COVID-19 effect on changing the behavior of consumers and retailers:
The coronavirus pandemic has taken the entire world by storm. While people are trapped within the fear of contracting the virus, the nationwide lockdown, announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 24, led to severe disruptions and widespread confusion among people. The buyer behavior in India and across the planet also changed rapidly over the course of the crisis. While the lockdown resulted in panic buying and other people hoarding essential items like rice, wheat, packaged food, home care products, etc., reports suggest that folks didn’t refill much on confectionery and beverages, but only rushed to refill on essentials.
“In the weeks following the ‘Janata curfew’, sales of all categories of the commodity were impacted. Certain categories like beverages and confectionery were exhausted, but few categories like packaged foods and commodities are weathering the storm better. Local brands and Indian Kirana stores have shown resilience, with the recovery of just about 65 percent by the third week of the lockdown.
The lockdown effect on retailers while essential items still remain a key priority, the buyer behavior was well captured in shops, which stocked abreast of these things before the lockdown was announced. While people resorted to hoarding essentials, data suggests that Indian retailers didn’t get into a panic mode of shopping for, but there was a big drop by demand. a number of the key indicators which may have influenced them to not refill includes higher availability of stock thanks to the orders placed during the month-end and festivals like Holi and Uganda. A little clue regarding the approaching lockdown also helped these retailers to anticipate demand better and refill. However, for many retailers, the sales were lukewarm even during the festivals, since gatherings reduced thanks to social distancing concerns.
“However, within the first week of the lockdown, the demand from retailers had reduced by 71 percent, with no orders from 95 percent of the outlets. All categories, barring commodities, lost 60 percent after the lockdown was announced, but recovered by 40 percent by the third week of the lockdown, with the exception of private care, which saw a uniform demand from consumers.
Despite the proliferation of massive FMCG brands and swanky supermarkets, the standard Kirana’s have continued to carry sway in India during the pandemic. A huge population of 80 to 90 percent of India’s $701 billion retail markets is unorganized Kirana that has, for years offered consistency and efficiency. The wholesale online marketplace, which works with 28,000 commissaries, was ready to supply key branded items to retail stores.
“During the COVID-19 pandemic, the brands’ side, work with 20 top brands. We even have our own private labels in staples and deliver over 3,500 stock-keeping units. Manage the availability chain ourselves. It’s critical because of priorities service levels to customers, and that is our competitive edge.