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Asia Pacific consumers look for efficiency and convenience

The Asia-Pacific (APAC) consumers have shifted their preference towards hyper-convenient, technologically advanced and environmental-friendly products across the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) range. This shift has upsurged to such an extent in the last few years that more than 63% of the consumers from the region are seeking for products that save their time and effort, said data and analytics company, GlobalData.

“With consumers becoming more discerning and watchful while purchasing, brands need to adapt to new shopping habits of consumers, as the established mass market strategies such as ‘all under one roof’ and ‘pile ‘em high and sell ‘em cheap’ have become obsolete and unprofitable. With busier lifestyle and comfort with ecommerce, customers are opting those brands that provide convenience in the way consumers like – not the other way around,” said Shagun Sachdeva, consumer insights analyst at GlobalData.

“Things that need to be addressed by the consumer facing companies include use of greater and more sophisticated technology, changes in the packaging, simple labelling of products, as well as the use of social media in product promotion and customer interaction.”

According to GlobalData 2019 Q3 consumer survey, nearly 34% of consumers in the APAC region look for a product that is trending on social media whereas 45% of consumers prefer to buy 'better-for-environment' and 'animal-free' product. Therefore, consumer and retail companies would need to align their business strategies to cater to the demands of a young and technology driven population. The companies must aim at offering seamless and integrated solutions to satisfy evolving consumers’ needs.

Shagun explained: “In the era of consumerism, brands need to keep consumer experience at the forefront. With the shoppers and channels progressing independently and together riding on the technology wave, brands need to continuously innovate and evolve with the focus being on providing experiential tech-driven solutions.”

“If we look at the retail industry, it is in the midst of a revolution, being governed and, to an extent, dictated by evolving consumer behaviour. To succeed in this ‘new’ retail environment, brands and retailers need to understand the factors at play. This requires gaining an insight into consumers’ minds, what motivates them, how this differs from previous attitudes, and what worked in terms of marketing techniques and the overall strategy.”

Classic examples to quote here includes Amazon focusing on expanding its geographic footprint in APAC with an integrated platform that enables the consumers to make various online transactions ranging from food, hotel stays, cabs, flight booking to movie ticketing. WeChat is another multipurpose social media app allowing users to make video call, shop online, pay for food and even call a taxi. Recently, Reliance Jio also launched UPI payments through its MyJio apps.

Social media has changed the way companies connect with their audience and they are forced to evolve with cost-effective and wide-reaching digital marketing practices. The factor will be more relevant to food, beverage and personal care industry.

For instance, in the personal care space, another Japanese beauty brand, Shiseido offers Optune, a personalized skincare service using an iPhone app that monitors skin conditions, sleep patterns, and environmental conditions, and provides skincare recommendations.

Sachdeva concluded: “2020 is going to be another interesting year as consumer companies and the retailers are prepared to evolve as they have realised the criticality of engaging the consumers for better connect pre, during, and post their purchases.”

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