Digital influence takes 3 weeks to make consumers buy: BCG, Google Report

According to the BCG, Google report, 63% of consumer durable sales in India will be digitally influenced by 2023.

After an extensive quantitative survey of 6,800 consumer durables buyers and qualitative discussions conducted by Kantar IMRB, the BCG-Google Digital Influence on Consumer Durables Study 2019 report came about. One of the key highlights in the report is that in the pre-purchase phase, approximately 80% of digitally influenced consumers are undecided about their choice of brand when they start their research and spend typically 2-3 weeks on research before making the final purchase.

Search, social media, blogs, and online videos are the key sources for online research. The report suggests that nearly 2 out of 3 digitally influenced consumers rate online reviews as a significant influencer in their purchase decisions.

Projecting healthy growth for consumer durables (televisions, refrigerators, washing machines, air conditioners, microwaves, water purifiers and small kitchen appliances, the report states that overall, the industry will see a growth of 13% to reach $36Bn by 2023.

The report defines a sale as a ‘digitally influenced sale’ if the buyer uses the internet during any stage of the purchase cycle.

Today 28% of consumer durable sales are digitally influenced & this is estimated to reach 63% of total sales, amounting to $23Bn by 2023. $10Bn of this will be online sale.

Capturing rise in the number of digitally influenced urban consumers, the report states that digital is increasingly playing an important role in consumers’ decision to buy a product, and the number of digitally influenced consumers have doubled over last 4 years. Digitally influenced consumers have increased 5X in tier 2 and tier 3 cities and digitally influenced women consumers have increased 10X over the last 4 years.

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The report further says, during the purchase phase, low price, convenience and choice of multiple payment options are some of the largest drivers of online conversions. However, the absence of in-person guidance and lack of ‘touch & feel’ are the biggest barriers. In the post-purchase phase, the report interestingly calls out that nearly 1 out of every 3 online buyers provides product reviews online post-purchase and both, in-store digitally influenced buyers and online buyers look for other offerings from the same brand after completing the purchase

Calling specific actionable insights for the consumer durables players to seize this opportunity, Vikas Agnihotri, Country Director – Sales, Google India said, “Consumers are creatures of habit, and with growing access and connectivity, we are seeing consumers research online before they arrive at their purchase decisions for almost everything. While businesses have started to build their digital presence, there is a need to take a holistic approach to digital as the scale of its influence has grown rapidly going well beyond top metros.

Read the full report here: