Technology has changed the habits of consumers. Nowadays, we can shop online, order food online, we
can even book a taxi online. To keep up with always-on consumers, fast-moving consumer goods
(FMCG) companies need to enclasp the new market reality and providing consumers the unmatched
Over the past few years, digital transformation is there in the mind of many marketers. It's simply the
restructuring of how companies use technology to make a stable customer experience.
When we look at the Indian story, the e-retail market has grown three times in the total FMCG retail
sales in the last two years. "The Nielsen Future Opportunities in FMCG E-Commerce" is the report given
by Nielsen, has shown the online growth of FMCG products to be outstanding in the offline growth in
India. According to the data of Nielsen, the Asian Pacific region is anticipated to present some of the
biggest opportunities for online FMCG over the next five years. 40% of FMCG purchases will go online
for some selected categories by 2020. E-commerce platforms for home delivery products are already
being used by 43% of the region's consumers.
FMCG Technology trends such as enterprise mobility, online services, analytics, and logistics will
ascendant the traditional ways and are going to come up with the growth of the FMCG Industry. There is
a large variety of similar products in the FMCG sector, which offers a wide range of products to
consumers to choose from.
Social platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, are becoming an integral part of human life amongst
other social platforms. On this Ashish Jain, Head – Digital and e-commerce, Godrej and Boyce,
said," People are subsequently going to products from social media platforms, when
everything is changing, it is the trend which is clearly coming out. For instance, Instagram is a
good platform to feature a food product along with the recipe. If the company wants to serve
100 customers in India, it can be possible through digital channels by providing to those
individual brands and entrepreneurs. Therefore, everything is changing and is now largely
driven by digital influence.
Sameer Shaikh, AGM, Regional Head-Buying & Merchandising, Bigbasket, said,“Due to social
influence, people now have an easier way of expressing themselves and at times feedbacks can
be negative also, forcing us to take prompt action.” We can say that Digitization has
broadened the scope of data exchange and feedback exchange from customers, which helps in
the improvement of the products and services.
Changing Retail Shelves
With a lot of being exchanged, companies are now trying with other new products that were
never there on traditional retail shelves. Sharad Sharma, Head of e-commerce, Havells India,
said, “I have seen the industry for a decade now. In the last few years so much has happened
in this space and primarily driven by the consumers. So, I will keep consumers in the center of
all the activities happening around. When I say consumer they are driving not only the
tractions but also putting the pressures on the organization in terms of changing the products
they offer to the customer.”
With the digital influence on customers, companies can accumulate data and they can
customize their products and services as per the need of customers. Therefore, a lot of
product innovation is happening.
Going further, Sharma adds, “Seamless experience is once such thing which is demanded by
the customer as they don’t care about the channel of purchasing. Whether online or offline,
they are looking for same kind of experience without any pricing difference.”
Digitization is forcing the companies to acquire the digital-first approach. Speaking on
technology deployment, Anil Bhavnani, Director BPO and Digital transformation, Pfizer said, “I
represent pharmaceutical company and the part of much regulated market. Consumers are
very important part for us where we are looking to embed technologies such as chatbots. We
aim to leverage technology in order to make entire experience more seamless. “
The company is trying to bring automation in its finance and accounting processes.
Exploring the Unexplored
The entire game of customer service has changed after the digitalization. ShikhaLal, Director –
Quality Capabilities & Digital Transformation, Unilever said, “Of course, ecommerce is a huge
opportunity. In fact, our 5.4% global turnover comes from ecommerce and we really hope to
increase the number.”
Lal also adds that ecommerce comes with its own set of challenges including managing
counterfeits and ensuring sustainability since it requires a very different kind of value chain,
including primary packaging with a viable range of innovation.
Moreover, there is a prevailing fear of disruption in business model, since it is still evolving.
Digital is a six to seven hundred billion dollar market, which is largely untapped and comes with huge challenges. It has created a huge consumer base, which is growing continuously and
everybody is looking to acquire that.