Changing market structures: B2B and B2C businesses rely increasingly on the Internet.
Consumer Goods, Retail & Agro-Business
Multi-channel shopping and communication
The consumer goods and retail markets are facing unprecedented disruptions. Consumers are more demanding and less predictable than ever before, and success today means engaging your customers across every channel—and at all touchpoints. For these reasons, superior consumer understanding and thought leadership are at the heart of our consulting model.
Within our Competence Center we serve clients in the retail industry across all sectors, including food, fashion, DIY or e-commerce as well as in the fast moving consumer goods, consumer durables, food ingredients, flavors and fragrances industries, and the agriculture business. It’s time for new strategies and new business models.
Consumers want to be recognized as individuals, enjoy a multi-channel shopping and communication experience, and expect it all in a convenient environment. However, they also demand value and special offers—the same person who shops at a discount supermarket in the afternoon may dine at a premium restaurant that very same night, just as a no-name shirt may be accessorized with high-end luxury items. This complexity is just one side of the story for companies operating in today’s rapidly changing environment.
From product portfolios to supply chain operations, each and every aspect of retail requires a facelift—if not a fundamental realignment—in order to exploit new market opportunities and adjust to 21st century realities. Our team has an international footprint as well as local expertise. We are focused on market-driven, rule-breaking strategies that work, and we’ve already implemented them for top international players. With exhaustive insights into every relevant industry topic, we can help you develop leading edge solutions tailor-made to your company’s needs. Are you with us?
Today’s retailers have significant questions they are looking for answers to. How can you best address customers along various touchpoints and different channels? How can you build a superior understanding of your customer’s desires? What is the most effective way to ensure profitability, or integrate digital innovations? Can a cooperation secure attractive and competitive purchase prices? And perhaps most importantly for industry players world-wide, how can you grow and remain competitive in an international market while still keeping the personalized customer contact that today’s consumers demand?
Specific questions must be answered with equally concrete actions. Our global retail team has advised leading international retailers on a multitude of projects, and we possess an in-depth understanding of all topics relevant to the industry. We know how to address category management and purchasing issues, digitization concerns, or changes in marketing strategy as well as how to optimize your customer relationship management processes. Working with your company, we can offer a tailor-made path to achieve—and maintain—real staying power in this ever-changing market environment.
Fashion retailers and manufacturers operate in a challenging environment that puts unprecedented pressure on sales, margins, and profitability. Among the issues to address are the saturated EU market, costly international expansion, unpredictable consumption patterns, shorter product lifecycles, consumer affinity for discounts leading to lower sales slips, exploding online/mobile shopping together with the race for more innovative physical store concepts, and decreasing footfall. At the same time, customers require not only a seamless and convenient shopping experience across all channels, but they also expect to interact with brands on numerous touchpoints via social media and collaborative platforms. These challenges make it difficult to know what actions will yield the biggest results for your company’s bottom line and keep you operating with profitable, sustainable growth.
With years of consulting and management-level industry experience behind them, our experts are fashion industry insiders. We have worked on numerous projects and know how to address a challenge like digitization, the future of POS, vertical integration, product development and sourcing flexibility, big data analytics, and brand management with a tried-and-tested, action-oriented approach. Whether you are a retailer, a manufacturer, or a sourcing office, we can help you to improve your business model, increase your flexibility, improve your supply chain, adapt your strategy for the digital age, optimize your internal structures and processes, as well as help you to inspire your customers with unique experiences that build a strong brand connection.
How can brick-and-mortar retail adapt to new consumer trends and take full advantage of e-commerce opportunities? There’s no one-size-fits-all approach. While it may be tempting to chase after new marketing trends in the race to keep up with the times, the answer is often far less complex than it might appear.
From gaining customer insights through detailed market research, to identifying and expanding the most attractive possibilities, Roland Berger’s consultants can advise you on a tailor-made approach to cross-channel integration. Unlocking the profitability of multi-platform commerce, our experts quiet down the noise and help you focus on new streams that will feel like an organic next step for your business model.
FMCG manufacturers are facing complex challenges as they go forward into the 21st century—among them saturation in mature markets, polarization between A-brands and (premium) private labels, squeezing of B and C-brands, a downstream power shift with retail concentration and continuous development of retailer brands, volatile raw materials markets, and changing "hybrid" consumer behaviors. Digitization, targeted digital media marketing for example, can offer great opportunities to maintain your share of voice, but FMCGs generally have to face that other players own the consumer data. How can you harness the potential of digitization while also keeping a check on regulatory constraints and avoiding conflicts with traditional stationary channels?
At Roland Berger, we are experts in managing these kinds of challenges and implementing concrete actions that will strengthen your company’s crucial competitive edge. Working with global leaders and local heroes, we support our FMCG clients in finding functional answers to the relevant questions. Our approach is about creative strategies that work, and we know how to improve, re-engineer, or restructure a business to best meet our clients’ needs and help them successfully navigate the challenges of our times.
The consumer durables industry is being confronted with shifting drivers, putting industry players under more and more pressure to find new ways to retain their competitiveness. On the consumer side, increasing online sales and complex communication channels with multiple new touch points must be addressed. In addition, new players are entering the European market and Chinese companies are increasing their market share. While disruptive online options have proven successful to gain access to BRIC market distribution, what other paths can your company take?
Our dedicated consumer durables team has extensive industry experience along the entire value chain: suppliers, "competitors", and retail. We have already successfully navigated numerous projects to help our clients manage these industry-specific challenges. Whether guiding you through decisions related to digitally enabled POS, profitable private label business, continuous customer involvement, partnerships, smart hardware and service ecosystems, or consistent omni-channel management, we can help you address current, competitive market situations with concrete actions.
Food ingredient, flavor, and fragrance industry players are reaching a crossroads of crucial issues. On one hand, consumers and regulatory bodies are keeping an eye on health, safety, and sustainability issues. On the other, growing markets in emerging economies demand higher production volumes at an even faster pace. And, all of this is happening in an unpredictable market driven by increasing innovation and shorter product life cycles. The question facing the industry now is how to deliver on health targets, while still meeting consumer expectations for taste and flavor and maintaining your company’s competitive edge.
We can help you answer these challenging questions with targeted actions. Our broad experience working in the food ingredients and F&F market, as well the underlying food and beverage markets, has given us an in-depth understanding of the industry and we can offer support alongside all relevant steps of the value chain. Having worked on strategic projects for several leading companies, we have insight into the relevant regional markets: local ingredients, foods and consumer goods teams in Europe, North America, China, and India. Whether next level innovation, value chain restructuring, portfolio alignment, growth, or complexity management, we can find a tailor-made strategy to help you reach any goal.
A shrinking land base, stricter regulations, declining spending power among farmers, and declining retail prices are among a number of long-term industry trends that are pushing the agricultural sector towards sustainable intensification. This leaves industry players grappling with issues of efficiency, hyper science, a sustainable and secure supply, value chain restructuring, energy utilization, and the impact of both digitization and automation. Has your company found the right strategy to balance the demands brought on by this new environment?
Whatever your role is in the agriculture value chain—be it producer, processer, or trader—there is one thing you can be sure of: there are interesting times ahead. Here at Roland Berger, we have an extensive track record in the agriculture food industry. We understand the complexities of the new challenges facing companies, and our ongoing support of leading players in the agriculture sector has proven the success of our "hands-on" concept time and time again, from strategy development to performance improvement and restructuring, including agricultural cooperatives. We can help you turn interesting developments into rewarding accomplishments.
- Photo credits: derrrek / iStockphoto;Westend61 / Getty Images