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India Marketing Consumer Behavior Festive Season

Festive marketing in 2023: Emerging trends in India’s consumer behavior



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September 8, 2023 | 7 min read

In the second half of the year, India shines brighter as it celebrates diverse kinds of festivals, showcasing its rich culture and heritage

While consumer behavior in the country is evolving quickly along with the rest of the world, what stays unchanged for Indian festive consumers is their unwavering enthusiasm for celebration.

Festivities breathe life into brands, as they're given a chance to enrich everyone’s spirits. However, marketers have a responsibility to make their campaigns blend seamlessly with the celebrations. Based on InMobi's The Marketer’s Guide to India’s Festive Season report, here we delve deeply into the most recent consumer behavior trends for the five-month-long festive period, revealing interesting insights that will strengthen your marketing initiatives and help you connect with the Indian festive shopper.

Insights that light the way for brands

84% of Indians plan to increase their spending during the holiday season. Additionally, rapidly altering online and offline buying trends due to multiple lockdowns have made consumers develop a preference for hybrid shopping during festive times. It may become a challenge for advertisers to keep track of the changing habits of diverse shoppers. This is where shopper personas can step in to help.

In today's Indian festive marketplace, three different shopper personas have emerged. It is crucial to map out their distinctive behavior throughout their festive shopping journey of learning, exploring, and buying.

Along with analyzing distinct behavior, we shall also examine corresponding strategic marketing trends, such as peak mobile usage times and experiential expectations. This will give advertisers the knowledge they need to create effective advertising campaign ideas for Diwali, Christmas, and the New Year.

Let's embark upon an illuminating journey to unlock the secrets of successful festive marketing in India. Keep reading to get into the shoes of India’s festive shoppers and know how to delight them.

A glance at the festive trends for marketers

As the festivities approach this year, the spotlight is on self-love, hybrid shopping, and a surge of exploration. There are more Indians, especially women, who identify themselves as the primary decision-makers in festive shopping decisions. They are also prioritizing themselves while shopping. We can say that there’s a significant cultural shift that sees self-love gaining importance.

  • 63% of shoppers exhibit reduced price consciousness, saying they would eagerly explore brand options before purchasing.
  • 54% of respondents said they preferred hybrid shopping followed by 44% who said they would choose online purchases only.
  • Festivals act as catalysts for shopping sprees, with 58% of unplanned buyers flocking to Dusshera and Diwali sales, while 36% planning to kick-start their shopping as early as September.

Mobile marketing soars like fireworks

In India, celebrations and cell phones go hand in hand. Phones accompany people on their quest to learn about products, research brands, and finally make purchases. We uncover the unique roles of mobile experiences and mobile marketing at each stage of their quest.

By digging deeper, we found the distinctive motivations that influence Indians to indulge in both physical and virtual shopping. The demand for real-life engagement is what drives offline shopping, yet the smartphone continues to be a catalyst in leading buyers to the offline stage of their journey.

When every marketer is attempting to garner attention, these insights are essential for brands to channelize a seamless, tailored, and engaging customer journey.

On this critical trend, Vasuta Agarwal, chief business officer of the consumer advertising platform at InMobi, shared, “With 78% of consumers planning to shop on their smartphones, mobile is the most crucial channel for brands this festive season, making it imperative for them to embrace a mobile-first approach in their marketing strategies. This approach will enable an authentic connection with the Indian festive shopper of 2023.”

Meet the different Indian festive shoppers

Celebrations may be universal, yet their significance is deeply personal. This emphasizes the importance of using customer personas to ensure precise targeting and timely campaigns. With individualism on the rise, businesses can effectively build connections with unique audiences and create experiences that reflect how each individual perceives festive moments.

Three distinct shopper personas have emerged, all three having unique journeys:

Unplanned shoppers: They are those who start without a shopping roadmap. They tend to learn about products, explore options, and make their purchases hand-in-hand.

Category explorers: They are voyagers who set sail with products in mind but have yet to decide on brands. Constituting a majority of festive shoppers, category explorers have already begun their research to narrow down the products and brands they are interested in.

Brand lovers: They are those who navigate the festivities while knowing both the brands and the products they want to buy. Although they make up only a small fraction of the total festive buyers, these are high-intent customers and it’s critical for brands to not miss out on engaging this audience.

A sizeable 58% of brand lovers are planning to spend more than ₹50,000 or more. There are some other distinct and intriguing traits exhibited by the other personas around their preferred categories, their budgets, their timelines, and much more.

Some actionable marketing strategies and solutions

There are strategic marketing solutions tailored for the festive season, with a special focus on the dynamic universe of mobile marketing. As celebrations and smartphones intertwine, brands must delve into innovative approaches to harness mobile platforms.

By utilizing a variety of touchpoints, brands can keep up with their audience's mobile journey from the smart lock screen to their favorite apps. Marketers have an opportunity to use immersive experiences to engage and enthrall festive shoppers in ways other than typical advertisements.

In mobile marketing, augmented reality, virtual reality with a pedometer, and blow technology are just a few of the engaging mobile ad units that top brands like Amazon and Netflix are integrating into their campaigns. Brands such as Coca-Cola, Cadbury, and Nerolac have leveraged innovative solutions that enable deep engagement and smooth online-to-offline conversions.

For example, Coca-Cola gave its iconic bottles a Diwali twist. They leveraged the smart lock screen by Glance to help consumers send personalized Diwali greetings to their friends and family.

Nerolac made Diwali brighter for its audience as well as its distributors by creating an interactive, creative, and seamless online-to-offline journey.

These mobile marketing techniques empower brands to craft captivating campaigns that resonate with the hearts and screens of festive shoppers. With these expert insights and actionable strategies, elevate your festive marketing game in the digital age.

Go ahead, ignite new festive experiences

A plethora of insights can be mined from the gold mine of new consumer behaviors and marketing trends for India's festive season in 2023. Your brand can be equipped to create memorable campaigns by leveraging various shopper personas, fusing online and offline experiences, and recognizing the crucial role of mobile marketing.

Understanding buyer personas ensures accurate targeting and helps create connections that brighten the festive experience as celebrations take on increasingly personal significance. These insights, which range from the rise of hybrid shopping to the importance of self-love, can help your brand drive real connections with Indian festive shoppers.

As the festive lights illuminate the night, these insights and actionable strategies set the stage for your brand to orchestrate its own dazzling displays of success in India's vibrant and ever-evolving festive arena.

Unwrap the gift of valuable insights for your brand by downloading The Marketer’s Guide to the Festive Season 2023.

India Marketing Consumer Behavior Festive Season


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