A Shift to Online Payments and Other Changes in Consumer Habits

Every crisis causes shifts in its wake as it disrupts established living patterns. As we find ourselves amid a global pandemic, consumer behavior will inevitably change. Experts are optimistic that the Indian economy will experience a V-shaped recovery and that it should perform better in the forthcoming quarters. Signs that point to this are a rise in tax collections, power consumption, and a pickup in rail freight.

Nevertheless, it goes without saying, people today are using their money in different ways. Across the globe, a few themes have become evident. There’s a shift to essentials, a move to the digital sphere as remote work surges, a disregard for brand loyalty, and massive spending on healthcare products. Online sales are increasing around the world, and in April, India saw a rise of 42% in digital payments.

Online Lottery Payments and Casino Activity Surges

Ever since the start of the pandemic, consumers began avoiding cash transactions, as retailers encouraged customers to use contactless payment methods. Thus, most Indians started using Paytm and Google for online payments. Considering that entertainment options dried up, it seems like many turned to the digital sphere for leisure fun and made their first lottery payment during this period. Lotto shops closed mid-March, and several states had to postpone their draws until after the lockdown, so a switch to playing lotteries online seemed like the logical move.

These web-based versions are similar to the traditional lotto, only they are simpler and safer to play, plus they provide the opportunity to win more. Outdated legislation doesn’t prohibit anyone from buying a ticket or withdrawing winnings, since all of it happens digitally. Those that were impatient and could not wait for a draw to take place chose to test out their luck on a game of chance at one of many popular online sites, such as Pure Casino. Everything mentioned above also applies to online casinos, as Indians are free to play at offshore gaming platforms. 

Uncertainty Causes a Spike in Savings

According to SBI Research, deposits increased significantly during the first lockdown period, as people turned frugal and were apprehensive in regards to spending. Due to fears of salary cuts, as well as job loss, most people reduced their spending by half, as they looked to wait out the storm, and for this year filled with uncertainty to pass.

In March, health professionals warned that a vaccine will not be available in 2020, which caused people to begin saving even more. The supply chain also got disrupted, and people could get hold of only essentials. Money flow picked up in May, but monthly household budgets remained tight as Indians did not dine out, and they limited their luxury spending. While there has never been such a shift in spending habits, once the financial uncertainty subsides, things should begin returning to normal. However, behavior learned over this period may stick as some people choose to remain thrifty.

Comfort Food and Supplement Sales Are Booming

Since most public activities became restricted, and due to growing health concerns, Indian’s showed an increased interest in boosting their immunity and improving their overall health. Since the lockdown, Ayurveda has noticed a dramatic rise in sales, as people looked to ancient systems of medicine. In June, Chyawanprash sales grew across the industry by 283%. Many corporations are profiting, as the Himalaya Drug Company and Dabur India are witnessing high demand for their proprietary supplements.

The sale of packaged food has also surged. People are buying instant noodles, rice, and cereal more than ever. Nestlé India’s revenues grew, and Emkay Global thinks that the switch from street to packaged foods will sustain even after the pandemic, driven by a preference for hygiene and trust in established brands.

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