87% HT Digital readers looking to buy a smartphone this festive season: Report

Unlocking insights into the preferences of Indian consumers, Aroscop & Toluna recently conducted an extensive study by surveying readers of HT Media across both its print and digital platforms. The study reveals intriguing findings about how HT Media readers like to shop during the festive season. It explores the shopping habits of consumers and provides valuable insights related to Hindustan Times print and digital channels, LiveMint, and LiveHindustan.

50% of HT Media readers considering buying a car this festive season.
50% of HT Media readers considering buying a car this festive season.

In this research, Aroscop & Toluna navigated through the preferences of Indian consumers and identified the influencing factors driving their shopping choices across various product categories, taking into account their budgets. The insights gathered from this study are a valuable resource for businesses looking to understand Indian consumer preferences, especially during the festive season. Surprisingly, a whopping 50% of Hindustan Times print readers and digital visitors, as well as LiveMint visitors, are considering buying a car this festive season. Additionally, more than 45% of Hindustan Times digital readers and LiveMint visitors have their eyes on purchasing an SUV in the next six months. Notably, 36% of Hindustan Times print readers already own an SUV.

“Amidst the excitement of festive seasons, the SUV trend only grows stronger with each new launch”, says Gaurav Vangaal, Associate Director, S&P Global Mobility. He further adds, “This approaching season carries the prospect of automakers fixing SUV backlogs and dealers finding a silver lining to dispose of their slow-moving hatchback inventories. Meanwhile, carmakers will closely monitor the dealer’s inventory level to align their production schedules accordingly.” The interest in two-wheelers is also on the rise, with over 40% of Hindustan Times print readers, LiveHindustan, and LiveMint visitors planning to buy one this festive season.

With a plethora of new smartphones flooding the market, more than 40% of readers from Hindustan Times print & digital platforms, and LiveHindustan plan to buy a smartphone during this festive season. Many are willing to spend more than Rs. 50,000 on this purchase. Faisal Kawoosa, Founder and Chief Analyst at Techarc, highlighted that “Customers who spent 30,000 on their smartphone two or three years ago are now looking at around 50,000 as a price point for their new phone—or even doubling or tripling their budget. This moves them up the ladder to the next segment.” He also pointed out that “Of late, thanks to multiple Android brands, a mid-premium segment has emerged that is priced at around 30,000-40,000. For these customers, the mind map is that the next upgrade has to scale up in price to 50,000 and above. That is what is making us see growth in the price segments of above 50,000 for smartphones in India.” Mr. Kawoosa further added, “Festive seasons are also ideal, since Indians look to optimise every spend they make—unlike many other countries. This period will bring in the best of offers, which is why this demand builds up as people wait to upgrade. Nearly 70-75% people who upgrade their previous phones definitely look at the festive season to upgrade their phones, which is what becomes the main demand driver as well.”

Following closely are intentions to upgrade personal gadgets like laptops and smartwatches, as well as a desire to enhance homes with smart devices such as TVs and audio accessories, not to mention the enduring popularity of gaming consoles. Notably, over 40% of Hindustan Times print readers and digital visitors already own luxury items like perfumes, watches, bags, clothing, and electronics. More than 50% of LiveMint visitors also take pride in owning a piece of luxury.

Festive shopping isn’t limited to acquiring assets like cars and gadgets; it’s also driving Indians to consider long-term investments like real estate and gold. At least 42% of Hindustan Times print readers and digital visitors are thinking about investing in real estate, while 33% of LiveHindustan visitors are also planning real estate investments for the festive season, with substantial budgets earmarked for the purpose.

Nearly 50% of Hindustan Times print readers have plans to buy jewellery in the next six months, with a striking 87% of them considering purchasing gold jewelry. Furthermore, long-term investments like real estate and gold are always on the mind of Indian consumers, corroborated by the fact that, 42% of Hindustan Times’ print readers and digital visitors are contemplating real estate investments during the upcoming festive season, allocating significant budgets for this purpose.

50% of Hindustan Times’ print readers also shared that they are looking to purchase jewellery in the next six months, with a striking 87% of them specifying a preference for gold jewellery. In terms of financial investment vehicles, nearly 30% of Hindustan Times print reader invests 5-10 Lakhs every year across asset classes such as the stock market, mutual funds, gold, FDs, and bonds. Notably, the research shows that LiveMint visitors prefer to manage their portfolios independently, with a resounding 88% choosing this self- reliant approach. Additionally, a significant 67% of Hindustan Times readers are equipped with credit cards, indicating their financial readiness.

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