Social videos, influencers, immersive experiences, and conversational marketing will drive the discovery of brands and festive shopping this year in India, Facebook said on Tuesday.

The insights are from the social networking giant’s Festive Marketing Guide for 2021 and are based on Facebook commissioned researches with YouGov, GFK, IPSOS, and CrowdDNA, the company said in a statement.

The guide revealed that social media is the leading channel that drives brand discovery and purchases during the festive season.

One survey by GFK showed that 96 percent discover brands and products online. About 83 percent discover new brands and products typically on Facebook platforms, and 96 percent end up buying fashion, beauty, furniture or consumer electronic products after seeing them on the platform.

Virtual demos also influence festive shoppers to buy apparel (58 percent), health and beauty (59 percent), cars (64 percent), and mobile phones (59 percent), according to a YouGov study.

“Digital has emerged as the largest influencer of festive purchase decisions and with more than 400 million Indians on Facebook, we play a pivotal role in discovery and delivering truly incremental business outcomes,” said Arun Srinivas, Director, Global Business Group, Facebook India, in a statement.

“The opportunity for businesses, small and large, is to leverage digital to enable personalised discovery through video content, creators, immersive experiences, and conversational marketing,” he added.

One out of three people watch videos on Facebook to connect with brands, revealed a study by IPSOS, while 88 percent said that they watch videos at least once a week on Facebook and Instagram.

According to an IPSOS study, 45 percent said that influencers help them make a purchase decision. People also said that ‘Lives’ on both Facebook and Instagram help them discover the best deals.

The Guide also noted that one out of three shoppers start planning their festive purchases as early as September with the interest increasing significantly by October.

Brands thus need to immediately re-strategize their campaigns and adopt a ‘start early, stay nimble’ approach, in order to inspire consumers by enabling discovery of their loved products, the Guide revealed.