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'Country of Origin' a matter of consideration for Indian consumers


New Delhi: As the government orders e-commerce players to display the "Country of Origin" of products sold on their platforms, a survey reveals three in ten urban Indian respondents (31 per cent) consider the Country of Origin of a product important when buying it, but it ranks lower than other factors. The Quality of the product (77 per cent), its price (53 per cent) and the brand name or the parent brand (34 per cent) are all notably more important when deciding what to buy.

While it is less of a motivating factor when making a purchase, 44 per cent respondents always seek information related to a product's origin. 40 per cent on the other hand, look for this information for certain products or services and 16 per cent rarely or almost never bother about the origin of the product, adds the survey by YouGov.

Thinking about the different countries manufacturing products, the majority of respondents (88 per cent) were most likely to say products of Indian origin had the greatest influence on their purchase intention. Apart from homemade goods, products made in America (71 per cent), Japan (64 per cent) and Germany (55 per cent) have also had an impact on their purchase intent, suggesting products from certain countries can aid brands to some extent.

On the other hand, products of Bangladeshi origin were most unlikely to have an influence, followed by those made in Hong Kong (66 per cent), Taiwan (65 per cent) Sweden (64 per cent) and China (58 per cent), all of these are likely to reduce or have no impact on purchase intent.

When it comes to some of the leading categories sold worldwide, almost all the categories people are likely to consider the origin place of a product, except for buying alcohol. Consideration is the highest for 'Smartphones and gadgets' category (with 81 per cent saying this), followed by 'Consumer electronics' (79 per cent), 'Food & Beverages' (77 per cent) and Automobiles (75 per cent), the survey notes.

The recent border tensions with China have angered Indian consumers and many Chinese smartphone brands are facing a backlash on social media. The smartphone market in India is heavily dominated by Chinese brands and currently more than half of the respondents are using some Chinese smartphone, with Xiaomi leading the race, followed by Vivo, RealMe and Oppo.

In response to the calls to boycott Chinese goods, 43% of all respondents claimed to have stopped using at least one or more Chinese products or services, with Chinese smartphone users being more likely to say this as compared to non-Chinese phone users (45 per cent vs 39 per cent).

The negative sentiment is likely to affect their future choices as well, with a quarter of Chinese smartphone users indicating their intent to boycott Chinese products in the future.

A deeper insight into the smartphones category shows how the recent media and news events have affected consumer brand perception of some of the leading smartphone brands in India. Data from YouGov BrandIndex shows the strong negative emotion around Chinese goods could be a reason for the declining perception scores of some of the leading Chinese smartphone brands. In the last quarter, Xiaomi, Vivo, RealMe and Oppo have witnessed declining Buzz scores (whether one has heard something positive/ negative about the brand).

Around the same time, Impression (whether one has a positive/ negative impression of the brand) for these brands has also plummeted. However, these movements are more likely to be influenced by the current geopolitical situations rather than solely the country of origin of a product.

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