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India’s online festive sales hits a record high, increased 29% YoY in Sept ’18: Oath study

Millennials between 25-34 shop more online during festivals. At 42%, electronics is the top-selling category online and smartphones, headphones are top buys, finds the study

This festive season, e-commerce sales registered a record 29% increase over last year, finds a new study on online shopping trends of the Indian consumer.

The study conducted by Oath, a Verizon subsidiary, uncovers surprising insights into the Indian consumer’s choices and behaviour during the country’s main online shopping season, when top e-commerce brands go to war with massive discounts and innovative sales.

Oath has several media brands in India, including HuffPost, Yahoo Cricket, Tumblr, Yahoo Finance and Yahoo Mail. The findings are based on data points across these brands and an in-depth understanding of consumer behaviour based on content consumption by users.

The online shopping season in India begins with Dussehra around October and goes all the way up to Christmas and New Year. However, Oath data reveals that the online shopping burst begins as early as mid-September, when Indians actively begin filling their shopping carts.

The huge momentum in the festive season continues to catalyse the explosive growth of online shopping in India. Sales increased 29% year-over-year in September 2018, setting a record high for India’s festive shopping season online.

Indian online shoppers love to buy electronics online, bargain-hunting for festive season discounts. 42% of shoppers bought an electronic item, making it the top selling category. Smartphones and headphones were the most popular items they checked out. In a growing trend, online shopping is becoming a part of ‘daily life’ for shoppers. FMCG comes in second after electronics as a best-selling category, with shoppers buying their everyday products online, from sugar to shampoo.

“The huge volume of data points across our brands gives us a comprehensive understanding of consumers in India and their behaviour. These deep insights in turn are helping our advertisers to make sense of audiences’ preferences and market trends at a very strategic level, to put in place data-driven marketing strategies during this crucial season,” said Erin Chao, Head of Platforms, APAC, Oath.

India’s online festive shoppers are predominantly male, at 79% — in line with the ratio of men and women online shoppers in India. Tech-savvy Millennials between 25-34, with greater purchasing power, tend to shop more online during festivals. They come in ahead of other age brackets during this season.

2018 key insights and online shopping trends during India’s festive season, based on Oath data:

  • Online festive shopping begins as early as mid-September. Sales increased 29% year-over-year in September 2018 — a record high for India’s online festive shopping season.
  • Gen Y leads shopping frenzy: Tech-savvy Millennials between 25-34, with greater purchasing power, tend to shop more online during festivals. They adapt easily to new technology and are bargain hunters who zero in on the big discounts during the festive season.
  • At 42%, electronics leads as the top-selling category online, with smartphones and headphones as top buys. Popular smartphone brands in India include Redmi, MI, Samsung and Moto.
  • At 12% baby and toddler products come in second after electronics. Indians are heaping their carts with diapers, pants and wipes.
  • FMCG is a best seller: Shoppers are increasingly buying everyday products online, like sugar, shampoo, salt and toothpaste.
  • Indian online shoppers pay attention to hair care. Hair conditioner and hair-fall defence shampoos are both popular products. Shoppers also buy beauty products like whitening creams, face-restoring creams, body lotion and UV protection products online.
  • The top growing product category online is e-commerce prime services, with 4X growth YoY. More and more online shoppers are purchasing e-commerce prime services, which signals they not only care about the price, but also the service quality and guarantee.
  • Online bestsellers are well-known brands, implying price is not the only factor, but brands matter for Indian online shoppers.

Oath, a subsidiary of Verizon, is a values-led company committed to building brands people love. It is a global leader in digital and mobile with a house of media and technology brands. Globally, Oath sees more than 200 billion data points every day and reaches one billion people around the world.

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