Changing Consumer Trends: Resource Pooling

With the dawn of modern ages and increased consumerism, there has been a major shift in customer attitudes. The buyer of today is more prudent and very avaricious when it comes to spending, majorly in the case of high involvement goods and services. He asks a million questions before engaging in any transaction, not because he is a Scrooge, but because he has knowledge.

Coupled with his sagacious attitude are the changing demographics and household patterns. The traditional Indian household included husband, wife and their children, but with the rising incomes and job opportunities, there has been a rise in the “DINKS”-Double Income No Kids. This generation is more independent and expedient in utilizing its resources in an effective manner so as to save for their lavish future.

The above phenomenon has given rise to a new trend, i.e. the use of “pooled resources”. The millennials have been dextrous enough in planning their daily as well as monthly expenditures. Take the case of Uber pool or Ola Share which have been affiliated as the prime source of revenue for the cab aggregator. This was a boon for the youngsters who were able to save huge costs on a day to day basis for commutation. Ola reports “Ola Share” to be its prime source of revenue. The prime competitor Uber was forced to launch “Uber Pool” given its losing market share, because of the monopoly Ola had created given its Share services. Airbnb which allows people to rent their properties for a short-term accommodation has also seen a rapid rise in its growth in India in the past years. Be it your holiday in Goa or a short trip to any metro city, Airbnb is an excellent option which people swear by.

Nestaway, a platform that allows bachelors to rent fully furnished flats on a sharing basis is also a glorious example. It saves you the hassles of hefty deposits, landlord restrictions and provides you with ease of payment. It has also ventured into providing homes for families. Brands have been emulating the trend and some have been instrumental in shaping their value proposition to serve customer needs. For example, Netflix which allows multiple users to share a single account. The customer base for Netflix ranges from teenagers to middle-aged men and women. They have been overwhelmed by the pooled subscription policy brought about by Netflix and this has helped the brand to gain momentum in the Indian market. Falling in the same line are the mammoth telecom operators which provide family pack tariffs and the credit card companies that offer cards which can be tailored to be used by the entire family.

A newly emerging trend is that of “bicycle renting” which can be seen in some cities of India. With the rising awareness about their health and well-being, people are quite impressed by this latest bearing.  With major entrants like OFO and PEDL making their way into the Indian market, customers can rent a bike at dearth cheap prices on an hourly basis. This saves them the cost of investing 2 -6 grand on a new bicycle and the guilt of not using it in future.

To conclude, the trends portray that consumers are getting more and more inclined towards renting or pooling resources rather than investing huge sums of money on them. From shared cab services and shared accommodations to renting furniture and pooling Netflix accounts, the consumers are making the decision of not purchasing but rather, sharing. Understanding the needs of this new generation of consumers, the brands are cashing in on the opportunities which have been a result of the changing demographics and consumption patterns of the millennials and brought in really innovative and valuable product and service offerings.

Author: Bhawna Ahuja

PGPM, Class of 2019, Great Lakes, Gurgaon