Decades ago, the consumer goods industry was represented by the local stores, malls, and sales representatives, but today's industry stands pervasive and pertinent, empowered by the latest technological advanced infrastructure. As a result, the sales environment of fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) is undergoing massive alterations, and the brands that are quick to embrace the latest technology and data to reach their audience and optimize consumer experience will succeed. Tracking consumer behavior, face recognition augmented reality, and algorithm analysis is now part of modern advanced life and can be widely used to customize items presented by FMCG organizations or retailers.
Digitalization has only picked up in the last few years and is still in the early stage of advancement in various FMCG organizations. Indeed, even notable brands are currently at an intersection of how they deal with the interface with the client. However, brands are certainly putting much effort into communicating digitally with their customers to gain insights and educate them simultaneously.
The New Shift in the Environment
Over and beyond 5-10 years, the FMCG sales environment has shifted considerably, bringing about an assortment of barriers for brands to work around.
The decreased shelf space in the brick-and-motor stores results from the stores conveying fewer lines. Food provision retailers have added non-food varieties and services to sustain growth and development. Furthermore, with the rapid emergence, consistent development, and progress of discounted retailers, the price has played the kingpin.
Concurrently, the cutting-edge consumer has grown more demanding than in history because of the diverse scope of choices on offer. However, digitalization offers extraordinary opportunities for progress - especially for smaller, deft brands that have the significant ability to adapt rapidly. The way to win more space on the store's shelves and keep up with the competition is to zero down on creating customer interest beyond the boundaries of the store. That requires a completely integrated online and offline media stratagem, focusing on customer targeting and geolocation.
Brand awareness at large has become progressively significant in this packed, crowded market. It's insufficient to have only one selling point of differentiation. Moreover, brands need a whole new bundle of attributes to optimize their appeal to their target audience.
The Change in Shopping Behavior of Customers
The new decision-makers in the market, the millennials, prefer to look up information on the internet rather than physically engaging with sales personnel or catalog. Products or services are perpetually first explored online before a potential buyer connects with the business entity. Therefore, in this era of the digital world, it is insufficient to foster only good products.
If statistics are to be believed, in the B2C business model, 81 percent of customers search online before purchasing non-routine items. In the B2B model, 92 percent of buying decisions start with a digital search online.
To succeed, brands need to have a good presence on the web. They need to work hard strategically to enhance their digital presence. The traditional marketing method had the sales personnel create the initial impulse or a 'push' through cold calling, meetings with potential customers, personal sales presentations, etc., which stand outdated today. In the current market, the consumers create the impulse following the 'pull' logic where they decide when and where sales would happen and how they would like to interact. And for this, it is essential that the information be provided upfront and direct to the end consumer.
The Era of Possibilities
While offline stores will stay vital in the FMCG business, the ascent of digitalization implies that brands need to improvise their online presence with better websites and more efficient and effective use of various social media podiums through targeted initiatives. Initially, the contact base of an FMCG producer was the few contact persons in the purchasing department of their limited essential customers. In contrast, of late, consumers with similar needs or those using similar products ought to be reached, educated, and analyzed on digital platforms.
Trust and brand loyalty analysis is effectively visible by brands on social media at the beginning phase; utilizing this data assists make the brand's supply chain decisions more productive. Furthermore, sales personnel can profit from tailor-made recommendations for the clients based on customer behavioral data.
They should also look to encash the popularity of e-commerce and social media. Research shows that consumers spend multifold times more on FMCG online than in an offline, physical store. Digital technology and the power of Big Data are essential tools for the brand to reap the benefits. These digital tools enable marketing and sales teams to access consumer reactions to their products and services in a very accurate and compelling way to create robust and potent sales pitches. The retailer brands are capable of spotting the trends and initiating a transaction.
The Power of Insight
The struggle for FMCG to create and enhance brand awareness in the emerging retail arena is factual. However, the unique insights furnished by Big Data are helping brands differentiate from their competitors by developing innovative products and improved targeting, which ultimately results in increased revenue.
Various business organizations use Artificial Intelligence to allow their existing and potential customers to connect through multiple social media networks. These AI assist their customers on different levels of interaction/communication, right from answering their queries to helping them place orders. Using machine learning, the exchanges with customers become increasingly personalized, eventually encouraging the use of said branded products for their experiences.
By arraying digital technology to the abundance of data that drives it, brands have fostered an innovative and proficient technique for enhancing customer engagement, eventually impacting the purchase decision.
The FMCG brands that will probably prevail in the future embrace innovative technology and data to understand their customers, make more informed marketing campaigns, and create cross-podium campaigns that foster a degree of recurrence that will probably have an impact.
The Path to Digitalization
The digital era required evolution. However, the pioneers who embrace change disrupt their business and entire industry by actively taking risky decisions. Therefore, their evolution embraced change through digitization, optimization, and transformation.
The Customer Directs the Course
Carefully presented digital data ought to be based on the Customer's journey—understanding how a potential client undertakes to arrive at the ideal targeted move. There are various touchpoints with the item, the brand, or the organization on this excursion, which can be online or offline.
Sales Channels Need Synchronization
FRC often finds that FMCG organizations' sales channels are coordinated independently and are not transparent for retailers. The service packages and conditions offered online vary from those of the Key Account Manager. They are not refreshed consistently and are challenging to explore for end shoppers and inventory networks, i.e. supply change experts.
End buyers expect to have the option to see quick solutions for their interests and search missions. As a part of the end customer venture, they should have the opportunity to switch between significant channels flawlessly and be introduced to a regular brand appearance and message in all media.
Supply chain experts need to retrieve data about products and services round the clock, figure out benefits, and discuss them with competent accomplices.
Changing from push to pull rationale includes an enthusiasm for what it entails for FMCG companies. However, as data about an organization's goods and services are accessible across various podiums, the marketing and sales teams' profiles must be redefined.
The cutting-edge sales world requires an organized IT approach and a client relationship management system that is equally open to all employees. Subsequently, digitalization frequently includes the centralization of information processing and internal organizational transformation.
Digitalization persists in opening additional opportunities to organizations and clients the same. However, each stage brings various hindrances, especially assessing what will be the best way ahead is the way forward to success.