India is again witnessing a surge in daily cases. And the first thing that comes to haunt the mind is what happened exactly a year ago. As much as the people were worried about their health parameters, their financial stability was taking a hit too. It was not just the consumers we are talking about here. Even the retailers, businessmen were facing huge losses.
Once in a few decades comes an event which changes the course of market, and COVID 19 is the event presently. The change of the market course calls for a change in strategies to adapt to the markets.
As the new normal came into being, people developed a hesitancy for physical stores. The fear of huge crowds and safety risks lead to a decrease in the sales expected from the traditional chain. Hence, it left FMCGs no choice but to think and adopt new marketing strategies.
New Strategies for New India
The FMCG companies have realized the fact that physical store purchases are going to diminish due to safety fears. Although the thought of digitization was in their heads the time frame to execute the idea has been reduced a lot due to COVID. Hence the first strategy adopted by many FMCG's is that they are going for Direct and digital consumerization. Where they are tying with E-commerce websites such as Amazon, Flipkart, Reliance digital and placing their products there for the users to buy without any contact.
Dividing the growth between wholesale and rural areas. Yes, the rural area has become a center of attraction for FMCG's as urban cities are still in the bubble of containment zones. That makes it even difficult for the FMCG's to execute the digitization process. Although rural areas have always been in FMCG's minds now they even want their digital methods to reach the village. Technologies are being set up. New methods are in research mode, and it's just a matter of time till we see a boom in sales of the products from the rural sector. Although to change villagers' conventional buying habits would be a challenge in front of them.
Digitization is the new way of distribution but how to distribute is another task. Several giants are engaging up with delivery services such as Swiggy, and Zomato to get the job done for them. It's a win-win situation for both sets of businesses. There is a surge in startup models in India. Many start up's are coming up which cater to many daily good distributing companies' needs. For ex- Milk Basket gets you your Milk and early morning essential items delivered at your home.
It is a reality that many citizens prefer shopping digitally but they have their sets of fears accessing the online mode. Hence for such a set of consumers, the FMCG's have come up with the idea of mobile delivery stations. This concept is a reality as many companies are using mobile vans to sell their products. Dabur has also rolled out the ‘Dabur immunity van initiative.
These specially designed vans move around residential localities across India. And reach out to consumers and giving them access to its range of Ayurvedic preventive healthcare products.
A similar initiative was adopted by Future Group’s Big Bazaar. Last year, Big Bazaar in association with Noida Authority facilitated vegetable and fruit bus that visited several sectors of the NCR.
Using COVID-related terms in their marketing and advertising. This strategy is more of a competitive requirement for many companies to outgrow their rivals and to remain in the market. The companies are coming up with products that have a relation in regards to COVID. Be it making masks, sanitizers, or any other type of tech or product. Another aspect of it is using medical terms in their marketing and advertisement which they wouldn't have used pre-Covid times. Terms such as 'Immunity' ' Kills Harmful viruses'.
The conclusion is that whether your companies’ turnover is in billions or you are barely making your monthly needs by selling goods, you have to adapt to the new normal and its new demands. If the companies fail to realize and implement these strategies in time, then they can consider themselves out of this market and industry. Timing is the key in the culture of market adaptation.