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The Master Report: Getting to truly know and understand your retail consumer

This was a sponsored post by Nielsen under the Master Report series.

It is the age of the consumer. Today, there are a multitude of options for any type of product or services and numerous ways to get what you want, at a click of a button. Shopping has truly never been easier.

More and more in Asia Pacific, consumers are also open to spending more on lifestyle activities such as dining out, travel and technology. Consumers in APAC are also willing to pay a premium for products or services they believe add value.

Meanwhile, when it comes to everyday chores and tasks, Nielsen’s “Shopper Trends Report 2019” found that Singaporeans are displaying a higher appetite for supermarket shopping, with 42% shopping weekly in 2018 versus 36% in 2017. On an average, 86% of shoppers visited a supermarket or hypermarket in the past seven days, which was an increase from 79% in 2017. Overall spend in the category has also increased.

Despite the positive sentiment, many retailers and brand marketers still find it a challenge to cut through the clutter, given the gamut of offerings out there for consumers to choose from. Retailers, who have both an online and offline presence, are looking to have in place greater omni-channel strategies for successfully targeting the right consumer base to ensure they have a holistic image of the consumer. Retailers are also now relying heavily on data and analytics to make investment choices clearer.

More data also means brands can understand their customers, and adapt to their ever-changing needs quickly. But it is not only an increase in data that marketers need, granularity is also important for retailers. Granular data helps a brand or retail marketer understand the conversion funnel that much better.

One way to ensure a closer look at the consumer is created through interaction on the mobile platform. For many leading retailers, integration of mobile into the shopping experience is a must.

Smartphones are their go-to devices when consumers want to purchase something, so having content and executions which are mobile-centric is key.

One brand that has been lauded globally for integrating mobile into the shopping experience is IKEA. Known for its iconic retail experience, in 2017 news broke around how the retailer was using augmented reality to let customers have a sneak peak on how the furniture would look in their homes before purchasing. Customers are able to view the furniture from different angles before reserving what catches their fancy in the app.

Meanwhile, closer to home, Muji also made an announcement that it was looking to leverage digital spaces to complement physical stores. Its Muji Passport phone app, which is available in countries such as Japan and China, is expected to reach Singapore next year where users can shop, receive notifications about new products and earn loyalty points on the app. Muji president Satoru Matsuzaki said: “It is less about online shopping and more about feeling the loyalty to the brand through the app.”

To create an end-to-end solution for consumers, Muji may also develop a payment system similar to e-wallets such as GrabPay. Matsuzaki said that if technologies such as e-payment could boost efficiency, staff would have more time to attend to customers.

Mobile app players such as Fave have launched Growth Malaysia to help 100,000 restaurants across Malaysia grow digitally by 2020. Brands such as Grab, Maybank, MDEC, Funding Societies and Productivity Nexus for retail and F&B have collaborated with Fave for Growth Malaysia, which aims to help offline retailers in Malaysia go digital from payments, marketing, data to financial services.

The Growth Malaysia’s collaboration partners have begun expanding and offering more value-add to restaurant owners, including cashless and mobile payments; digitising loyalty cards, coupons and gift cards; food delivery and ordering; providing data and insights; and enabling easier access to financial services.

All of these executions above point towards understanding consumers on a personalised and granular level, which is becoming more important for brands.

As consumers today have less time, and care more about convenience and personalisation, mobile comes as a handy tool to meet their evolving digital needs. Mobile also makes knowing the consumer that much more easier and allows brands to have a direct touch-point with the final customers.

Read more from Nielsen on how to better your relationship with consumers:

Retail: The RE in Retail – Evolving scenes from Singapore’s consumer goods landscape

The word on the street: The fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) retail market in Singapore is gradually facing its demise. Learn more on how Nielsen put on a fresh pair of lenses to re-look and rethink retail to unlock growth for FMCG.