New Delhi: One month into the New Year, and people across the country are continuing to prioritise their mental and physical health and make healthier choices for themselves. Flipkart, India's homegrown e-commerce marketplace, shares some intriguing trends that reflect what was on the minds of consumers as the year began.
The exercise and fitness segment grew by 24 percent in the first month of the year, driven by a large fitness equipment portfolio that included treadmills and exercise bikes. As people began to prioritise their health and fitness by setting up home gyms and stockpiling workout equipment, the demand for fitness accessories such as dumbbells, resistance tubes, and skipping ropes skyrocketed.
Yoga essentials increased by more than 31 percent over the previous quarter, fitness equipment increased by 28 percent, treadmills including brands such as Prowl Fitness and HRX increased by 42 percent, and exercise bikes increased by 30 percent. Over 57 percent of this demand came from Tier 3+ cities, with the remaining 20 percent coming from metros. The adoption of almost all fitness verticals demonstrates a clear intent to begin an active lifestyle this year.
Reading is always a popular New Year's resolution this year. While trade books increased by 38 percent year on year, with the most popular genres including self-help, regional, and non-fiction, non-trade books such as exam preparation and academic books increased by 70 percent year on year. With the announcement of many competitive exams earlier this year, there has been an increase in the number of CBSE exams and sample paper books, NEET preparation books, qualitative aptitude and Indian polity for UPSC examinations, as well as regional exam preparation books. Do Epic Shit and the latest Sadhguru books have received a lot of attention. Overall, the books category increased by 15 percent year on year, which can be attributed largely to the academic portfolio.
With the pandemic spreading, there has been a growing interest in safety, wellness, and immunity, with sales of masks, ayurvedic supplements, rapid antigen tests, health drinks, vitamins, and protein mixes increasing significantly. Masks and rapid antigen tests increased by 62 percent and 112 percent, respectively, year on year. While the eastern states had the highest demand for Ayurvedic supplements, the southern states had the highest purchase of healthcare accessories. So far this year, the segment has seen a 12 percent increase in sales.
Sports and fitness, books, and health care have emerged as focus areas for most consumers looking to make the most of the new year as prolonged stay-at-home periods have become a way of life for most.