Connecting with India this festive season: 3

People in India are finding a glimmer of hope in the coming year-end celebrations. As the country recovers from the second wave of COVID-19, we’re observing a sense of captious optimism among consumers.

We see hundreds of millions of shopping-related searches every day, and since last year, we’ve been noticing three nuanced shifts in the online behavior of India’s shoppers.

Micro-shifts in the behavior of Indian shoppers

We’re also seeing an increase this year in festivity-related search interest for holidays like Onam, Durga Puja, Dussehra, Diwali, and Pongal. 1, 2 But with 50% of consumers still concerned about attending in-person events, how will India celebrate differently this year, and what will this mean for brands?

Here, we share how brands can rethink their online retail strategy to leverage the three micro-shifts in shopper behavior and connect more meaningfully with India’s 177 million online shoppers.3

Micro-shift 1: They’re open to something new, but convenience reigns supreme
India’s population of online shoppers is growing fast. Of its 177 million online shoppers in 2020, 45 million were first-time online shoppers. 4 Sixty-five percent of shoppers went online to buy a product they previously bought in-store, and more than 50% of Indian consumers have bought from a brand or store they’ve never shopped at before.

Video is helping people discover what’s new. In India, the watch time of videos related to online shopping increased by more than 90% in October 2020 compared with October 2019.6 And more than 70% of consumers say they use video to stay up to date on what’s happening.7 The festive season in India is an opportunity for brands to maximize their audience reach through online video.

In 2020, Poco, India’s fastest growing smartphone brand, used digital video to reach new audiences. Poco India’s Country Director Anuj Sharma said, “During the festive season, we wanted to build top-of-mind consideration for Poco amongst tech-savvy consumers. We leaned on a YouTube-heavy strategy to reach out to a large number of targeted consumers within a short duration to achieve our objective. ”

The brand’s 11-day digital campaign used a combination of YouTube and Display Blast to drive sales and awareness. It expanded its audience targeting by identifying content that interests its audience: music, entertainment, photography, and comedy, and it reached out to audiences on these channels to drive a positive product association.


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