COVID-19 has changed consumer buying patterns across segments, ranging from FMCG, personal care, apparel to footwear. The change has also led manufacturers to take innovative strategies and widen certain product portfolio ranges to attract consumers and gain a competitive edge. Also Read - Simple Tips to Disinfect Your Footwear And Stay Safe From Harmful Pathogens

According to recent reports, the Indian footwear market is growing at a CAGR of 4.5 percent in India; however, owing to the current pandemic, 2020 witnessed changing consumer needs. India’s homegrown e-commerce player Flipkart, observed some interesting trends on the platform. With people placed a greater focus on being fit and healthy, the demand for athletic shoes has grown. Running shoes emerged as the top searched items under the sports footwear category. The platform also witnessed a spike of 1.5X times in the sale of sports footwear compared to pre-Covid times and the revenue of this category saw a spike of 20 percent from July to August. Additionally, running and walking shoes searches for women marked a 2X growth. Also Read - National Flip Flop Day 2020: Know All About Your Favourite Pair of Footwear And Why It's Celebrated

With people continuing to stay indoors at most times, the preference for comfortable footwear is at an all-time high. Sandals and Slippers now constitute the top 5 searched queries under Men’s footwear – a trend that has never been seen in the recent past. Additionally, slippers have taken precedence over heels on the platform, becoming the most searched vertical under the women’s footwear category.

“To fulfill these ever-evolving demands of consumers, Flipkart is continuously working with brands and sellers to ensure they are able to benefit from the opportunities that e-commerce presents. During the pandemic, we’ve been working closely with a growing number of national, international, and regionally-renowned fashion brands and sellers, in different ways,” Nishit Garg, Vice President – Flipkart Fashion told IANSlife.

Adding, “This includes identifying opportunities for them to connect them with consumers across India through our online marketplace, scale their online presence and diversify existing product portfolios. This is being facilitated through an insightful collaboration which is based on a very deep consumer understanding. This approach has enabled our partners to strengthen their business, while reaping the benefits of e-commerce in a fair online marketplace.”