What Indian consumers want

When ET reports of 'bargain hunters flocking to modern ‘value retail’ formats like Big Bazaar, Food Bazaar, Subhiksha and More, which in turn have intensified their bargains and discount offers to encourage consumption', it brings into focus the issue of what is value to Indian consumers.

Its important to note that value perceptions vary across consumer segments. Take grocery shopping for example. As Saurabh notes, there are consumers out there who are ready to put up with the chaotic form of retail shopping. 'From haats to fairs to weekly markets to kirana stores, all of them are far from clean and offer far from satisfactory customer experience.' Yet they are as popular as ever.

What is termed as 'far from satisfactory' by Saurabh, is so seen through the eyes of the urban shopper. For the rural buyer, the experience may be quite satisfactory and therefore delivers on value. This is in a way somewhat similar to the Big Bazaar shopping scenario. For many, the chaos and the mess is all right as long as there are lower prices. But then comes the all important question. What if these very same consumers were to experience shopping formats like the one at Spar? Would they then prefer it over the Big Bazaar experience? I agree, price matters; what if prices are equally competitive? As Reneeth mentions, 'the Indian Customer too would like to be pampered if he doesn't have to part with too much'.

One thing's for sure. The retail shopping experience in India is an evolving one. Many a times, consumers themselves are not too sure of what they must expect from a retailer; what they must be happy with. This is therefore fertile ground for the marketer to come in and provide the consumer with an experience he may not have known. Note, this must be done without taking eyes off the 'retail value proposition', which is completely price driven, at least for the Indian mass consumer.


SG said…
Ho Prof. Ray,

In continuation of the post, even Kishore Biyani mentions this in his book - It happened in India. They kept the pulses and rice loose rather than packaging because Indians want to touch them before buying.

Similarly he talks about foyers and aisles in Big Bazaars. He says we kept them small on purpose.

Saurabh Garg
Ray Titus said…
Chaos by design... :)

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