In the Indian economy, Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) sector is the fourth largest sector. FMCG is a diverse, broad, ever-changing, and extremely competitive business. The consumer base of the FMCG industry is huge and distributed across various geographical locations. Highly competitive business, even the competition from local players also impacts FMCG business.
Digital media platforms increased delivery channels for FMCG products, it has become more complex in defining the growth opportunities. The most crucial factors that run FMCG to success are,
- Accuracy of making decisions in each scenario such as choosing the best marketing campaign, running the right sales promotions, and picking the most cost-effective supply chain.
- Speed of the decision taken in these scenarios
Customers sometimes prefer online shopping and sometimes prefer physical shopping depending on their situations, this further complicates the FMCG distribution. FMCG industry has crossed enormous challenges in the digital innovation curve and social media data streams that include sales, promotional, supply chain, and finance data.
The challenges of the FMCG industry increase as the technology grows and customer way of shopping differs. Let’s have a look at some of the major challenges in the FMCG industry and how to overcome them.
Challenges Faced by FMCG Firms
Challenge #1: Managing Big data
In this competitive world, consumers have new technologies in their hands, it is crucial for the FMCG companies to empower field sales professionals to deliver appropriate information. Managing the data in FMCG companies is a major challenge as they have to store, and process lots of data.
The FMCG company has to store data on brand tracking, weekly consumer sales, retail shopper data, consumer panels, and more. In the pool of data, 95% of the data that is gathered is useless. It is crucial for the smarter organization to purchase only relevant data and determine the correct linkage to consumer behavior.
The appropriate data obtained can be used to develop products, manage trade, and provide effective communication with consumers. It is important for FMCG companies to adapt to technological advancements. To leverage themselves and optimize their sales process. Some of the common concern includes,
- Warehouse and inventory management
- Accurate selling decisions by utilizing the data on customer’s purchasing behavior
- Personalized customer experience
- Marketing automation to create awareness and drive purchasing at different levels of the consumer’s journey.
Challenge #2: Lack of Efficient selling scenario
As consumer buying behavior changes, the FMCG market also witnesses persistent change. It is crucial to understand the effective selling scenario that allows one to predict the upcoming pattern and take accurate decisions well on time.
Effective tools with enhanced technology help field sales professionals analyze and increase the efficiency of the FMCG selling scenario.
There are various software available in the market which could help FMCG management to improve selling scenarios in several ways like,
- Determining the ROI of their field sales strategy
- Identifying new channels to increase sales target
- Having real-time visibility into the workflow system
- Enhanced sales forecasting
- Identify lost opportunities
- Analyzing the field sales target of each field
Automation in the sales team with the best sales force automation software allows FMCG companies to leverage these challenges and obtain the best profits and productivity.
Challenge #3: Proper Retail Execution
Retail execution is one of the sales strategies to enhance sales in the store or in the venue with certain regulatory measures. In order to increase the revenue of the product, it ensures how exactly the product needs to be in the store.
With the pandemic and lockdown majority of the shops are shut down. In addition, people buy essential supplies and stock them. This has resulted in empty shelves in the shops. This led to the poor retail execution plan. It is crucial to rethink their customer demands to execute the proper retail plan.
A proper plan of retail execution needs to be implemented in the store that includes order replenishment, trade promotions, shelf merchandising, store audits, and more. It is essential to drive sales to new heights with proper retail execution.
Challenge #4: Ageing
The FMCG sector depends on age-old brand loyalty. It is essential to determine the target audience to which they cater. FMCG business is a traditional business consisting of a large number of consumers from senior citizens to millennials. FMCG products have a specific set of customers and the products developed should satisfy and stay relevant with a variety of age groups to enhance their brand. It is really a tough nut for the FMCG industry.
Senior citizens are the pillars of the FMCG industry and often the pioneers of brand loyalty. In this pandemic situation, people shifted their needs to simple, reliable, and risk-free products.
It is essential for the FMCG industry to satisfy people of all generations. To cater to the needs of all age-group people small changes are made by reducing chemicals and using natural ingredients in both food and non-food products. As Millennials are more exposed to the internet and technology they have a larger view of products all over the world. This again is great pressure for the FMCG business and becomes tough to retain customers of this generation.
It is essential to define the middle ground with constantly evolving strategies, using recent technology, automation in FMCG sales and services, and digitalizing with the best software for easy accessibility will help to strike the balance in the market.
Challenge #5: Social Media
With the advent of social media, information moves at a rapid speed. It is tough to grow in this market without innovations. Communication is fast, customer gets information in just a google search. No place to hide the products.
It is essential to upgrade your products for the current need. CRM with social media integration enable you to have 360 degree view of customers for the products. It is easy for smart brands with innovative methods to reach globally with digitalization.
Challenge #6: Environment & Sustainability
Sustainability is the major issue that is important to take under consideration. Industrial wastes are harmful to our environment, It is our responsibility to protect our natural health and adhere to lifestyles that are safe for our environment.
The FMCG sector has its own share of controversial practices that degrade the environment. FMCG companies play a key role in the emission of greenhouse gases and should invest in R& D for the same. Even though FMCG companies struggle with the environmental responsibility of production, waste management, and packaging, some initiatives have been taken to reduce the amount of degradation still improvement is required for a safe environment.
Smart consumers of today choose brands that value sustainability. However, sustainability across the ecosystem will benefit from strong consumer bonding scores. Innovation and technology enhancement still need to be created in the FMCG world to maintain sustainability.
The FMCG sector is customer-oriented and needs to adopt new methods to face the challenges of this new era. All the solutions to these challenges revolve around digitalization and changing strategy based on customer needs. It is important to adapt the sales automation software to upgrade yourself and plan for the best selling scenario. It is crucial for the FMCG sectors to take corrective measures on the environmental aspects for sustainability. Grab the market with digitalization and adopt the best FMCG sales automation software for the growth of your business.