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About 44% urban Indians more likely to shop online after lockdown lifts: Survey

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Even as there are signs that the nationwide lockdown to curb COVID-19 has led most urban Indians to see online shopping as the norm, a survey has revealed that this shift is restricted to only specific categories, including gadgets, beauty and personal care among others. Close to half (44%) of urban Indians said they are more likely to shop online once the lockdown is over, while 21% said they are less likely than before to shop in physical retail stores, according to a survey by global market research and data company YouGov.

“The current COVID crisis and the subsequent lockdowns have helped accelerate the momentum for e-commerce. A few categories will see a more significant and permanent shift towards online sales channels while for others consumers will revert to traditional buying behaviours,” YouGov India General Manager Deepa Bhatia said.

The survey was done online by YouGov Omnibus among 1,011 adult respondents in India between May 23-27.

It revealed that among the different regions, east and west Indians (51 per cent and 50 per cent, respectively) are more likely to say they will shop online in the future compared to residents in the north and south of the country (41 per cent and 40 per cent, respectively).

Similarly, the inclination to move online for shopping appears to be stronger among tier I cities (51 per cent) than tier II and III residents (41 per cent each).

Even though a large proportion of respondents have indicated migrating online, the survey found that shift is significant in certain categories and does not extend to all.

Gadgets (68 per cent), beauty and personal care (58 per cent), apparels and accessories (56 per cent) and home and kitchen appliances (51 per cent) are the top categories where a majority of respondents have indicated their likeliness to buy online, once the Covid-19 crisis is resolved, it added.

However, for most of the other categories, including automobiles (83 per cent), salons and spa services (78 per cent), alcohol (74 per cent), hardware (71 per cent) and gardening and fertilisers (64 per cent) consumers are likely to prefer shopping offline in physical stores, it said.

Notably, shopping for some of the key categories like grocery and food and dining, which picked up a lot of momentum online amidst the lockdown, is also likely to return to the offline medium once things return to normality, it added.

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