Data paves the way to consumers

Data paves the way to consumers

June 8, 2018

Asian companies provide best omnichannel retail experiences

Today's consumers expect exceptional customer service combined with a seamless omnichannel retail experience. How companies can better use data to reach increasingly fickle consumers, while ensuring that they remain at the center of the industry's digital transformation, is the key topic at this month's Consumer Goods Forum Global Summit in Singapore.

The annually held summit is one of the most important events in the world of fast moving consumer goods. C-suite executives from some of the world's most successful consumer goods companies share insights into the challenges faced by manufacturers, retailers and suppliers. Roland Berger has been a member of the Consumer Goods Forum for years, and we are excited to be heading to Singapore, where our focus will be on five main themes:

Person making purchase on mobile phone
Producers need smart data that can be turned into new offerings and digital business models.

Consumer centricity in a data-driven world

The rise of millennials is one of the biggest trends of our time. This digital-savvy generation of consumers takes a completely different approach to shopping. The emphasis is on quality, immediacy and transparency, combined with a low tolerance for mistakes or deficiencies. Retailers really get only 'one shot': instantly convince the consumer of a product or service, or risk losing them forever.

That's where data comes in – to better understand the consumer and to individualize products and services. But data on its own isn't of much use. Consumer goods producers need to invest heavily into infrastructure and systems to turn Big Data into Smart Data, which can be better analyzed and turned into new offerings and digital business models. And they should cooperate closely with retail as well as e-commerce platforms to better profile their customers.

Global Summit - The Consumer Goods Forum 2018

Asia-Pacific: driving tomorrow's retail scene

One reason why the consumer goods industry is increasingly turning to Asia is that large parts of the region are now digitally more advanced than both Europe and the US. And that’s mainly due to local players, not the large multinational chains, many of which are struggling to gain traction in the region. Here's where we find best practices and benchmarks for our clients, particularly with regard to check out, store design, brand staging, customization and omnichannel.

One event at the CGF Global Summit we're keenly anticipating is a tour of Singapore's dynamic retail scene, showcasing some of the newest shops and trends. There's no doubt Asian retailers are on a shopping tour, snapping up European brands and ready to roll out their very own retail concepts. Stay tuned!

Global brands and global trade

This brings us to the next challenge for consumer goods producers: how to establish truly global brands? Ones that are not only universally loved but also 'captains' within their category. Increasing protectionism in key markets is just one of the hurdles.

We help our clients design and review successful export strategies. Main questions for us are: How much do you need to invest to gain a certain amount of market share? And how elastic are the target markets? There's the additional challenge for smaller and medium-sized players that we help solve: surviving in what's rapidly becoming a game of giants.

Impact of technology and innovation

Innovation remains key for consumer goods producers, to create sustainable customer pull and to present retail with new marketing strategies. However, innovation cycles are actually slowing in most markets. Frequently, what's sold as innovation is nothing more than a line extension, clone or different flavor. Rather than innovating for innovation's sake, we look at targeted investments, offering portfolio benchmarking and modelling of innovation plans.

The direct-to-consumer model

Last but not least, one of the hottest topics for many manufacturers is should they seek to open direct channels to consumers and how would they do it without threatening retail relations and distribution networks? Online shops, digital subscriptions and platform strategies are just some of the models producers are testing and developing. At this point, the dated multi-stage sales process via retail still dominates in the industry. We help determine if a direct-to-consumer model makes sense and how this can best be established.

Want to learn more?

We're planning a number of roundtables across Europe this summer where we'd like to share our key takeaways from the CGF Global Summit with you. For more details, please contact [email protected]

Further reading