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56% Of Bharat Use UPI And 49% Use Mobile Wallets Multiple Times A Week: Report

The survey finds that Bharat users are as affluent and digitally savvy as India users. Bharat users are at par with India users when it comes to participating in online financial activities.

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ShareChat, India’s leading social media platform, today, released a report titled ‘Bharat - The Neo India’ in association with Group M that studies the social media behavior, content preferences, spending choices of Bharat1 and India2 users. The report classifies users that prefer Indic language on social media as Bharat users and India users as the ones that prefer using English, across all the regions of India. Bharat users are spread across the country with nearly 40% present in metros and 53% in non-metros. The findings in the report are based on a primary survey by YouGov,  conducted among 3,432 social media users across 17 Indian states and with inputs from Kantar on Indic language urban active internet users.

The survey finds that Bharat users are as affluent and digitally savvy as India users. Bharat users are at par with India users when it comes to participating in online financial activities. In terms of choice of payment mode, Bharat users are adept at using UPI for online transactions and have a lead over India users in terms of net-banking and debit cards transactions online. Among Bharat users, 56% use UPI and 49% use mobile wallets multiple times a week. Breaking away from traditional means, Bharat users are investing in stocks, mutual funds, e-gold and even cryptocurrency. 

Bharat users are more engaged on social media as compared to India users. 29% of Bharat users post content daily at least once as compared to 22% of India users. Bharat chooses to stay updated via social media as 39% of Bharat uses it as their primary source of news consumption. Like India, the majority of Bharat users prefer streaming free videos over watching TV. Daily, 50% of Bharat users stream free video online and about 47% watch TV. Social media also emerged as one of the primary influences for making buying decisions for Bharat users. Bharat is increasingly shopping online with 46% buying gadgets online in 2021, followed by other categories like travel bookings, food, clothing and accessories, beauty and skincare are also popular.

Unveiling the report, Ajit Varghese, Chief Commercial Officer of ShareChat, said, “Bharat users are taking social media by storm. It is interesting to note that the Language first users are at par with English language first users when it comes to digital presence, use of online transaction methods, and shopping habits. Bharat users also outrank when it comes to consuming news, food and beverages, health and fitness, and travel related categories online. Observing similar trends on our platforms, we at ShareChat are excited to be at the forefront of engaging with this audience that is spread across the country.”

Commenting on the report, Prasanth Kumar, CEO – GroupM South Asia said, “From the media planning aspect, Bharat is unique in many ways. This is mostly because all the cities that make Bharat are Indic language-heavy, fragmented and display their own sets of consumer behaviour traits. This diversity in our country brings in its own challenges and opportunities. Brands and media planners looking to reach target audiences across the country should focus on a customized approach for this segment. With this report, we have put together planning guidelines that will give marketers a direction and a starting framework on how to plan and reach the Bharat user effectively.”

“As internet continues to penetrate beyond the metropolitan and tier 1 cities, we see millions of regional language users coming online. Interestingly, the results of this survey indicate that these users are not just content consumers on social media, but evidently more engaged than that, with a higher proportion of them indicating that they post/upload pictures and stories on social media. A vast majority of them have made online purchases for various categories, ranging from groceries to electronics. And although adoption of mobile wallets is somewhat lagging, they seem otherwise comfortable with online financial transactions, and use UPI and Mobile Banking as much as the digital natives using English as the preferred language online. On the whole, they might be demographically different, but their behaviour, social media adoption and usage currently looks very much aligned with the digital natives who have been online for longer.” - Deepa Bhatia, General Manager – India, YouGov.

Biswapriya Bhattacharjee, Director- B2B & Technology, Insights Division, Kantar said, "The Bharat users represent an important market constituent- one which is affluent, adequately urban, socially conscientious, well-educated and engaged across all media platforms. They are Indic language preferers as much by choice as by compulsion. This is a valuable segment for most marketers and as internet penetration increases further in the lower-tier cities, this segment will also become a sizeable segment to target. However, it is important for the marketers to curate their communication for this audience to appeal to their value systems and thereby connect with them in a manner that will resonate with them while using a language that will bring in a personal touch.” 

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