A sale is ‘digitally influenced sale’ if the buyer uses internet during any stage of purchase cycle. Digital influence varies by product categories today with it being 33 per cent for high average selling price (ASP) durables like ACs, Televisions, Refrigerators and Washing machines and 20 per cent for lower ASP products like small appliances, water purifiers and microwaves. The number of digitally influenced consumers have doubled over last 4 years.
Currently a large part of the research in consumer durables space usually happens across the reviews section of popular e-commerce platforms, review websites and YouTube. S Swaminathan, CEO and co-founder, Hansa Cequity adds that there is a need to digitise the services (of durables makers) as well in order to improve their reach. “A lot of brands in this space are rapidly scaling up their digital presence thanks to e-commerce platforms, however, digitising servicing and maintenance post sales with something like a digital warranty card for example would make a huge difference to their usage,” said Swaminathan.
This is one of the new ways of keeping customers loyal in the digital age say experts. The report says, during the purchase phase, low price, convenience and choice of multiple payment options are some of the largest drivers of online conversions. However, absence of in-person guidance and lack of ‘touch & feel’ are the biggest barriers. In the post-purchase phase, the report interestingly calls out that nearly 1 out of every 3 online buyers provides product reviews online post purchase and both, in-store digitally influenced buyers and online buyers look for other offerings from the same brand after completing the
The report suggests that nearly 2 out of 3 digitally influenced consumers say that online reviews are a significant influencer in their purchase decisions. This is another space for advertising. But Swaminathan added that advertising tends to be limited to traditional mediums (for most) in specific regions and their digital presence is quite an “early stage”.
The report adds that in the pre-purchase phase, approximately 80 per cent of digitally influenced consumers are undecided about their choice of brand and spend typically 2-3 weeks on research before making the final purchase. Brands need to drive focused interventions at the individual consumer level across journey touch points to leverage the short research window of 2-3 weeks, the report added.
There is also an opportunity for influencer marketing in this space. “The overall spends on influencer marketing in consumer durables is still single-digit which we see growing rapidly in future. The top categories are e-commerce, mobile, FMCG, travel and financial products. Instagram and Twitter are the preferred media platforms,” said Sanjay Vasudeva, Founder & CEO, Buzzone Influencer Marketing who sees tremendous potential for such products on digital platforms.