India’s shift from offline to online has been significant during lockdown – Comscore

Consumer behavior during Covid-19

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India
Time spend per visitor per month Photo: Comscore

Due to the ongoing Covid-19 induced lockdown in India, consumers have been confined at home. With restrictions on movement in place, the internet has become the main channel to work, socialize, entertain, and explore the world. As per a Comscore survey published on 4 June, the shift from offline to online activity in India has been significant. The time spent per visitor per month jumped during the month of March 2020, compared with the previous month – an 18% increase. It then went on to breach the 3,400 minutes per visitor per month mark during the month of April 2020, which was previously the highest level ever recorded since Comscore started measuring digital audiences in India. By the end of April 2020, consumers had spent an average of more than 3,600 minutes per visitor per month – or more than two hours per day per visitor.

Most of the time spent online was spent on a handful of digital categories, namely entertainment (28 average minutes per visitor per day), social networks (25 average minutes per visitor per day), services (23 average minutes per visitor per day), instant messengers (19 average minutes per visitor per day), games (12 average minutes per visitor per day), news (7 average minutes per visitor per day), and retail (4 average minutes per visitor per day), Comscore said.

As per the survey, games, social networking, and instant messengers sites were among the digital categories that increased the most: by 62%, 35%, and 33%, respectively. Comscore said that the increase is considerable given how deeply engrained into consumers’ lives these categories already were prior to the coronavirus pandemic.

However, Comscore said that it was too soon to tell if these behavioral changes are temporary or long-lasting. “Stay-at-home restrictions are gradually being lifted, and it is possible that some of these digital trends will revert to pre-pandemic patterns, but others may become permanent new habits,” it said.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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– Naresh Khanna

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