54% Shoppers in India Still Prefer Buying Offline Over Shopping Online

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With nearly 462 million internet users India is the second largest country by the number of internet users. Engrossed in the digital life, how people in India are influenced by the Internet? Inshorts and Ipsos conducted India’s largest opinion poll between 25th July and 7th August 2016 to find out. 54% urban Indians said if the cost is same, they would prefer to visit a proper retail store to buy a product, while 4% said they don’t indulge in online shopping at all. Typically a consumer’s purchase behaviour is influenced by various factors. For instance, online shopping has its own risks that only an offline retail store can overcome. Hence, to convince and influence the purchase decision of the consumer, online retailers must provide discounts. Discounts, added with a comfort of sitting at home and purchasing, is an effective driving factor.

The poll was not restricted to covering only the shopping preferences of the internet users; it also addressed apps and social networking, Indian Government’s performance and Startup culture in India.

While most think that dating apps have become the go-to-place for young Indians, study shows that a whopping 67% respondents out of 56,550 said that they’ve never met anyone through a dating app, and 26% stated that they’ve never used any dating app. The employed professionals between the age group of 25-35 years are most likely to meet someone through a dating app. Students below the age of 25 are cautious and scared to meet strangers, as compared to working professionals, who are pretty confident otherwise.

Technology has managed to fascinate one and all. Chatbots and personal assistance apps have made transactions seamless. However, of 49,392 participants, only 11% replied positively when asked if they have ever conducted a transaction using a chatbot or personal assistance app. This has come as a huge surprise considering chat bots are yet to penetrate the market.

The survey also revealed that a large chunk of student respondents are aware of the chat bot – an emerging technology. In contrast, 15% respondents said they had no idea about a chatbot or a personal assistant app.

Web series have become immensely popular these days. In general, out of 52,546 of respondents, 42% admitted that they regularly watch a web series, while 51% said no and 7% stated that they did not know what a web series is. But the popularity seems to be mostly among millennials (below the age of 25). Nearly 49% of respondents said yes to the same question, and 45% said no.

YouTube emerged as the preferred platform for 52,226 users for watching video content; a whopping 80% voted for YouTube, while only 11% responded in favour of Facebook and a mere 9% voted for Whatsapp. Although currently, Facebook has 159 million users in India in comparison to YouTube’s 60 million users, people mostly picked the video streaming platform YouTube. This may be because of the dedicated product/content. YouTube is all about videos, while Facebook and Whatsapp have multiple focused areas. However, among the respondents who were above 35 years of age, more than 32% preferred Whatsapp while only 13% picked Facebook.

“With the Youth of the Nation Poll, we aim to provide the country an insight into what is young urban India thinking about the most burning issues of the country and their outlook on governance, politics, business, career and technology. And be able to do this objectively in the line with the best practices of polling worldwide, this time around we are delighted to have brought premier research firm Ipsos on board to oversee and validate the survey methodology and execution.” Said Azhar Iqbal, CEO & Co-Founder, Inshorts.

The poll participants were also asked if they feel that government of India should have requested Raghuram Rajan (former Governor of the Reserve Bank of India) for a second term. Surprisingly, 73% out of 54,062 users answered positively, while only 13% believed government made a right move by not asking Rajan for the second term. The rest chose to stay neutral. The latter percentage swelled to 22% when results were segregated age above 35 said No. The extensive support showed on social media towards him gave way to such a polling result.

With the entry of private players who provide better quality and service, privatisation garnered more support. When 54,373 users were asked if they think the government should continue to own and manage Air India and BSNL, 53% put their weight behind the thought while 39% voted against. Among the users above 35 years, 53% voted no and 43% voted yes.

The poll also tried to understand users sentiments in terms of increment in income; 59% of 50,970 users who responded to the question if their income has increased more than their expenses in the last two years, responded negatively while only 22% found their income is increased. Inflation played a pivotal role in influencing this result. Due to country’s inflation, commodities and services have become expensive resulting in higher expenditure while the per capita income has remained low.

Users were also asked if their career prospects improved in the last two years under the current government. 45% of responded affirmative while 38% deserting. However, amongst users who are over 35 years of age, 46% voted no and 39% voted yes. As per the poll results, the current government has the support of the youth; all thanks to social media campaigns.

The poll also tried to touch base the sentiment of users towards the flourishing scenario of startups in India. When asked to 53,089 users if they see themselves founding a startup in the next five years, 45% users said they would be setting up a startup, while 36% decided to play safe and said No. Entrepreneurship amongst women seemed to be low as only 33% found the thought of setting up a startup convincing but a majority, 46%, didn’t find it convincing. While startup culture is spreading like fire in the country, it is clear that male entrepreneurs are more in numbers than female entrepreneurs.

The most interesting question was if given a similar job offer by both, would they prefer working with a startup or a large corporation. Out of 51,629 users, more than 54% said they would prefer working in startups than in large corporations. And obviously users below 25 years of age were more interested in working with start-ups. The findings show the growing influence and acceptance of startups in India.

Actionable Insights

The face of business is changing. Today, customers are the rulers. The catalysing factor behind this poll was to get an insight on what the youth of this country thinks about several issues.

  • Price has emerged the only element that draws people to online stores in India. As a majority of people voted for retail purchase conditioned to the same price, online stores in India need to work hard to win customer on other experiences, such as support, confidence, easy of shopping etc.
  • Dating apps have not been regarded widely by the people of India, at least for now.
  • Government’s decisions to let go of Raghuman Ranjan has been backfired, people found the government on the wrong side.
  • Despite increasing salary, people in India are still not satisfied with the payouts as their expenses have increased proportionately.
  • The ongoing struggle of corporates to keep their growth intact in the absence of right resources is expected to continue as the majority of people are willing to join startups over large corporates.
  • The vibrant startup culture in this country has successfully captured the youth’s attention. Rather than getting into a large corporate and working under set rules, youngsters are more interested in working with a growing startup. The aspect of learning and exploring more has driven this interest towards startups.

It can be concluded that youngsters of this nation are much into what the social media shows and spreads. Their keen interest and addiction to social media platforms are living proof that networking sites are influencing the opinions of a user to a great extent.

Every social media issue that made headlines in 2016 made way into this poll. Over 1.5 lakh users participated in this poll, out of which 80% respondents were below the age of 35. The poll was conducted with participants from India’s top 10 cities- New Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, Kolkata, Pune, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Chandigarh and Lucknow.


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