Axis My India, the consumer data intelligence company, has released its latest findings of the India Consumer Sentiment Index (CSI), a monthly analysis of consumer perception on a wide range of issues. Reflecting the view of the majority, the survey for the month of October reveals that media consumption remains the same for 48% of the families while the same has increased for 25%. In addition, a combined 82% said that they had seen more ads on TV and Digital platforms over others.
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The November net CSI score, calculated by percentage increase minus percentage decrease in sentiment, was recorded at +9, up from +7 last month and rising at a constant pace over the last three months, indicative of a positive shift in consumer consumption metrics.
The sentiment analysis delves into five relevant sub-indices – Overall household spending, spending on essential and non-essential items, spending on healthcare, media consumption habits and mobility trends.
This month, Axis My India’s Sentiment Index also delved deeper to understand consumers' views on varied issues of national interest. These include privatisation of loss-making public sector companies like that of Air India, views on economic recovery by 2022, alternatives to rising fuel prices, investment preferences, sentiments around Diwali and on brand advertisement placements.
The survey was carried out via computer-aided telephonic interviews with a sample size of 10,430 people. 62% belonged to rural India while 38% belonged to urban counterparts.
Pradeep Gupta, CMD, Axis My India, said, “With the festivities at their peak, one can easily witness consumers’ excitement in terms of loosening their purse strings for varied expenses and experiences. While Diwali has triggered spending on products of personal indulgence (like 2-wheeler/4-wheelers or jewellery) and household items, the upcoming festivities and enthusiastic consumer sentiment will further set the momentum for the last half of this year. In addition, one can also witness a transition in terms of preferences amongst consumers’ like opting for EVs or cheering for the privatisation of loss-making companies. The growth of digital as a medium of advertising overtaking print and just after TV reflects the change in media consumption habits which was triggered by the pandemic. Lastly, our survey shows that a vast majority of India is still not investing in this age of cryptocurrencies. It would be interesting to see how financial players beyond traditional banks can capture and convert their interests for investments using varied instruments.”
- Overall household spending has increased for 63% of families which reflects a 7% increase from the last month. This increase is highest in Northern India.
- The increase in spending on essentials like personal care and household items stands at 50% reflecting a surge of 5%. The net score which was +20 last month has increased to +27 this month. The growth in rural India is slightly higher as compared to urban markets.
- Spending on non-essential and discretionary products like AC, Car, Refrigerator has increased for 18% of families. For 73% spends on non-essential purchases remain the same which reflects an uptick of 3% from last month. The non-essential November net score, therefore, lies at +9. The trend in spending on discretionary products reflects a fine balance between caution and indulgence.
- With more exposure to outside activities, the importance of health bounced back quickly. Consumption of health-related items increased for 47% of families as compared to 44% last month. The health score has a negative connotation i.e. the lesser the spend on health items the better the sentiments. It has a net score value of -27.
- Consumption of media remains the same for a majority of 48% families and increased for 25% of the family, reflecting an overall Net score of -2 as compared to the base value of 0 for the previous month.
- Mobility net score reflects a constant improvement over the last four months. 88% of families said that they are going out the same or more on getaways/staycations/mall/restaurants, with travel bans being lifted and double vaccination providing easier movement opportunities. The overall mobility score is at -4 which is an improvement over last month which was at -5. This reflects slow but consistent progress in people’s sentiments about engaging in out of home activities.
On topics of current national interest:
- While the long-awaited sale of Air India to the Tata group reflected a hopeful future for the airline. Axis My India further gauged consumers’ sentiment on whether or not the government should privatise other loss-making public sector companies. 46% is in agreement with the privatisation of such companies while 36% disagreed with this view.
- When asked if the economy/livelihood and business are expected to bounce back by January 2022, 41% believe that the same is possible and Southern India is more optimistic with 54% agreeing to this.
- With rising prices of fuel being a concern, 48% are optimistic about shifting to electric vehicles wherein 33% and 15% said that they will consider buying a 2-wheeler and 4-wheeler respectively in this segment. The younger age group of 18-35 have a more likelihood, with 53% in agreement to an EV shift.
- In terms of brand advertisement placements, 44% and 38% of the consumers said that they have majorly seen ads on television and on digital platforms respectively. While only 11% and 7% of the audience believe that they have seen ads in print or outdoor. This reflects the changing media consumption habit and the surge both in digital consumption and advertising. This digital growth is led by a 26-35 year audience base.
- Sharing their views on financial planning, a majority of 23% still prefers to park their money in a savings account, while a combined 12% prefers to invest in Fixed Deposits, Shares/stock market and mutual funds. Gold is still seen as a reliable investment option for 4% of consumers. 40% of the audience still don’t invest and interestingly 2% still save their money in post offices.
- Gauging views around the Diwali festivities, Axis My India, further discovered that 36% of the consumers are planning to go beyond small-ticket purchases this festive season. While 24% are looking to spend on household or personal items like White Goods (AC, TV, Washing Machine, Refrigerator etc.), furniture, electronics and jewellery; 9% are looking to buy a 4-Wheeler or a 2-Wheeler. Further from a purely sentimental outlook, 59% of consumers reflect the view of a more hopeful and cheerful Diwali this year.