Capitalising on the consumer buying revolution: collaboration, data and technology for growth

Big trends continue to influence the CPG industry, with consumer health fads, economic conditions, government policy, ethical supply chain awareness, extreme weather, and innumerable others factors affecting the way products come to market and how consumers respond to them.

To win in FMCG and at retail, successfully navigating this moving landscape is imperative. By enabling change in products, pricing, promotion, merchandising, store layouts, assortments, supply chain logistics and brand image in order to rapidly adapt to the current mood of the market, manufacturers and retailers can stay relevant. Responsiveness is key – change cannot be a slow process or businesses within CPG risk having opportunities pass them by as consumers seek better experiences from competitors. This is true when you consider any aspect of the FMCG go-to-market offering, from product development through marketing and merchandising strategy in-store.

Data driving change in retail 

Historically, it’s clear that products and retail concepts can’t always survive in a harsh market. Data indicates that product failures far outnumber successes in the new product arena. However, unlike decades past, the industry now has invaluable resources to support meaningful, lasting, successful product launches, with vast information available to industry players and shoppers, all of whom are looking to make educated and purposeful purchases with their hard-earned money.

Shoppers have been embracing this new mine of information to cherry pick the best deals, find their nearest stores and find out about the latest product innovations and trends. Easy access to information 24/7, and a heightened expectation of convenience in every aspect of life, have played a significant role in changing shopper consideration sets and purchasing decisions. The big weekly food shop is shifting to smaller but more frequent convenience shopping missions, often spanning multiple retailers and channels. Shoppers are highly educated on their options, price points and value propositions, and retailers and manufacturers must work to influence their impressions. This is driving better outcomes for shoppers across the board, with retailers who aren’t delivering a quality shopping experience quickly found out and their weaknesses exposed. With this in mind, competitiveness within the industry is only going to increase in coming years.

Retailers and manufacturers have, of course, been a driving force behind developing this information via multimedia platforms and strategic marketing. But where the information age has often fallen short for retailers and manufacturers is in an understanding of how customers are responding to the product and market information coming at them from every direction, and how it is impacting their shopping journeys.

The ultimate measure of success is whether marketing is driving the desired behaviour, which is purchase.

And much of the time, there is little visibility of this, with only an anecdotal understanding of what is driving the consumer decision making process.  

Data insights key driving results 

Loyalty data, product sales, total trip sales and more all help illustrate purchase behaviours and patterns.

Data and insights abound and when harnessed and activated against appropriately, there are great opportunities for all players in the FMCG world – everyone want to know more about their customers and their wants and needs.

But without strong collaboration and data-driven insights to better understand shopping behaviours, the market is ripe with opportunities to fail anywhere in the process, from product development through to execution at the shelf. Some within the industry consider the data itself to be a ‘solve-all’ but the fact is, data alone is not enough. The collaborative use of data is the key to making better decisions and winning at the shelf. How will the information inform the overall strategy? How will it deliver a better, more desired product to-market? A better experience instore? Without a clear sense of objectives and the right analysis to derive insights, data will not deliver miracles and may actually lead businesses to make the wrong decisions.

Connecting the dots to create a holistic view

IRI helps CPG their clients tap into critical touch points along the shopper journey, as well as form more collaborative relationships with retailers and suppliers to personalise offers and optimise marketing campaigns as they happen.

IRI experts have spent almost four decades working with data – collecting it, analysing it, and integrating it.

This is why IRI can seamlessly combine your sensitive and proprietary data with their integrated data sets, as well as third-party and publicly available data.

Whether it’s analysing how to make your assortment, pricing and promotions more profitable, tailoring your media strategies to likely purchasers of your brand, or guiding you through new product or market planning, IRI ensure that your business can better leverage data to help you grow.

  • Adam Fisher is product solutions director at IRI, a leading provider of big data, predictive analytics and forward-looking insights that help FMCG, OTC health care, retailers and media companies to grow their businesses. With the largest repository of purchase, media, social, causal and loyalty data, all integrated on an on-demand cloud-based technology platform, IRI helps to guide its more than 5000 clients around the world in their quests to remain relentlessly relevant, capture market share, connect with consumers and deliver market-leading growth. Move your business forward with IRI.

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