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Asia consumer product trends: Implications for retailers and manufacturers

Read Accenture's report about Asia consumer product trends, implications for retailers and manufacturers and how consumer buying behaviors are changing.

Overview

Consumer buying behaviors are changing constantly, sometimes driven by product or technology innovation, but also in response to economic cycles. Emerging markets in Asia, Africa, Central and Eastern Europe and the Middle East are no exception

Accenture’s consumer products group recently completed research that identified key consumer trends and, more importantly, the implications of those trends for retail and consumer goods companies. Our research can help companies understand the consumer mindset and position themselves for future growth.

Key Findings

Our research identified the following six distinct trends, some of which are already recognized by consumer products companies and retailers while others are just now being recognized for their impact:

  1. A distinct polarization of consumer values, or the "Kings and Paupers divergence".

  2. A growing emphasis on personal and environmental health.

  3. The ongoing urbanization of emerging markets’ citizens and their expectation of more convenient products and shopping experiences.

  4. The aging populace, and what an older consumer base means for product development and brand loyalty.

  5. A quest for customized products and the thrill of "co-creation" collaborations between consumers and product manufacturers.

  6. The interconnected, mobile consumer who wants to use consumer technology to make shopping fun, fast and collaborative.

Analysis

Several of these trends are demographic and have been obvious for years. These include urbanization and the ageing of consumers as well as their focus on health and environment. In contrast, trends such as the pronounced polarization of consumer values, and the deep interest in product customization and mobile commerce result more from recent economic and technology shifts.

These trends may hold greater promise for consumer goods companies to differentiate themselves because they can be acted on immediately, providing consumer goods companies with the ability to fulfill consumer needs with fresh go-to-market approaches and products, in short, a way to invite and maintain a dialogue with them.

For that reason, players that move fast to respond to these trends can gain and potentially sustain a competitive advantage in this area.

Recommendations

In addition to the specific implications for each trend that we profile here, we advise consumer goods companies to make a handful of targeted investments that help them respond effectively. Our research and experience indicates that key investments to consider include:

  • Improving distributor visibility and collaboration, by using technology that allows touch-less direct relations with point-of sale customers and improve in-store execution

  • Leveraging analytics to improve distributor and consumer segmentation, and more accurately and quickly integrate digital marketing data, location-based market intelligence and store data to optimize channel coverage and expansion 

  • Gaining better alignment between product development and marketing to tailor channel strategies by segment and identify innovative distribution to reach both rural and urban consumers

  • Supporting consumer engagement by offering collaborative tools that allow customers to tailor retail experiences and even products to their taste, and share results and recommendations with their social network.

All these trends present challenges and opportunities for consumer goods companies, yet all can be used to help companies generate consumer interest and deepen customer loyalty.

Industry & topics highlighted

Retail