Reviews And Ratings Drive Indian Online Shoppers To ‘Buy Now’ Button [REPORT]

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In the wake of widespread disruption caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic, a growing number of Indian consumers adopted online shopping in 2020. Localcircles, a community social media platform, in its recently released survey, highlights some key insights from the shift.

Let’s dig into it.

According to the survey report, the share of people preferring to shop online has skyrocketed as compared to the pre-pandemic era.

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  • 49% of respondents revealed that they prefer shopping from e-commerce sites and apps.
  • 18% of respondents still rely on their local retail outlets for home deliveries.
  • 31% visit malls and markets to pick up goods for their home.

When it comes to primary reasons why a majority of the consumers trusted e-commerce sites and apps, safety during the pandemic era emerged as the prime reason that drove people towards shopping online. However, discount and competitive pricing also emerged remains the second most important reason for people preferring online shopping in India.

  • 86% of online shoppers said they found doorstep deliveries as a safer alternative than stepping out.
  • 50% stressed the importance of competitive pricing 48% of survey respondents said the returns were easy.
  • 46% liked the huge range for product selection.
  • 45% liked the faster delivers.
  • 45% mentioned the relatable reviews and product information helped them make an informed decision.

The LocalCircles survey, released on Monday, also took note of the purchases made in 2020 whilst consumers largely remained indoors to practice social distancing.

It found a majority of Indian online shoppers in the poll bought everything from furniture and electronic gadgets to festivity supplies and vegetables.

LocalCircle’s survey further highlighted that 69% bought essential and grocery items, 54% purchased mid-value items such as electronic items, clothing sporting goods, etc., and 32% bought high-value items such as furniture, white goods such as refrigerators, TVs and more.

In March 2020, the Government of India implemented strict lockdown protocols in a bid to slow down the rapid spread of the coronavirus. What followed next was a monumental shift in consumer behaviour.

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Hordes of consumers started spending more time on the internet and, as a result, started opting for online ‘contactless’ deliveries due to the increased focus on hygiene and health habits.

LocalCircles’ survey report mentioned that over 60% of respondents shopped online because of the safety and social distancing norms, while 61% said shopping online helped increase convenience.

This shows that personal safety and convenience, followed by ease of returns or refunds and better value of goods, were the top 3 reasons why consumers made the shift to e-commerce sites and apps in 2020.

Another important highlight of the report was the peoples’ screening process before buying a product online. This is one of the most important elements that helps eCommerce and eStores must focus on to have their customers satisfies. The study

  • 64% preferred always going through the reviews and ratings before buying a product.
  • 26% said they go through them only a few times.

7% of survey respondents said that they check the reviews and ratings for expensive items or non branded products only, whereas only 3% said they don’t look at them. Thus, this conclusively indicates that a majority of consumers concretely rely on product reviews for shopping on an e-commerce portal.

LocalCirles received over a whopping 1,30,000 responses from 42,000 consumers residing across 358 Indian districts. Furthermore, 48% of the survey respondents were from tier-1 districts, whereas 31% were from tier-2 districts and 21% from tier 3-4 and rural destinations.

The Indian eCommerce market is estimated $111 billion by 2024, we reported last year. The market is expected to grow by 84%, driven by mobile shoppers as mobile shopping would clock 21% YoY growth for the next four years.

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