E-commerce spends surpassed pre-COVID-19 levels after the lockdown across Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru as more individuals opted to shop online for their discretionary and non-discretionary spends, according to a report by credit card bill payment platform CRED.
The report is based on an analysis of credit card spending patterns of over three million members across the three cities. The data takes February 2020 spending as a baseline and compares it to spends in subsequent months under which the lockdown and unlock time periods fall, said the report.
CRED said there were two topline insights gathered from the study.
The study was done to understand larger trends reflected in spending behaviour of affluent consumers pre-, during and post the lockdown.
More individuals opted to shop online for their discretionary and non-discretionary spends during the lockdown but have continued after the lockdown as well, indicating a larger behavioural trend, the report said.
Sharp spikes were recorded in online grocery and e-commerce surpassing even pre-COVID-19 levels, while spending on physical grocery and shopping fell substantially.
“E-commerce spends surpassed pre-COVID-19 levels post the lockdown across all three cities. Delhi spend grew to 135 percent, while Mumbai was at 133 percent and Bengaluru at 124 percent,” CRED said.
It further said online grocery spends surpassed pre-COVID-19 levels in both May-June and June-July periods. The highest recorded spike across categories and time periods analysed in the report was witnessed in Mumbai during the lockdown when spends on online grocery spiked to a whopping 147 per cent compared to pre-COVID-19 levels, nearly 1.5 times.
Kunal Shah, Founder and CEO of CRED, said, “While the trend stemmed out of necessity, the convenience, safety and accessibility of digital medium have led to a sustained behavioural change where we are seeing consumers continue spending on these channels post the lockdown as well.”
This poses a unique challenge for brands as they have to figure out ways to reach affluent audiences and have to consider digital-first strategies to engage them, Shah said.
The study also noted that insurance spends during the onset of the lockdown were close to pre-COVID-19 spends.
However, during the May-June period, spending spiked across all three cities and surpassed pre-COVID-19 levels. These stabilised, but remained high during the unlock period.
Mumbai topped with consistently high expenditures on insurance across time periods, CRED said.
Also, credit card spends on wallet top-ups were relatively high during and post the lockdown across all the three cities, indicating a preference for contactless payments.