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Asia's FMCG brands go digital for Gen Y

News, 08 September 2016

SINGAPORE: Asia's FMCG brands and retailers need to improve their digital offering across the board if they are to take full advantage of the growing millennial generation which is set to dominate the consumer market in the region.

Consulting firm Accenture noted that millennials already represent more than 45% of the region's population, and that 60% of the world's millennials are expected to be living in Asia by 2020 when they will command $6 trillion in spending power.

Drawing from its recent retail research, it looked at 746 millennial respondents who shopped online and in stores during the last three months of 2015 in China and Japan and reported that millennials are more open to receiving advice than other customer segments and that retailers and CPG companies are trying to meet this generational need through personalisation.

For example, 60% of millennials surveyed in China and Japan were comfortable with giving retailers access to their information in exchange for more personalised experiences; this compared to 47% of consumers overall.

And those experiences are overwhelmingly likely to take place digitally. Thus, 61% wanted promotions sent to them online for those items they were considering buying.

And when in store, 77% wanted to see items being automatically discounted for loyalty points and discounts; only 37% were interested in sales associates asking about their recent purchases.

The advice to brands from Teo Correia, senior managing director in Accenture's Consumer Goods and Services practice, is to "keep it simple but make it personal using data-driven applications".

"The key to success is communication with the customer on every level," he said. "The customer has to have a satisfying brand experience from the very beginning of the experience to the end."

That will mean brands ramping up data and analytics capabilities and taking advantage of location-based services to embed themselves within customer lifestyles.

And they will need to do so quickly. "The key challenge today is 'digital innovation at speed'," said Correia.

Data sourced from Accenture; additional content by Warc staff