Impact of COVID-19 on shopping behavior in India
Shopping behaviors amongst Indian consumers has evolved during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. During the early stages, a large number of Indian consumers were either in containment zones or there were limited options available for making their necessary and discretionary purchases. This led to consumers trying new channels, products and brands, which in turns has resulted in changes to consumer’s shopping habits and their path to purchase.
Amazon Advertising commissioned a study with Kantar in July of 2020 to understand the impact of COVID-19 on buying preferences of Indian urban active internet users. The total population covered under the urban active internet user definition was 309 million as of 2019. The study illuminated three trends:
Consumers have shifted to online channels during COVID-19
Kantar asked shoppers about their purchasing patterns during the COVID-19 pandemic. The study found that:
- 42% of Indian urban active internet users are shopping online during the COVID-19 pandemic, with nearly half of those being first-time online shoppers
- 46% of these ‘new to online shoppers’ live in Tier-1 and 2 cities*
Amazon is a popular destination for research
Many of the Indian shoppers surveyed prefer to research products online before making online or offline purchases. Amazon has emerged as one popular destination for product discovery amongst those researching online.
- 66% of Indian urban active users have researched online before buying products, either offline or online, and
- 52% of the online researchers1 have visited Amazon for their research
New to Amazon shoppers expect to continue using online channels
New-to-Amazon shoppers reported being highly satisfied with their purchase experience, and a majority continue to be favorably predisposed to shopping on Amazon in the future.
- 82% of new to Amazon shoppers stated that they are likely to continue shopping on Amazon long-term.
- Categories these shoppers are likely to buy over the next 6-8 months included: apparel & fashion (43%), mobile & accessories (42%), personal care & beauty (41%), household & grocery (39%), home appliances & decor (33%), and consumer electronics (24%)
Research source and methodology
* Indian cities are classified by the Government of India as Tier 1, Tier 2, or Tier 3 based on population density of the city.
1These researchers could make the final purchases either offline or on other online sites and may or may not necessarily end up being Amazon customers