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HindustanTimes Sun,28 Dec 2014

Consumer insights and trends: What India consumed in 2013

Anita Sharan, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, December 29, 2013
First Published: 23:39 IST(29/12/2013) | Last Updated: 01:36 IST(30/12/2013)

As Indian consumers ring in 2014, they take forward several consumption behaviours displayed over 2013. With India’s internet users expected to grow from 164 million to around 240 million next year, the online space is beginning to capture significant consumer nuances.

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An analysis of social media conversations by IBM Analytics over September to December (when the year’s shopping skyrockets) 2013, threw up consumer wish-lists and buying considerations. At 70%, the electronics, automotives and consumer durables categories dominated the wish-lists. In products, smartphones, laptops, bikes and SUVs topped at 75%. Price ceased to remain the overriding consumer consideration; style and design also matter now.

Entertainment and cricket continued to top consumer pursuits. Google’s Zeitgeist 2013 showed that Bollywood hits and the Indian Premier League topped Google searches. Hindi film Chennai Express topped searches, while Aashiqui 2, Krrish 3, and Ram Leela trended high. Searches for the Indian Premier League broke online records. Coverage of Sachin Tendulkar’s retirement from cricket drew huge numbers. 

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This contrasts from last year’s Zeitgeist, which showed an emphasis on utilitarian and information searches for personal needs such as shopping and booking tickets.

The top three 2013 mobile searches were restaurants, bars and movies, followed by coffee, cricket score and fast food.

Rajan Anandan, VP and MD, sales and operations, Google India, said, “From a search trends perspective, 2013 was clearly the year of entertainment.”

Sunny Leone topped all categories among India’s top searched personalities on Zeitgeist. She also topped Yahoo! India’s 2013 most searched personalities list. Airtel Mobitude 2013, listing Airtel’s customers’ behaviours, also recorded Leone topping the celebrity image download charts, with 300% more downloads than Shah Rukh Khan.

Music downloads indicated a shift from item numbers to romantic numbers. Priyanka Chopra’s international song hit, Exotic, ranked among the top five English song downloads.

Mobitude 2013 also recorded mobile TV getting the highest traction with over a 400% jump in viewership over 2012. Viewers watched entertainment channels the most, at 800% over sports and 200% over news.

Zee Group’s online site for TV channels, Ditto TV, found that of the 85% of its users who use smartphones, iPad users watched more regional channels, news and sports, while Android users watched more general entertainment channels.

On Twitter, however, Amitabh Bachchan topped the charts – according to the Bollywood Twitter Index from To The New, a digital services ecosystem – to record an 87% growth in followers over 2012. To The New’s MD, Puneet Johar, said, “The rise in popularity of social media platforms, particularly Twitter, has broken down barriers… Bollywood stars who have taken to micro-blogging have gained millions of followers and emerged as powerful social influencers.”

Read: Online TV viewership

Health foods and distinct fashions emerged during 2013. Yahoo!’s lists on both are wide-ranging.

Meanwhile, if you got a lot of your new year’s greetings via Facebook or Twitter, don’t be surprised. An Ipsos survey found that 90% Indians using the internet were planning on wishing friends and family a ‘Happy New Year’ via these social networks.

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