While Indian e-commerce saw a drastic 30 percent decline during the Janata Curfew on March 22, the sector subsequently clawed back to gain about 50 percent of the loss in the week following. Online shopping fell by a whopping 30 percent on March 22, the day of Janata Curfew. But in the week that followed, Indian consumers came back in strength to shop online, albeit exhibiting a significant change in their shopping behavior. This insight has been provided by Wibmo Inc., an industry leader in payment security and mobile payments in emerging markets and India’s largest processor of e-commerce authentication.
Releasing its insights into consumer shopping behavior for card transactions even as the country doubles down on protecting its citizens from the fanning fangs of the coronavirus, Wibmo’s findings have revealed that RuPay spend slowly climbed back to about 98 percent of the normal volumes in the week following March 22 but continued to fluctuate between 87 percent to 98 percent, which was a sign of both caution and apprehension among shoppers during uncertain times. On the other hand, Visa and Mastercard purchases were back up only 86 percent of their normal volumes and swung between 70-86 percent. This, according to Wibmo, may be attributed to the reduction in shoppers’ discretionary spend. According to the firm, as the week progressed, RuPay saw a further rise of 10 percent, as opposed to Visa and Mastercard purchases. During this same time, average ticket size dropped by 25 percent as consumers focused on necessities.
Wibmo says it processes over 2.2 billion transactions annually, which gives it unique insights into consumer behavior and spending patterns. According to the company, the shift in online purchases was inevitable as consumers chose to stay at home during this tough period. “This phase in our history will bring a significant shift toward online shopping with new products and services and consumers starting to prefer the convenience factor of online shopping. We at Wibmo, will continue our operations as usual because now, more than ever, our services are critical to meeting our consumers’ daily needs,” said Govind Setlur, CEO, Wibmo.
The shifts in the consumer spending patterns can be understood by looking at the figure below:
The shift in consumer spending can be better understood from the figure cited above. As per what the figure reveals, consumers leaned into online bill payments with over 70 percent transactions in that category. Overall, online purchases continued to see a dip of 16 percent as many services such as travel come to a standstill. But categories such as gaming and entertainment have stayed steady for the most part.
However, the biggest highlight of Wibmo’s findings, as revealed in the figure above, is that while online bill payments have increased during the lockdown, food and beverage delivery apps and financial services have taken the maximum hit. The findings also reveal that online shopping has witnessed consistency during the lockdown primarily driven by grocery and daily essentials.