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Diwali 2023 witnesses 49% average increase in online sales: Criteo report

As the Indian festive season unfolds, Criteo has released insights in online retails sales, traffic, consumer behaviour and preferences during Diwali 2023

As the Indian festive season unfolds, Criteo has released insights in online retails sales, traffic, consumer behaviour and preferences during Diwali 2023.

Compared to average between September 17 to 30, the impact of pivotal deal days (October 8th to 15th) propelled a 26% increase in sales and an 8% surge in traffic. Diwali played a significant role in boosting online sales, witnessing a robust 72% uplift on November 10, just two days prior to the festival.

The two-week period leading up to Diwali (October 29th – November 11th) showcased 49% average increase in sales and a 35% surge in traffic, with conversion rates experiencing an upswing of up to 22%. In comparison to the same two-week period before Diwali 2022, we witnessed a substantial 39% increase in online retail sales in 2023. Diwali sales in 2022 grew by 17% of that in 2021, demonstrating a clear acceleration in growth and heightened consumer intent in 2023

Consumers exhibited a trend of early research and shopping gearing towards the holiday season with product exploration 18.3 days before making a purchase during the peak period.  During July to September 2023, 74% of holiday shoppers had already contemplated their gift selections and over 50% had already made some holiday purchases.

Shoppers also expressed their intent to spend more, and shop both in physical stores and online, with more than one third indicating they will spend "much more" than the previous year. 33% initiated their gift search through online ads, and 31% through brand websites or apps, followed closely by physical stores (28%). Basis the survey, consumers are increasingly recognising the utility of AI in their shopping experience, with 99% of respondents finding AI useful in various shopping situations.

Among the top use cases shared by Indian shoppers are identifying the best price for a product (44%), discovering gift ideas (43%), and seeking information about products they've found (39%). This data underscores the role AI plays in shaping the future of retail, emphasising the need for businesses to leverage AI technologies for a seamless and personalised shopping journey.

Taranjeet Singh, Managing Director, Enterprise, APAC, Criteo, said, “The significant increase in online sales, traffic, and conversion rates demonstrates that the holiday shopping season presents a great opportunity for businesses in India. Criteo also found that 34% of shoppers who were new buyers during the 2 weeks approaching 2022 Diwali made at least one additional purchase from the same retailer between November 2022 and March 2023, showcasing the possibility of acquiring new customers and turning them into repeat customers during this season. To capitalise on the opportunity, businesses should start planning and preparing early by implementing a commerce media strategy with a full-funnel and omnichannel approach to achieve seamless shopping experiences."

Black Friday also has emerged as a crucial event for attracting new buyers in India, as a staggering 9 out of 10 consumers express a readiness to explore purchases from online stores that are not on their regular radar. 73% of Indian shoppers answered that they typically shop online around Black Friday and 92% answered they sometimes purchase from online stores that they usually don’t purchase from on Black Friday. Remarkably, more than half of consumers are enticed towards new online stores primarily by great deals, and 16% also showed interest in post-Black Friday deals, saying it would also draw them to try a new store. The key elements to ensure the retention of new customers acquired during Black Friday include great deals (47%), free shipping (47%) and fast shipping (46%). These findings showcase the significance of well-thought-out promotions and streamlined shipping processes in capturing and preserving consumer interest throughout and after the holiday shopping period.

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