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Indian shoppers go hybrid with mix of online-offline purchases: Report

Indian shoppers go hybrid with mix of online-offline purchases: Report
Photo Credit: Pixabay
7 Apr, 2022
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Indian shoppers are following the hybrid path on their purchases and are increasingly starting their shopping journeys on the open internet, according to a report. According to the 2022 India Shopper Story report by Criteo, an online ad platform, about 45% of Indians surveyed browse products online but buy them at a store, whereas 44% purchase online after selecting products at a retail store. 

A majority (52%) of Indians also confirmed purchasing products online via retail/brand shopping apps. Concurrently, shoppers also continue to visit physical stores to speak with knowledgeable salespeople and discover more unique merchandise. Also, the urgency and the need to try products before buying is the main driver for shoppers to visit physical stores.

As Indian shoppers are becoming more inclined towards online shopping, their purchase decisions are more influenced by the retailer/brands’ website especially in researching and discovering products. According to Criteo’s findings, 58% of Indian shoppers answered that the retail and brand websites have become more influential in their purchasing decisions over the past two years.

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Improved search capabilities and user experiences are contributing to increased value for customers, said the report. One-third of shoppers report significant improvements in product search and discovering what they're looking for on retailer/brand websites. This has also led 9 out of 10 shoppers to confirm that they have recommended a company to someone based on a good experience they had.

Furthermore, Indian shoppers are browsing more on different internet devices throughout the week and the growth of the open internet creates additional opportunities for them to discover, explore and purchase things online.

Another interesting finding from the study is that a majority of shoppers in India confirm they click on ads while using the internet and buy products they see in online ads, with more than 90% of shoppers claiming that online ads they see are for products they want to buy, and the majority of both female and male shoppers confirm that they buy the products recommended to them in ads. This demonstrates that customers recognise the value of addressability in advertising.

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With evolving addressability impacts, it is recommended for marketers to continue focusing on amassing as much first-party data as possible, and simultaneously develop a strong commerce media strategy on the open internet that can cover multiple channels in the consumer journey. Additionally, it is important to be seen where Indian shoppers are the most engaged today, said the report.

Taranjeet Singh, Managing Director, SEA & India, Criteo, told TechCircle, “The report clearly shows that shoppers prefer to start their shopping journey in the open internet with ads assisting more than 85% of Indian shoppers in completing their shopping journey."

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He added, "As a result, marketers should establish a strong commerce media strategy and activate robust first-party data, as it will be critical in marketing in the next years. Furthermore, it is recommended to incorporate a video format into advertising plans to reach target audience where they are most engaged today to achieve meaningful business results.”

According to eMarketer, India’s video viewing is forecasted to reach 512 million viewers by 2025. Keeping the unified audience strategy in mind, marketers need to add both out-stream and in-stream ad formats as part of their strategies in order to reach their target audience holistically and ensure consistency across creative content, messaging and targeting to deliver impact.