Is the latest development and omnipresence of Internet is making consumption easy and faster. Is it a medium which is going to be used by FMCGs companies to push consumerism. Is it going to bring a paradigm shift in the relationship of retailers, FMCG product companies and Media companies. What are the challenges and how is it going to effect the consumer patterns?
In last 2 decades the technologies related to Internet in both hardware and software has made rapid strides. Today Internet has made the availability of information cheaper and better. Almost all the companies retailing consumer items have been experimenting Internet as medium for promoting the brands or giving better user experience. So if you are at coffee shop or at fast food corner you can enjoy the benefits of free wireless and either complete your work or entertain yourself with games, movies online. You can use the online communities promoted by the product companies offering the advice, advantages used for promotions on their products.
Traditionally the FMCG where in touch with the end user through the indirect channel of retail. These companies have been using print media, television or radio in a big way. However, these medium had the lack of the interactivity. In these mediums, the feedback from readers and watchers was neither immediate and they had chance for discussion in a limited forum say with in a family or to few colleagues in office.
With the new technologies companies are now experimenting with user experience online taking direct feedback from the end users. Social networking has been latest tools for Brand promotion of many FMCG companies. They are using it for advertisements, contest, games and survey building interactivity, taking feedback and increasing user experience. Some new technologies like feeds, search, Tags etc. are going to give more channels to a FMCG company to communicate it to end users. With recent advances in streaming technologies the FMCG companies are going to use the Video experience in a big way for their end users.
According to the WebChutney Digital Media Outlook Report 2009, the current online spends of the FMCG category, which stands at around Rs 16 crore, is expected to increase to almost Rs 72 crore in 2009-10, a whopping 353 per cent jump in India
Is Internet going to give a push to consumption? FMCG products may be a part of of our everyday life but we may not be necessarily drawn towards the products when we see an ads online and are at home. So the companies may have interest on increasing brand recognition and loyalty factor. In such a scenario, the integrated communication is key strategy. Many companies may like to start the communication from one medium possibly from Internet and moving over to traditional media for increasing sales over the brick and mortar set-ups. However, as Internet moves out of living room to hands of the people in the street, I am sure it will have a huge impact on the consumption patterns.
There are other challenges as well. Think about negative publicity on Twitter or Face book. Companies need to manage the online communities which may not be under their control. They may either choose to launch the online communities themselves and managing it informally. There would be a challenge to manage with in-direct control, the issues like ethics will deciding factors. This space may also see collaboration from ISP and product vendors, a paradigm shift in the way these companies have operating.
Those who will embrace this change will be winners and others will struggle to cope with the new media. This has happened earlier when TV advertisement was new technology, in case of Internet era with Web 2.0 technologies the boundaries for metrics related to Brands, user experience and interactivity will be pushed to next levels.