Impulsive to essential buying: The Consumer shift

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By SK Nag

Business strategists need to plan differently in the new normal. Marketing experts are already finding it difficult to plan their future roadmap. In the absence of empirical evidence, a much deeper insight is amiss. The future is neither an extension of the present nor a forecasting of the past. Hind side wisdom is a myth in the current context, which was helping prediction earlier.  The paradigm of consumer behaviour will be a new journey henceforth. A post-pandemic major shift that the market will experience resulting from the adoption of frugal spending on essential items keeping aside impulsive buying. Impulsive and emotional buying will be things of the past since the EMI driven market will no longer exist. Therefore, necessary purchases will outnumber splurging on impulsive and emotional buying. This theory will deter the economy from reaching the level of competence.

Markets will continue to be reeling under uncertainties for quite some time till we are completely out of Pandemic. The day India will become a mask-less country, the economy will bounce back exponentially, and consumer behaviour will further change.

Currently the market started building hopes around the rural economy as an exception. FMCG companies are trying to reach far-flung locations. This segment of the economy was neglected by major business houses. But Pandemic has driven them to this rural market. Metro centric sales strategy may not work now. Market research has to have a feel of the rural economy. Rural aspirations are changing faster than metros. The difference between CITY and Rural ambiance are far apart.   Reaching out this market has some inbuilt challenges due to widespread diversity.

Logistic infrastructure appears first, to name a few. Efficient railroad connectivity is crucial to fulfilling the rural expectation. Last-mile connectivity is a vital element of any economic development which the government should think immediately. If a robust logistic system is developed, then Companies can extend their shop floor to the doorstep of consumers.

‘Chaos theory’ explains the disrupting situation when we are forced to think laterally and innovatively to develop a new solution that will be thousand-fold better than earlier. Therefore, ‘necessity is the mother of invention’ takes us to the creative arena, where creativity flourishes.

COVID has pushed us to that Creative Arena called “New normal.”

Like FMCG, the automobile sectors made the same mistake of building their revenue model around the cities. Automobile sales currently are discouragingly low, and no hope to get back soon on their feet. Market demands have disappeared, showing no immediate signal of recovery. However, Two-wheeler and four-wheeler entry segments are hoping to see a better recovery. But others in this sector will need to wait for some more time.

These are indeed some positive vibes amidst market despondency in agriculture sectors, showing its robustness to support our economy on a long-term basis.

Organized and unorganized industry sectors are struggling to stay afloat. Focusing more is an immediate imperative, but it must be with a changed approach, which they understood to have been trying. Product development may take a back seat to promote further penetration in existing products that cater to the market’s essential needs. New ventures should wait for a suitable time to sustain current working capital pressure. The govt stimulus package did not help the industry as it was expected to be. Production capacities are barely used at the factory level. The industry ecosystem is completely disrupted.

We must fast adopt a new way of living to sustain collectively. Coexistence of orderly and disorderly complexity will mandate the marketers to adhere to intensive foraging, culling unproductiveness. Unremunerative segments need no attention at this stage. We must understand this Pandemic has changed the way we perceived our living until it arrived. So, we must inevitably learn to live with changing consumption patterns to walk on the not-talked roadmap.

(SK Nag is Chartered Engineer, Energy Expert and industry mentor. The views expressed are personal opinion of the author. He can be reached at saibal.iim@gmail.com )

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