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Consumer durables get a cracking start in Q3, have high hopes for rest of festive period

The category predicts good sales and revenue growth as Navratri, Onam and Ganesh Chaturthi fetched good returns. Brands hope the remaining season will overcome the economic slump and help them achieve their targets

The consumer durables category is aiming at high growth in the remaining festive season on the back of increased sales in the beginning of Q3 of this financial year. Brands in this category reported a higher consumer buying behaviour, which was extremely low before October.

The gap between two major festivals, Navratri and Diwali, has also given brands a pre-sales pick-up period, making them hopeful of improved sales. E-commerce websites such as Amazon and Flipkart will be the major online sales drivers for this category.

Pratyush Chinmoy

Pratyush Chinmoy, CMO, Onida, said, “This festive season, we are expecting good sales not only for Onida but for the entire industry, notably in the LED TV and appliances categories.”

With its newly launched IGO brand and other products, the brand expects to have a good season ahead.

For newbie and growing kitchen appliance brand Wonderchef, the festive season contributes to 15% of the yearly growth. The brand is witnessing a 30% growth y.o.y.

Sanjeev Kapoor

According to Sanjeev Kapoor of Wonderchef, it is important to increase your marketing budget to increase product sales. “Our increase in marketing depends on the increase in sales in the last fiscal. The brand’s sales increased 20-25% last fiscal, which led to a 20-25% of increase in our marketing spends this year,” he said.

Arun Menon

Arun Menon, Country Business Head, Philips Branded Television and Audio, TPV Technology India, said, “The festive season has started on a good note and tier-II and tier-III markets will fuel the performance of the consumer durable market.”

The festive period accounts for about 35-38% of the business for Philips and the brand is working towards reaching that mark. Attractive discounts, low-cost EMIs, extended warranties and cashback offers are some of the measures that will help the brand overcome the slowdown.

Gurmeet Singh

Gurmeet Singh, Chairman and Managing Director, Johnson Controls-Hitachi Air Conditioning India, said, “We have not really experienced any effect of the economic slowdown this year. Right from the very beginning of the festive season, we are witnessing the same enthusiastic sales that we usually do. In fact, there is an interesting and evident change in Indian consumer preferences, especially in consumer electronics purchases.”

Hitachi is expecting good sales through both online and physical retail channels. Inverter air conditioners are one of the champion products stabilising the demand. “Every festive season brings great consumer connect opportunities and new sales avenues for our brand. Like every year, we are excited about this big festival season,” said Singh.

The slowdown effect has forced brands to spend less but the category has been advertising in all mediums. “There is an approximate 9-10% dip in volumes in the industry in the last few quarters, but all mediums such as TV, print and digital still form the core of consumer durable category advertising. Customers have already started moving forward in buying consumer durable products. The interest in this category can be seen in the huge sales registered on Flipkart and Amazon,” said Onida’s Chinmoy.

According to Menon of Philips, despite a decline in print advertisement over the years now, during the festive season, all mediums are utilised to their best potential by brands to advertise. Adding to the digital spend are offers by e-commerce companies on their respective platforms. TV would be a close second after digital as in India, a large population are skewed towards television viewing and definitely it would be an effective advertising tool, Menon said.

“Our category is of small appliances, which keep on selling and there is no slowdown effect in it,” said Kapoor.

All three agreed that digital medium has a larger share in the marketing pie in the category.

According to a recent report by BCG titled “Digital Powers Consumer Durables”, digital mediums will contribute to 63% of total consumer durables sold by 2023.

“With constrained budgets, digital becomes one of the main ways of reaching out to target groups for any corporate. We have seen some of the brands dropping TVCs, which is very expensive to run for a sustained period and doesn’t target consumers compared to other mediums,” Chinmoy said.

Digital is the most beneficial medium for Wonderchef but for Onida, print is profitable in its strong markets. However, the brand made an increase of 50% in its digital marketing budget for the festive season.

“The festive season accounts for 35%-40% of the total spend on marketing. Since TPV is setting up base for Philips TV and Audio, our approach is more regional-centric this year but we are exploring all key medias like print, FM, cinema, outdoor, digital and PR to reach out to our customers,” said Menon.

Onida is focusing on developing innovative content to help consumers understand and differentiate between other brands and their product.

Likewise, for Wonderchef, content plays a big role in brand communication with the consumer. The brand is focused on creating content that is relevant around festivities to convince the consumer to make purchase decisions. “Our social media presence of Wonderchef is higher than bigger brands under the kitchenware category.  We are focused on creating content which is relevant around festivities,” said Kapoor.

Apart from that, the brand will use BTL activities along with targeted brand promotions in its distribution channel. “We are working on launching new products in other categories like washing machines and air conditioners also,” said Chinmoy.

Philips expects to grow by more than 50% within the audio segment next year, which will be driven by categories like earphones, headphones, sound bars and wireless home audio products.

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