The Modern Trade Consumer in India

With increased exposure to global brands, latest internet communications, and desire for better lifestyle, the consumers today are looking to use the global, trendy, life-style oriented products and are demanding more in terms of the shopping experience, simplicity, quality products, and value.

The evolution of Modern Trade is just meeting the demands of these consumers and together causing rapid growth in modern retail. With increased exposure to Modern Trade, the consumer today is becoming more and more comfortable and loyal with Modern Trade.  Nielsen says that a fifth of the Urban India Shoppers now regularly shop at Modern Trade stores. (refer

Technopak forecasts that the penetration of Modern Trade in India will triple to about 15-20% in the nextfive years by 2018.


From the consumer point of view, modern trade results in:

  • Consumers feel that they are smart buyers
  • Increased availability of choice in brands and categories
  • Promises better prices and value to the consumers
  • Better quality products
  • Enjoyable shopping experience with product and brand voyeurism
  • Perceptual benefits of improved standard of living

Consumers feel smart as they have more control in Modern Trade

MT ShopperWith increased brand choice, freedom to browse the products, and the visibility of deals and promotions, the modern trade consumer perceives his buying experience as a smarter way of buying things. It also leads to the consumer willing to experiment more, buying new brands and categories in the modern trade store. It is observed that the modern trade consumers look to buy large packs and aggressively look for promotions, trying to get more value out of every buy.

A family shopping experience with enjoyable product and brand voyeurism

MT Family ShopperThe modern trade consumer is most likely to be accompanied by family and friends, and is not so likely to shop alone. It is increasingly seen that kids sit in the shopping cart, and the mother and father discussing about the product. This increases the fun in the buying experience and provides more opportunity for the retailers to increase the basket size and increase interaction with wide array of brands.

Moreover, the large displays, islands, and the strict arrangement of brands always make the consumers be voyeuristic of the brands and products. This makes them checkout products that were never in their consideration and drop it in the basket.  Modern Trade consumers’ willingness to buy new products and niche variants is making manufacturers add high-end variants to upgrade the consumers.

The rise of mini-modern stores to meet the “modern consumer” needs

Sarvodaya MumbaiThe Sarvodaya supermarket in Mumbai is an example of a growing trend of traditional stores adopting modern practices to meet changing consumer needs. There are about 100 such stores in Mumbai, and this trend is soon catching up in smaller towns too.

The future implications of Modern trade evolution are obvious as more and more consumers flock to the modern trade stores, and as more global retailers look to enter India after the FDI approval.


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