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New-age FMCG Businesses Changing the Way Indians Consume With online platforms becoming the preferred option to shop, what's scope for retail businesses?

By Aastha Singal

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Digital has become the way to shop for Indian and global consumers. The increasing demand for online purchasing has pushed many businesses to move from brick and mortar stores to e-commerce. Having provided the convenience of ordering anything anytime, e-commerce has revolutionized the way companies are doing business.

From perishable items like milk, ghee and curd to clothes and gadgets, BigBasket and Flipkart have become our first choice over grocery stores and showrooms. Nonetheless, offline mediums hold an important place in the ecosystem and cannot be eliminated. Both online and offline modes together are running consumer businesses today.

The Online Potential

Online marketplaces hold great potential with respect to product positioning and visibility. FMCG brands are all well aware of the transformation and have increased marketing budget for online media. "Consumers are buying online because it offers them convenience and great offers. However, Retail has its own space," shares Satish Negi, the Founder & Director of Pipaltree Beverages.

He stresses that 90 per cent of the business for FMCG companies still come from retail whether traditional or modern. "Online will keep on growing but for a market like India, the consumer still prefers to shop from Kirana stores for daily needs and modern retail for their weekly, monthly grocery shopping which gives them the experience of going out with family."

The Retailer's Hold

Online retail sure has brought a great phase shift in how brands do business but that doesn't mean that it poses a great threat to the retail channel, feels Himanshu Jain, the Founder & Director at Ant Audio. "On-ground retail still holds our confidence as it still has a better understanding of the market that it's operating in."

"You can run simulations on thousands of data points to build a prediction model but we would still get a better understanding of our end customer with our retailer," Jain shares. He believes that retail has better penetration on India in terms of a geographical presence than modern online retail platforms. However, stresses that having an online presence helps make the consumers aware of your existence.

New-age FMCG

Neither online nor offline stores can survive without the presence other. "New-age FMCG today offers a range of solutions for personalized needs for Indian consumers that didn't exist before and consumers today believe that a product for their unique need should be available," shares Malika Sadani, Founder & CEO, The Moms Co.

There is a clear trend in many industries toward the use of multi-channel approaches to engaging with customers. "We are seeing that consumers are searching for unique solutions actively and are willing to try new products that specific such specific needs and are happy to switch to brands they believe understand them well," she mentioned.

Opportunities in Micro-markets

In competing the giants, emerging players often let go of their targets which were to solve ground-level issues and provide a single, unified experience for the customer across all channels. "Companies need to identify opportunities in micro markets of emerging cities for their products, therefore understand the changing notions of markets and competition," shares Brahmani Nara, ED, Heritage Foods Limited.

E-commerce and digital businesses need to develop their own innovative offerings fpr consumers. "These trends of structural reformations in the consumer markets as well as in companies suggest that consumption is expected to almost triple over the next decade," she stated. India's FMCG market is already worth $2.5 trillion and with the economic boom; it is set to flourish more.

Aastha Singal

Entrepreneur Staff

Former Features Writer

A business journalist looking to find happiness in the world of startups, investments, MSMEs and more. Officially started her career as a news reporter for News World India, Aastha had short stints with NDTV and NewsX. A true optimist seeking to make a difference, she is a comic junkie who'd rather watch a typical Bollywood masala than a Hollywood blockbuster. 

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