InterMiles, a leading loyalty and rewards programme, released their 2020 InterMiles Festive Consumer Sentiment Index recently, showcasing insights and identifying trends with regards to consumer spending patterns & priorities this festive season. The report is based on responses received from more than 10,000 InterMilers across India.
This report follows closely on the heels of the InterMiles Travel Consumer Sentiment Index, and decodes three core areas of the average Indian consumer’s festive spending budget, namely: major planned expenses, shopping, retail & dining preferences.
Key Insights from the InterMiles Festive Consumer Sentiment Index:
Traditional gifting set to take a backseat
The maiden InterMiles Consumer Sentiment Index report released in September 2020, revealed that 60% Indians were raring to travel before February 2021. This corroborates the ‘travel due to pent-up demand’ trend predicted by experts, as Indians seek to break out of mundane routine and rejuvenate. The festive report reiterates this strong travel intent with 56% respondents listing travel as their top planned expense this festive season.
Home Décor has been highlighted as the second most important expense by 45% respondents, who are choosing to invest in this category. As pandemic-induced safety measures and social distancing regulations come into play this year, consumers who are confined to their homes – at least for the near future – seem to want to optimize levels of comfort and aesthetics in their own nests.
Where usually the festive season meant gatherings and personal gift exchanges with family, friends and neighbours, this year there is a noticeable dip in gifting sentiment this year. Nearly 48% respondents have listed festive gifting as third within their planned expenses consideration list make it the lowest priority for them.
Shopping priorities and platforms to be determined by price and value points | Bargain-hunting to dominate festive shopping lists
Marketers and brands are aware of the impact the pandemic has on consumer spending capacity. They are, thus, putting together deals & discounts like never before, as consumers are keen on ensuring they derive the most value out of every spend.
Consumers are seeking a bang for their buck, through direct methods – for instance, 77% respondents of the InterMiles’ Festive Consumer Sentiment Index listed great prices, discounts and offers as the most preferred factor when choosing a shopping partner, be it online or offline.
However, consumers are also actively seeking out indirect methods to make spends earn for them, with 62% stating that earning loyalty rewards points was the second most preferred factor for them, when it came to identifying an appropriate shopping partner for their needs.
This indicates that while consumers are willing to splurge on festivities, their choices are primarily dictated by options that help them get the most value for their money, as well as ensure they earn on spends by way of virtual currencies and cashbacks, or loyalty points. Consumers are seeking to use their current spending smartly so as to be able to save, as well as fund their future spends.
Safety & hygiene predicted to dominate food ordering preferences
Online food aggregators are set to have a sparkling festive season, with nearly 81% respondents of InterMiles Festive Consumer Sentiment Index stating that they would prefer using online food delivery platforms as they dine in. 12% would rather order directly from their local restaurants, and a minor set – 6%, would rather not order in at all, given the pandemic.
When asked to rank top three factors that play a role in choosing a restaurant to order online from, safety & hygiene stood out as the topmost factor on the priority list. This trend has been observed across most service and product categories, and stands in contrast to the traditional preference drivers of price points & discounts.
Customer ratings, deals & discounts and brand reputability – in that order of priority – also rank high in the consideration set.