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Startups in 2024: Who Are The 'Phygital' Consumers of Gen Z ?

It’s time for CEOs to check out their performance, as the festive and sales season has concluded. The reported data reveals some truly fascinating insights for entrepreneurs to understand the future of consumerism.

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Team TICE
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In the dynamic world of Indian consumerism, the preferences of the youth are steering the course towards global and fast fashion brands. Several media reports suggests that despite a slowdown in the demand for non-essential products, top players like H&M, Zara, UNIQLO, Lifestyle International Pvt Ltd, and Marks and Spencer witnessed remarkable sales growth, with percentages as high as 60%.

Aspirational Advantage: The Power of Global Brands in Consumer Consciousness

The driving force behind this surge lies in the aspirational value that global brands hold for consumers.  Consumer Experts  highlights that these brands benefit from a natural advantage as brand consciousness rises. Moreover, their ability to manage unsold inventory and offer attractive discounts gives them an edge over smaller retailers.

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The success of these brands is not solely attributed to physical retail; a significant portion of their revenue comes from an increased emphasis on e-commerce, constituting over 25% of their sales.

In the heart of this evolving consumer landscape, several factors contribute to the story of Indian consumption:

  • Youthful Innovation: With a sizable young population, India serves as a playground for innovation and trendsetting. The youth are not just consumers; they are market shapers and demand creators.
  • Shifting Expectations: Increasing affluence leads to a shift in consumer expectations. It's not merely about products; it's about the lifestyle, the experience, and the narrative behind the brand.
  • Adapting to Discretionary Shifts: Brands that understand and cater to the changing patterns of discretionary spending are poised to thrive in this evolving consumer environment.
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What is Phygital Revolution? Fusion of Physical and Online Retail

As the retail sector adapts to the 'phygital' era, the fusion of physical stores with online platforms becomes imperative. Forward-thinking developers and landlords are reimagining spaces to meet the needs of tomorrow's consumers. The fashion industry, in particular, is undergoing a transformation with virtual try-ons, AI-powered styling recommendations, and immersive online experiences redefining consumer engagement.

While consumers return to physical stores for high-ticket items like smartphones and televisions, daily necessities are increasingly procured through e-commerce. FMCG companies like ITC, Emami, Marico, and Parle have witnessed growth of 3-5% over the past two years, primarily driven by the quick commerce trend.

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Commerce Trends: The Return to Physical Stores and the E-Commerce Boom

The surge in e-commerce within the FMCG sector is attributed to a habit change for convenience spurred by the pandemic. In the smartphone arena, reduced price differences between offline and online channels, coupled with the premiumisation trend, are enticing more consumers to opt for offline purchases.

Top Five 2024 Business Insights: India's Evolving Consumer Landscape & Going Phygital

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  1. Global Brands' Resilience: Despite a slowdown in non-essential product demand, top global and fast fashion brands like H&M, Zara, UNIQLO, Lifestyle International Pvt Ltd, and Marks and Spencer experienced substantial sales growth, reaching percentages as high as 60%.

  2. Aspirational Value: The success of these brands is attributed to the aspirational value they hold for consumers. Devangshu Dutta, Founder of Third Eyesight, emphasizes the natural advantage these brands gain as consumer brand consciousness rises, coupled with their effective inventory management and attractive discount strategies.

  3. E-commerce Dominance: A significant portion of the revenue for these brands comes from a heightened emphasis on e-commerce, constituting over 25% of their sales. This shift underlines the changing landscape of consumer preferences and the importance of a strong online presence for businesses.

  4. Factors Shaping Indian Consumption: The article outlines key factors influencing Indian consumption, including the role of the youth as market shapers, the shift in consumer expectations towards lifestyle and brand narratives, and the adaptability of brands to changing discretionary spending patterns.

  5. 'Phygital' Retail Transformation: As the retail sector embraces the 'phygital' era, the fusion of physical stores with online platforms becomes imperative. Innovations such as virtual try-ons, AI-powered styling recommendations, and immersive online experiences are reshaping the way consumers engage with the fashion industry.

The Indian consumer landscape is a canvas painted with the vibrant hues of innovation, changing expectations, and adaptive strategies. Startup entrepreneurs who understand and navigate these shifting tides stand poised for success in this dynamic market.

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