From a global perspective, conditions and prospects for the remainder of the year appear largely positive. In Q1, confidence grew across Western Europe, economic recovery in Latin America looks promising in key markets, FMCG sales in North America performed well, and growing disposable incomes across Asia-Pacific are having an effect beyond the immediate region.
2017 was a good year for global consumers, with consumer confidence ending the year at a near-record level. Notably, 51 markets finished the year with higher confidence than they did in 2016, and the gains were bigger than 2 points in 46 markets.
In the face of rapidly evolving business and economic landscapes around the world, the importance of organizational intelligence and foresight thinking as a tool to unearth early indicators of change and unlock growth has never been greater.
China’s e-commerce market continues to see high double-digit growth year on year. The Double 11 event on 11 November 2017 – also known as Singles’ Day, when single people in China celebrate, and which has become a popular shopping holiday – was a clear example of how China’s consumption-led economy is evolving digitally. Online marketplace Alibaba saw sales growth of 39% in comparison with the event in 2016, suggesting that Chinese consumers are confident in their spending and that consumption will continue to rise.
In recent years, a variety of e-commerce shopping festivals have become popular and how many times do online consumers buying a lot? Global leading information and measurement company Nielsen found that, among all kinds of e-commerce sales, the “Double 11” shopping festival is still the most popular one.
Global FMCG retail is pegged at $4 trillion today, growing at a rate of just 4%, with signs of continuing sluggish performance in developed markets. On the other hand, total retail e-commerce is predicted to grow by 20% (combined annual growth rate) to become a $4 trillion market by 2020.
As the e-commerce channel expands, the future success of brands will be significantly affected by how successful they are online. As increasingly time poor consumers seek convenience and on-the-go purchases, online sales of FMCG will gain more importance.
While unexpected by many, the Amazon-Whole Foods linkage highlights just how profoundly consumer expectations are changing with regard to food and beverage shopping—and will continue to do so moving forward.
China, with its huge population and increasing affluence, is a very lucrative market for companies and brands in the Pacific. The Demand Institute, projects that consumers in China will spend $56 trillion over the next decade, with a largely young, affluent, connected consumer base with disposable incomes leading the charge.
Understanding customers, their needs and their path to purchase is essential from a brand and retail engagement perspective in the luxury segment. In a tighter retail environment, these considerations become even more critical.
Among global respondents, 74% say they appreciate the freedom of being connected anywhere, anytime, and 70% strongly or somewhat agree that their mobile device has made their life better. This constant connectivity has not only changed the way we keep in touch, but also the way we shop, bank and pay for goods and services.
The penetration rates of convenience stores and online shopping increased to 32% and 38% from 19% and 35% over the past year, respectively, growing faster than that of traditional hyper/supermarkets, forcing the latter to transform.
98% of Chinese respondents in Nielsen’s online survey say they have made purchases online.
86% of Chinese respondents in the survey use a digital payment system such as PayPal and Alipay, far higher than the global average of 43%.