Omni-channel innovations driving China’s FMCG market

China's fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) market did well amidst the pandemic in 2020, said NielsenlQ. In its latest study, the research firm discovered that China’s retail market owes its performance boost to its growing omni-channel ecosystem. In 2020, retail in China registered a 2.9%. Compared to 2019, the growth rates across categories were more dispersed, findings revealed. For example, staple food, personal care, and baby categories grew 11.6%, 7% and 4.4%, while beverage, snacks and liquor categories fell 6.5%, 4% and 0.5%, respectively.
Justin Sargent, president of NielsenIQ China and the Asia-Pacific, said 2020 had been a year of ups and downs. However, compared to other advanced economies, China's economy and consumption rebounded quickly after experiencing a short tumble and showed strong resilience.
Some of the innovations adopted by retailers on the onset of the pandemic include live streaming e-commerce platforms, which continues to gain traction. FMCG brands are also leveraging live streaming platforms. These brands are employing key opinion leaders (KOLs) in their marketing campaigns. Nielsen estimates that live streaming for the FMCG market is worth over RMB¥58 billion (US$8.9 billion) with a growth rate of 78% (2H 2020 vs 2H 2019).
Meanwhile, FMCG sales via online to offline (O2O) channels grew by 78%, supported mainly by lockdown restrictions. At the same time, community group buying gained popularity and is now available on more than 80 online platforms.
Sargent noted that during the pandemic, the market landscape underwent profound changes. The pace of enterprise innovation accelerated, and new business models emerged. “China's FMCG market is full of dynamics and vitality. The 2020 experience certainly gave brand owners a lot of inspiration,” he said.
While business leaders remain optimistic about 2021, brand owners need to stay agile and innovative and actively identify opportunities to drive growth, the firm concluded. Compiled by Kristy Tan (Image from Unsplash)

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