InterMiles, a leading loyalty and rewards programme, has released its maiden ‘Consumer Spending Sentiment Index Report’ showcasing payment, purchasing and personal finance trends, along with shifting consumer spending patterns. The report is based on responses received from more than 11,500 InterMilers across India.
Key Insights from the InterMiles Consumer Spending Sentiment Index:
90% Indian consumers witnessed a change in personal spending behavior since the onset of the pandemic
The pandemic has had a deep-rooted impact on the economy – not only bringing about a change in spending capacities, but also a shift in consumer priorities and renewed caution with regards to purchasing. According to the survey by InterMiles, almost 90% Indian consumers have witnessed a change in personal spending behavior since the pandemic, with a mere 10% reporting no change in their spending behavior.
Given the uncertainty and suddenness of the global pandemic, close to 70% Indians have now placed greater emphasis on securing the future by increasing investments and savings. Investments also ensure increased cash flow in the economy, possibly aiding in quicker fiscal recovery for the nation.
Spending priorities have taken a turn, with 21% consumers increasing spends on essential products, while non-essential spending saw negligible (3%) increase post the advent of the pandemic.
Expenditure on essential goods and services like food products and healthcare saw a substantial increase by 45% and 38% respectively. Routine spending on FMCG products like household goods and personal care products remained the same as before.
On the contrary, non-essential spending saw a steep decline with consumer spends decreasing on travel (68%), entertainment (52%) and apparel (45%).
The rise of social commerce, voice-activated shopping and contactless payments
The pandemic and the subsequently imposed lockdown triggered massive changes in consumer shopping behavior, with over 74% survey respondents stating an increase in the use of online shopping portals. This can, no doubt, be attributed to the distinct need for contactless services as consumers looked to minimize touchpoints that could lead to viral transmission.
The survey also threw light on the relatively new, but sure shift to social commerce, with as many as 40% consumers stating that they now use social media channels like Facebook and Instagram more frequently for shopping. This instant content to commerce behavior is anticipated to revolutionize the marketing ecosystem in the country, while also allowing SMMEs increased visibility at low costs. Giving us a glimpse of the future, 31% respondents said that their usage of digital voice assistants like Alexa and Google Home, for shopping, increased through the course of the pandemic.
70% consumers have changed payment preferences post the outbreak of the pandemic. Solidifying the contactless payments behavior, consumers have switched preferences from cash to either cards (26%) or UPI and e-wallets. Given the increasing penetration of smartphones and ease of usage, UPI is the clear choice for the evolved Indian consumer, with over 44% consumers stating that they’ve started using UPI services even more than cash and cards.
About the InterMiles Consumer Spending Sentiment Index:
The InterMiles Consumer Spending Sentiment Index was introduced to identify trends that matter and enrich the industry’s understanding around the always evolving consumer payment and purchasing behaviors. The programme which has a 10mn plus member base, is committed towards understanding the pulse of consumers across various travel & lifestyle categories. Data collected through these surveys will not only enable InterMiles as a programme to create unique and compelling value propositions for its members, it will also create meaningful business opportunities for its partners.
The member base for the InterMiles Consumer Spending Sentiment Index comprises of multi demographics as well as diverse payment, lifestyle and travel preferences.