. There has been a prominent increase in demand for need-based functional categories like cooling products and kitchen appliances, and we expect the industry to swiftly move back to normal operating levels. The revival of consumer demand is undoubtedly phased, and we expect the industry to gain more traction in many parts of the country during and after this festival season. We have also witnessed that the Home Appliances industry has gained good contribution from online channels during this festive season. We are optimistic that in the festival season, all categories of cooling products and home appliances will continue to gain lost ground as witnessed in the previous quarter.
What kind of online/ offline split is seen in brands’ marketing strategies?
By enhancing the availability of the Voltas and Voltas Beko products across the country, as market leaders, we expect more and more business coming in from the Tier 2 and Tier 3 markets, where we also have the highest AC distribution reach. Simultaneously, with social distancing bound to remain as the new norm, digital media investments will continue to go up as more people end up searching online and making purchases. For Consumer Durables, especially Cooling Products and Home Appliances, like last year, Digital has and will be our priority, followed by Electronic and Print.
We are leveraging digital activations by launching various category specific campaigns and festive contests to connect with our customers and build an omni-channel presence in this space. Our new webstore, www.voltaslounge.com, is a step in this direction. Also, all leading e-commerce players recognise our online traction and pull, and are ensuring our availability on their respective platforms. Similarly, our Grand Mahotsav Offer introduced exciting exchange offers, hassle-free EMI schemes, cash-back offers, and extended warranty, all under one package. Given this context, we have adopted a hybrid marketing model and taking advantage of our extensive distribution reach and online presence, to create real-time customer delight.
What is your overall festive season spends for this year? What kind of campaigns and marketing strategies have you drawn up to engage with your consumers this year?
This year, our marketing strategy towards retail and customer engagement has been to make use of a 360-degree approach. For Consumer Durables, especially Cooling Products and Home Appliances, like last year, Digital has and will be our priority, followed by Electronics. For our flagship category, Voltas ACs, and Voltas Beko range of Refrigerators and Washing Machines, we came back to Electronic media (Television) during this October, with emphasis on impact GECs, regional and news channels. This was supported by Digital, especially programmatic, display, social and search. And for our Consumer Offer, we used Print and Radio tactically, pan India. All media cylinders were firing for us this festive season.
Recently, we have launched our brand new Voltas web lounge, www.voltaslounge.com, which is a one-stop destination for purchasing all Voltas and Voltas Beko products. We are using an omni-channel approach with a mix of digital, electronic print and radio to engage with our customers during this time of the year.
As India was at the peak of the festive season in October, we also announced our Grand Mahotsav Offer for all our customers across the country. As a part of the festive offers, consumers have the opportunity to win many benefits on the purchase of Voltas and Voltas Beko products. With an effort to increase access to its products during this auspicious time of the year, Voltas and Voltas Beko are also providing multiple finance offers including up to 15% Cashback on select Credit & Debit Cards and Easy EMI Finance offers as low as Rs 2,000 through NBFCs. Additionally, Voltas is also offering up to Five Year Comprehensive Warranty worth up to Rs 12,000 to encourage purchases for home upgradation and festive gifting. The company also introduced an exclusive offer on standard installation for Split ACs. The idea was to provide tangible benefits to the consumer and reduce the barriers for adoption and upgradation.