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Changing Consumer behaviour

The Covid-19 pandemic and the unprecedented lockdown induced by it has brought about some phenomenal lifestyle changes for all of us. Over the past few months, we have spent most of our time inside our homes and markets have remained closed for the longest period at a stretch. Consumer Behaviour, spanning all areas of life, from how we shop to how we work and how we entertain ourselves has all been widely affected.

The consumer behaviour is basically settling into the new normal, and same is the case for enterprises and business of all magnitude and scale. To manage isolation, consumers are using internet to shop, connect, learn and play. Based on a market research before the Covid outbreak, it was predicted that the growth in the e-commerce market in India would reach 200 billion US dollars by the year 2026. Post the outbreak, recent trends suggest that the goal of 200 Billion U.S. Dollars may be reached a lot sooner than originally predicted as a result of increase in consumers opting for online deliveries amid fears of possible infection if they step out of their homes. The e-commerce sector is being impacted on the supply as well as the demand side and while some companies are able to adapt and respond to the changes, others are not because of the nature of limitations that have been imposed.

Many retailers dealing specifically with essential goods have witnessed a boom in business. While others like the world’s top fashion brands including Burberry, Giorgio Armani, Dior and Ralph Lauren — have all temporarily retooled their manufacturing facilities to produce a range of personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks, gowns and medical overalls for use by healthcare providers and patients. With demand for PPE at an all-time high and demand for luxury and premium fashion products at an all-time low, this action allows fashion brands to keep their factories operating (and in some cases drive cash flow) until demand for their lines return. E-commerce businesses are also improvising amid the lockdown to stay afloat. Online food ordering and delivery platforms like Swiggy and Zomato have introduced contactless deliveries to ease the heightened concerns related to hygiene that exists right now.

Even India’s fashion retail landscape is fast changing as e-retailers like Flipkart, Myntra, Amazon and Reliance Retail Ltd hurtle to evolve as the top players, ramping up partnerships with offline retailers, who continue to be disrupted by the pandemic. Flipkart’s recent investment acquiring 7.8% stake in Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Ltd (ABFRL) for ₹1,500 crore was one such move ramping up its fashion business and allowing co-creating new-brands to meet the emerging demands of new consumers. The deal adds strategic value to Flipkart-owned fashion marketplace, Myntra, as well.

Fashion has emerged as a strong category for e-commerce and witnessed accelerated growth during the pandemic. Myntra said its ‘Big Fashion Festival’ sale in October was its biggest festive sale ever, where nearly 4 million shoppers bought 13 million products across categories. Its sale saw close to 1 million new shoppers on its platform. Another interesting development on the matter is that those who were once rivals, e-commerce firms are now partnering with offline retailers to launch their own private labels.

With thousands of Covid cases still being diagnosed each day, people are wary of hosting get-togethers and parties. A severe impact of it is being felt on one of the most popular segments of the T&A industry. Even Diwali seems dim this time as far as shopping is concerned. The sales across all segments, including the textile and apparel industry, are quite low as compared to the previous year.


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