Over 50 per cent of apparel consumers surveyed in India go online for better deals and choices, according to a PwC study. Online payment security is, however, still an issue for almost 20 per cent shoppers preferring this payment option, the survey added. While over 50 per cent respondents in India buy apparel online to get better deals and variety, the highest figure in Asia, 90 per cent of Asians surveyed do window shopping online, the report said. Tagged the 'PwC Experience Radar 2013', the global study tracked how local culture and practices in developing Asia drive different types of purchase decisions. It reveals features in retail shopping experience that inspires consumers to pay a premium. Rachna Nath, Retail and Consumer Leader at PwC India, said digital has impacted the way business happens as no other factor has. As buyers become more informed and consumer touch-points changing fast, the way to provide them customised experience has also undergone a change. Two-thirds of respondents agreed that access to leading branded goods is the heart and soul of their ideal apparel shopping experience.
These newly-affluent consumers in India place so much value on it that they are willing to pay four times more for access to branded apparel than shoppers in developed nations, the study said. "This implies that luxury brands need to align price with brand equity as premium pricing reflects exclusivity and quality, which attracts affluent developing shoppers looking to showcase their status," said Nath. But when it comes to unbranded clothes, the domestic customers lead in Asia with 25 per cent surveyed buying unbranded traditional clothes, which is 70 per cent more than the Chinese. Family and friends influence a lot of shopping decisions, the report said. Shoppers are more likely to share a bad experience with friends therefore brands need to educate and empower employees on how to turn issues into opportunities to deepen the customer relationship, the study said. In India and China, celebrity culture is a huge driver of lifestyle. Leveraging film stars, sports icons, and other celebrities can be a powerful tool in building brand awareness. Accordingly, Bollywood continues to be the fashion standard with nearly 40 per cent consumers looking to famous celebrities for purchase decisions.