Merchants anticipate solid consumer demand till year end, expect up to 200% growth: ZestMoney Survey

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Bengaluru, October 22, 2022: According to a survey conducted by ZestMoney, India’s leading and fastest-growing digital EMI/checkout finance platform, merchants expect strong consumer demand, which began with the festive season, to continue until the end of the year. About 4 in every 5 respondents expect to see an uptick in sales of up to 200% in the coming months, while 76% of respondent merchants anticipate a better festive season than the last, owing to strongly positive consumer sentiment that is primarily driven by pent-up demand and deals and discounts.

ZestMoney conducted the survey by engaging with over 750 merchant partners to gauge the festive trends, their preparedness, and expectations for the festive and the following season.

Insights for the survey were gathered from business partners and store managers of major retail players including Reliance Digital, Croma, Sangeetha Mobiles, Big C, and other physical retail stores from cities and towns across Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Kerala, NCR, Punjab, and other states. Top online and D2C merchants also participated in the survey.

77% of the respondent merchants expect customers’ budgets to be higher than last year, and 49% believe that it will continue well until the New Year and January next.

Merchants added that smartphones and electronics will remain the largest selling category followed by fashion and accessories, home decor, and personal care products. About 45% of the respondents believe that the strong consumer sentiment will be driven by deals and discounts and 30% feel that the pent-up demand will be a major contributor.

Major travel e-commerce players also said they are seeing strong demand that will last till the end of 2022. Led by domestic travel plans, they are expecting a surge in transactions by up to 200%. The platforms revealed that Dubai, Maldives, Thailand & Bangkok, and other Southeast Asian countries emerged as the top international destinations, while Goa, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Gujarat, and others are emerging popular domestic destinations. ZestMoney counts MMT, EMT, and Goibibo among its key OTA partners.

When inquired about their preparedness to meet the demand, 76% of merchants responded that they were fully prepared with the inventory to meet the festive demand. Furthermore, a third of the merchants responded that they were making more payment options, especially credit/EMI facilities, available as a part of their preparatory efforts. More than half of the respondents said they have plans of hiring a temporary workforce to handle the festive shopping demand.

Commenting on the survey, Lizzie Chapman, CEO & Co-founder of ZestMoney said, “We’ve had a great start to the festive season this year that is largely driven by buoyant consumer sentiment and strong demand for credit . We’ve seen an overall growth of 3X in transactions during the first leg of the festive season in September compared to last year. The new customer applications went up by 10X in the last few months in the run-up to the festive sales. Smartphones and electronics along with large home appliances remained the largest category, followed by fashion and accessories and home decor. Travel and personal care were the other popular categories. Our conversations with merchants indicate that similar trends are expected to continue for the next few months.”

“Our offline business has seen a 300% increase in both transactions and GMV this year as we doubled our POS (point of sale) presence over the last year. Merchants continue to evince a strong interest in enabling EMIs at checkout. To service the demand, we’ve doubled down on our efforts to enable digital EMIs at their points of sale,” Lizzie Chapman added.

Around 40% of the respondents say customers are using cash and UPI for payments. Another 40% of the merchants expect the purchases to be made on digital EMIs because of flexible tenures, low cost, and convenience. Credit and debit cards were among the other popular payment instruments chosen by merchants.

ZestMoney is India’s leading digital EMI/Checkout finance platform with a registered user base of 17 Mn and a network of 10,000+ online and 75,000 stores. It is present at the checkout of leading e-commerce platforms like Amazon, Flipkart, Myntra, MakeMyTrip, Yatra, and Nykaa among others. It is also available at retail stores of Reliance Digital, and Croma across the country.

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