Study Sees Digital Divide For CPG In APAC

Packaged goods players better get some digital mojo in Asia-Pacific if they have the slightest chance of owning a piece of a $340 billion market.

How big is the opportunity? Research firm Accenture sees the consumer goods and services industry in the Far East growing as much as $700 billion by the end of the decade. Half of that growth — $340 billion — will be in China, Indonesia, India, Singapore and Thailand.

A new report from the firm sees Asia-Pacific consumer markets topping $10 trillion by 2018, with a quarter of that activity happening through digital commerce. But CPG, especially grocery, isn’t enjoying enough of that volume.

Fabio Vacirca, senior managing director in Accenture’s Products operating group in Asia-Pacific, states that the key for CPG is adding digital, one-to-one consumer engagement. “The entire sales and marketing ecosystem is changing dramatically on the back of the new generation of consumers and pervasive digital technologies. In Asian markets the change is faster and in many cases it means leap-frogging the traditional models.”



Asia-Pacific consumers aren’t happy with the purchase journeys either, per Accenture. What they want is a single- platform experience “That delight and enable their impulse decisions, receive tailored product recommendations that meet their desires immediately and where they are always connected to their favorite brands.”  

Said Vacirca: “By better using digital technologies, CPG companies can engage with consumers on a real-time basis, allowing the companies to provide the maximum value within the minimum time. This will, in turn, create opportunities for CPG companies to control the consumer buying experience of tomorrow.”

The report says the solution lies in partnering with e-commerce platforms like Alibaba, rather than going it alone to reach new consumers; cross-border e-commerce; putting more money behind brand building, both online and offline; thinking mobile first; pairing e-commerce with social to build trust; product development through crowdsourcing; and using Big Data intelligently to hone engagement.

Accenture did its research out of its Internet of Things (IoT) Centre of Excellence in Singapore, using "online consumer communities" in China, Indonesia and Singapore, between December and January. The firm garnished those results with executive interviews.

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