INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVES
In India, Shopping Habits Formed During COVID Likely to Last Long After
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IBM study suggests many consumers trying new methods will stick with them post-pandemic  This month in International POV we take a look at changing consumer habits and sentiments in India. A country with a population of roughly 1.3 billion people, India’s demographic breakdown shows more than 50% of its population is below the age of 25 and more than 65% below the age of 35. It is expected that by the end of 2020, the median age in India will be 29 years old.
IBM recently released an international edition of its monthly COVID-19 Consumer Survey on changing consumer preferences and sentiments on living and shopping in COVID-19 society.  The survey polled more than 14,500 people during August in eight highly impacted countries (Brazil, China, Germany, India, Mexico, Spain, UK, and the United States). Amid 47% of global consumers experiencing declining discretionary household spending in the last month, there are rising trends and marked differences in consumption habits across countries.  
Among the questions the survey posed to India were:
What measures must businesses or venues take before you feel safe and comfortable visiting in person? Many people say they expect businesses and venues to take measures to protect them in order to feel safe and comfortable visiting in person. Social distancing, face coverings for staff and patrons, and clearly communicated hygiene and sanitation practices are among consumers’ top demands. Some also say they want mandatory health checks for employees and patrons.
Safety first
Respondents cited a variety of measures that businesses and venues should take to protect employees and patrons.
Shopping Around
Many shoppers in India are taking advantage of various types of shopping tools and services (e.g., mobile contactless payment; order online/pick up in store; place order via mobile app) for the first time during the pandemic and many are likely to continue using these methods when life returns to “normal.”   When it comes to mobile contactless payment, almost 30% indicated they will use this method after the pandemic is over: 25% said the same regarding BOPIS, 24% will continue to place orders via mobile apps, 23% will continue to make purchases via social media, and 23% will continue to use voice search for adding items to their shopping carts when shopping online. 
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