Consumer durables in India: A digital-age customers’ thinking


In prior generations, only a few could afford consumer durables. Due to more significant discretionary income, better lifestyle choices, and digital diffusion, consumer durables are no longer limited to wealthy households in urban centres. In much of India, it’s a need, not a luxury.

In the last decade, McKinsey has changed how digital-age clients buy. McKinsey’s multiyear study found that the consumer choice journey (CDJ) is not linear. From brand awareness to purchase and loyalty, consumers travel irregular paths. This research led to 2009’s nonlinear Customer Digital Journey. This model was tested on 100,000 customers across 450 cities and 30 companies in India to help marketers and sales executives prioritise their efforts.

According to CDJ research, getting into the ICS may make or break a company. ICS brands contribute to 70% to 75% of customers’ final purchases, twice as much as brands considered later in the decision-making process. This doesn’t diminish the value of a well-executed marketing plan across the CDJ, including being in the mix during functional evaluation, converting sales at the point of purchase, and ensuring loyalty and retention. Early consideration has become the most critical marketing battleground as market noise increases.

A brand’s position in the ICS increases its chances of being bought, while the CGI helps marketers estimate their company’s growth potential compared to competitors. Marketers must win across the CDJ, which requires examining competition at each stop. Six consumer clusters comprise the market. Indian consumers are classified into six types, each with unique decision processes and preferences.

Organizations must understand each segment’s buying behaviour and the information and influencers it relies on to plan marketing spending, messaging, and positioning. 70% of purchases are for replacements. Companies must understand what inspires consumers to consider purchasing to reach the trigger point. Understanding how age and geography affect triggers helps a brand’s positioning. Replacement drives most purchases. 20% of clients repurchased without considering alternatives. Only half of the remaining 80% chose the incumbent brand, and 25% switched at the register. Retail touchpoints are crucial. Retail touchpoints still dominate in India, despite the rise of digital marketing. 75% of customers go to EBOs or MBOs to compare brands (MBO).

Live demos, watching, handling, and experiencing items are vital to them and impact their buying decisions. As clients gain expertise and their selection criteria change, they add new companies and discard others. 80% of shoppers in India will examine a new company if an influencer promotes it. Companies must dedicate time and resources to the right influencers at each decision-making stage. Indian consumers are more inclined to choose a brand from their initial list. Marketers who understand client motivation have opportunities to influence final purchase decisions.

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