Digital Influence In Urban Consumers Rises Significantly, Up To 70%: Facebook India-Boston Consulting Group Report - GADGET-INNOVATIONS

Digital Influence In Urban Consumers Rises Significantly, Up To 70%: Facebook India-Boston Consulting Group Report

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Consumers now engage even with offline categories on their smartphones

Facebook India and Boston Consulting Group have released three new reports that delve into COVID-19 induced changes in the consumer path-to-purchase across mobile phones, apparel, and consumer packaged goods (CPG) categories. The reports are the follow up to the ‘Turn The Tide’ report released last month.

A key takeaway from the latest reports is that digital influence has increased significantly in urban consumers - up to 70% for mobiles , 55%-60% for apparel, and up to 20-25% for the non-food CPG categories.

There are three kinds of consumer trends that we are witnessing that have made the smartphone even more central to our lives – reversal of past trends such as bringing the outside in-home through virtual experiences, acceleration of past trends leading to stronger adoption of digital and online, and formation of new habits such as DIY.

The findings were revealed during a virtual event and panel discussion attended by several leaders of India Inc, and saw businesses such as Samsung India, Mondelez India, and Big Bazaar, all of which have deep offline retail networks, throw light on how they’ve leveraged digital in these times.

The reports also points out that some of these trends are here to stay even beyond the pandemic. 90% of consumers who have purchased apparel online during the lockdown show willingness to continue. Within CPG, this figure is 80% for food related sub-categories, and 84% for non-food related sub-categories. Furthermore, the reports reveal that people intend to explore online channels a lot more for purchasing smartphones, consumer packaged goods, and apparel in the coming six months. For instance, 55% intend to increase online spends for mobile phones in the next six months. 

Three Steps Business Can Take Across The Funnel To Build For The Increasing Digital Influence:
Leveraging the cross-industry experience and consumer understanding of Boston Consulting Group and Facebook India, the report also lays out recommendations for mobile, CPG and apparel businesses to explore along the new path-to-purchase. Examples highlighted below.

o   Create digital experiences and influence to replicate in-person experiences: Due to physical distancing, less number of people are likely to walk into a store, experience the product, and make a consecutive purchase. Therefore, more virtual experiences need to be built for the remote living reality.

Brand example: Recently Samsung partnered with Facebook to train offline retailers to go digital in a big way. In the first phase, Samsung and Facebook have already trained more than 800 offline retailers, with more training sessions lined up in the coming weeks. The training is focused on enabling offline retailers build a digital presence through the Facebook family of apps, making their business known locally, and building credibility among the local population by setting-up their business pages and accounts on Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp. As a result, the offline retailers are likely to witness a growth in their business as they discover more local consumers online.


o   Relook at media mix model urgently to build efficiency in acquisition: As businesses, and especially those with traditional product categories, start spending more online, they would feel the urgent need to understand truly incremental outcomes by platform as well as cross-platform efficiency. This would increase the need for industry-leading digital measurement standards.

Brand example: Cadbury 5 STAR ran Facebook and Instagram video ads in 2019, and saw*:
o   2.6X return on ad spend from Facebook as indexed to TV

o   1.8X return on ad spend from Instagram as indexed to TV

o   5.8X return on ad spend from short video ads on Facebook and Instagram

o   1.3X higher return on ad spend from ads with upfront branding

*As per custom mix modelling (CMM) by Nielsen
With the rise in demand for in-home snacking during lockdown, Cadbury Chocolates leveraged their website to bring consumer's favorite snacking brands right to their doorstep. Both Facebook and Instagram were instrumental in getting the message across. Cadbury Chocolates witnessed 1.2x return on investment as a result of this.

· Stay connected with your consumer in times of physical distancing: In times of physical distancing, it’s essential to stay in touch with the customer and continuously eliminate friction in the path-to-purchase. Consequently, conversational marketing digital solutions driven by WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and digital CRM tools can prove to be very effective to engage the consumer with value-driven outreach after the purchase has taken place.

Brand example: With increased digital adoption (recharges, bill payments etc.) amongst the telecom customers, Vodafone Idea Limited (VIL) launched a WhatsApp chatbot to cater to consumer's needs

New Delhi, June 24, 2020