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Digitisation aiding growth in online shopping: Ajay Macaden, Nielsen

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Digitisation and convenience of online shopping have been picking up pace rapidly across India on the back of increasing penetration of internet and smartphones, said Ajay Macaden, Executive Director, Nielsen.

“Consumers have evolved now for omni-channel even for specific categories like milk and bakery. Increased internet and smartphone penetration has led to multiple shopping channels and change in consumer behaviour,” he said at India Food Forum 2019.

He mentioned that in markets around the world, categories such as travel, entertainment (books, music, events) and durable goods (fashion, IT/mobile, electronics) are the front runners for consumers to enter the online retail sphere. 

Consumers are also looking for e-commerce options for an increasing range of categories, as their more immediate needs for convenience and ease expands, Macaden said.

He also pointed out that consumers in APAC (Asia Pacific) have even evolved to fresh grocery and packaged goods with China, India, Japan and Korea leading the market. 

In fact, packaged grocery food and fresh groceries are showing the highest percentage growth of all categories in 2018 in this region, he said.

Higher disposable incomes have had a positive impact on consumption patterns indicated from the fact that consumer no longer shies away from paying the premium for quality/branded products, he said.

Urbanisation of the Indian economy has enabled modern retail to expand its wings in the smaller regions of India. Consequently, trends that were previously seen only in metros and Tier-1 cities, have now been replicated in Tier-II and Tier-III towns as well.

He also said that omnichannels, which entail blending online and offline formats, are being increasingly adopted by retail majors to bolster their presence and derive the benefits of both.

Macaden said that the younger target audience is already becoming a force to reckon which cannot be ignored. 

 He also opined that e-commerce portals have been instrumental in achieving revenue traction as far as apparel, electronics and beauty products are concerned. 

Lately, fast-moving consumer goods (pertaining to ccategories such as house care, medicine/health, fresh/packaged groceries and baby care have seen an appreciable growth momentum.

Given India’s high population base, retail continues to remain a secular growing industry.