Demand for Work-from-Home Children-Related Products to be Highest in Near Future: Survey

Given the nature of the B.1.617.2 SARS-COV2 strain prevalent in India, which – as per the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India – is transmitting via droplets, aerosol or air transmission up to 30 feet as well as via surface transmission, work from home and spending more time at home will be a reality for 2021, as per a survey by Local Circles.

Many consumers and households have realized the same and want to get a setup such that they can function from home effectively.

This is likely to drive up demand for home furnishings, appliances, electronic accessories, mobile phones, laptops, desktops, low-cost printers, routers, wi-fi extenders, video or web cameras, etc.

Demand spike is also likely for white goods like air conditioners, coolers etc. as households create comfortable spaces to work or do online classes all day for the foreseeable future. As unlocking begins and retail stores, online retail supplies resume, they are likely to see a spike in orders in the above areas, LocalCircles said.

Given what India has experienced in the last 60 days with the 2nd wave of COVID, the typical Indian household is fearful and concerned. During the last 60 days, many more households who had not used the home delivery model to procure items of need in 2020 adapted to it. Be it placing orders on ecommerce apps or local retailer website, WhatsApp or a phone in to place the order, they have gotten used to getting things delivered to them.

As unlocking begins across India, for two in three households, at least for the next three months the criteria for which channel to procure things from is contactless delivery and sticking to social distancing norms.

As stores are permitted to open and online platforms start accepting orders for all items, the highest levels of demand are likely to be for children-related products such as books, stationery, online class equipment, Work From Home Gadgets like mobile phones, laptops, white goods, appliances, home furnishings, etc. These findings provide some hope for MSMEs and retailers operating in this sector as states and districts unlock and they get back to business.

As per the LocalCircles survey, for two out of three Indian households, contactless home delivery with social distancing to be top criteria for their purchases in the next three months.

Fifty-one per cent households likely to spend on children items such as books, stationery, apparel, online class equipment in the next three months. The findings indicate that 51 per cent of households have various items they need to purchase for children in the next 3 months.

Alternatively, if we are to separately look into the percentage of “must-have” products households think they need to procure for their children, 39 per cent said, “school books, stationery & equipment for online classes”; 30 per cent said, “other children’s needs such as toys to keep children engaged at home, hobby, supplies, etc.”; and 27 per cent said “children apparel, footwear, raincoats, etc.”.

This suggests that 40 per cent of households believe they will need to purchase school books, stationery, and online class equipment for children in the next three months. Given that school sessions have just started in some states and will start in almost all states over the next 30 days, this is an immediate need and area of spending for 2 in 5 families.

Forty-five per cent households likely to spend on WFH gadgets (mobile phone, laptop, etc.), appliances, home furnishings etc. in the next three months.

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