Digital & Tech ‘Propel’ Retail and FMCG Sectors to Reinvent in the New Normal
Digital & Tech ‘Propel’ Retail and FMCG Sectors to Reinvent in the New Normal

As FMCG and retail brands rebound post-pandemic with increased consumer spending, there is an evolving consumer behavior influenced by technology and digital providing quick access, delivery, and convenience, and consumption patterns are more nonlinear backed with constant connectivity,

Deloitte in collaboration with FICCI advocated a six-step strategy called ‘PROPEL’ in the 6th edition of the Massmerize report launched. The event aimed to bring industry stalwarts to deliberate on key policies and strategies that Indian CXOs must adopt and empower by taking advantage of the ‘revenge’ buying and consumption patterns.

By re-aligning its business priorities, India Inc. will be able to focus on a robust digital supply chain that will help in enhancing consumer and shopper experience, towards ESG and Sustainability impact.

The six-step ‘PROPEL’ stands for:

P- Phygital retail and omnichannel

R- Redefining the role of technology in retail

O- Orientation toward health and wellness

P-Positioning of talent in the new normal

E-Embracing sustainable business practices

L- Leveraging Industry 4.0 for supply chain

With e-tailers seeing an ever-increasing demand, the Retail and FMCG sector must ensure personalized conversations, enhanced customer loyalty programs, hassle-free online payment options, and a robust cybersecurity regime for data protection. To meet the challenges of supply chain disruption, shifting business models from Business to Consumer (B2C) to Consumer to Business (C2B), this year’s report suggests strategic themes to be the way forward for the FMCG and retail sector.

Speaking on the launch of the report, Rajat Wahi, Partner, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India LLP said, "Retailers and FMCG companies are re-aligning their businesses to improve the consumer and shopper experience by building agility in distribution networks, accelerating adoption of technology for omnichannel growth, and digitizing the supply chain through sustainable business practices. However, the need of the hour is to embrace the future which is purely ‘digital’."

"Currently, with increased adoption of digital infrastructure and greater use of smartphones, the D2C market has picked up in a big way with more than 1.35 billion potential customers across regions. Retailers, therefore, need to stay ahead of the curve by using the ‘phygital retail’ strategy which involves keeping an eye on health and wellness aspects, and includes a solid talent positioning in the new normal. Those who introduce innovation and adapt to the changing landscape in this dynamic industry will be best positioned for success," he added.

Subhrakant Panda, President, FICCI stated, “The Retail & FMCG industry holds the potential to be a significant contributor to the economy besides also creating entrepreneurs as well as generating employment; e-Commerce has expanded the reach of industry and ONDC will democratize access. Given the rapid change in technology, the retail industry must continue to adapt as well as invest in digital transformation. FICCI is committed to fostering a collaborative ecosystem and facilitating a cross-industry partnership that will drive innovation and growth.”

The report also emphasizes the need for retailers to adapt their marketing plans to the evolved shopper journey, to create a seamless shopping and consumer experience for their customers across channels.

Brands today are building agility in their distribution networks, accelerating the adoption of technology and processes to drive omnichannel growth, and continuously improving, and digitizing the supply chain by focusing on sustainable business practices to operate efficiently and thrive in a new business landscape.

Other trends highlighted in the report include:

Phygital Retail and Omnichannel Trends: Retailers are exploring omnichannel selling experiences, which involve marketing, selling, and attending to consumers on all channels in an integrated and cohesive manner. Within the omnichannel experience, multiple channels are interconnected, and consumers can seamlessly transact across any channel without continually updating information.

Orientation towards Health and Wellness: Given the rising awareness and emerging opportunities in the health and wellness sector, the whole ecosystem has been evolving with businesses, adjoining sectors, enablers, the government, and consumers play an important role in the growth of the sector.

Positioning of Talent in the New Normal: Digitisation is now entrenched in each aspect of the FMCG and retail business models and culture, and technological disruption is affecting business functions. Therefore, acquiring talent that is digitally adept and can adapt to changing organizational capabilities is extremely important yet challenging in a highly competitive environment.

Embracing Sustainable Business Practices: Awareness around sustainability is rising at a rapid pace, especially amongst millennials and Gen Zs, who are opting for products marketed with better environmental profiles. Per Deloitte’s Global State of the Consumer Tracker Survey 2021, 55 percent of consumers opted for sustainable products/services in October 2021

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