Smartphone addiction threatens global FMCG players : GlobalData

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Bangalore: In the rapidly evolving digitalized era, smartphones have emerged as indispensable objects of life. While these devices are productive and innovative tools, their over-usage has proved problematic for consumers – impacting relationships, working life and social interaction. More importantly, these perils are set to affect the fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) community too, according to GlobalData.

Numerous studies have highlighted the perils of smartphone addiction and its effects on every aspect of life. As a result, several governments globally are taking necessary steps to combat the menace. For example, in South Korea, one of the most heavily affected nations in the world, the science ministry ordered schools to teach students how to stay away from Internet addition, particularly using smartphones.

People are also slowly coming out and admitting it as a real problem. According to GlobalData’s Q4 2017 global consumer survey, nearly half (43%) of consumers globally somewhat/completely agree that they are actively trying to limit the amount of time they spend on their smartphone.

“These stats suggest that consumers across the entire FMCG landscape are dealing with some degree of smartphone addiction. More importantly, this implies that brands’ efforts are not being communicated effectively,” said Charles Sissens, Consumer Analyst – GlobalData.

Various leading brands rely on smartphone technology to capture the interest of tech savvy individuals, especially millennials. For instance, many supermarkets have developed online shopping applications which allow consumers to purchase everyday items whilst on-the-move. Nevertheless, these services may cease to exist.

The confession of overuse has led to some companies even offering solutions – ‘tech rehab’. As part of Apple’s new iOS 12 update, smartphone users will be provided with a new feature called ScreenTime. This feature will allow users to monitor use and even set limits on usage.

“Given consumers seek to reduce their use overall, we can expect brands’ online sales to decline. Likewise, they may struggle to have their marketing campaigns seen. This will drastically impact revenues across sectors and force brands to think differently about how they attract consumers,” added Sissens.

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