Covid2.0 wave hits consumer sentiment

Fifty eight per cent of consumers think their income in the next six months will be lower than pre-Covid levels, according to BCG’s latest round of consumer sentiment poll which shows that people with similar sentiment has increased in a year’s time.

In the last survey conducted in July 2020 at least 44 per cent felt the same.

The survey was conducted over May 23-28, 2021 among 4,000 consumers. The survey, that covers all socio-economic groups across urban and rural India, is the 6th wave conducted by BCG.

Similarly, the sentiment about spending has been impacted. The latest round had 51 per cent consumers expecting their spends over the next 6 months to be lower compared to 40 per cent in the last round.

There has been a significant increase in the willingness to take vaccine post 2nd wave – especially in small towns and rural areas which had shown high levels of hesitancy/ indifference earlier.

Seventy eight per cent of the eligible consumers in large towns said that they were very willing to take the vaccine now — compared to 62 per cent earlier. While in rural areas the percentage willing to take the shotsstands at 63 per cent as compared to 41 per cent earlier.

Some categories have continued to show positive sentiment e.g. essentials, health, in home entertainment continue to be winners

“There is an impending sense of uncertainty however we have observed certain positive messages too. The spending sentiment has not been impacted similarly across categories. Essentials, health, in home entertainment continue to be winners. Some of the discretionary categories, however, have been negatively impacted,” said Nimisha Jain, Managing Director and Partner, BCG India.

Many of the newly adopted behaviors ranging from social commerce, online shopping, digital content, digital payments have continued to stick even through the period when the situation was looking a bit better and the lockdowns were no longer in place

“Now that we have been into the crisis for over a year, the shape of new normal for consumer behavior is also beginning to emerge. Many of the newly adopted behaviors ranging from social commerce, online shopping, digital content/ payments – have continued to stick. However, others like ‘do it yourself’ regimes, online doctor consultations have showed high sensitivity to the pandemic situation,” said Kanika Sanghi, Lead, Centre for Customer Insight for BCG India.