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Global Powers of Consumer Products 2013

Engaging the connected consumer


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The past few years have witnessed a revolutionary change in the way technology has permeated everyday life, providing access to information, connecting people with their personal networks, and enabling them to buy products or services. The exponential growth of smartphones and tablet users, the rise of social media, and the need to be connected at all times are only a few signs of the major digital revolution we are currently experiencing.

Moreover, this digital revolution is not limited to developed markets – countries typically referred to as "emerging" markets are experiencing very similar trends. For example, among the high-growth BRIC markets, China is predominant in smartphone penetration, with two-thirds of subscribers using a smartphone. Other BRIC countries like Brazil and Russia have a smartphone penetration of about one-third.

The impact of this digital growth on consumer and shopper behaviour cannot be underestimated. It affects the way consumers interact with brands, how they research products, purchase via multiple channels, and how they receive post-purchase customer service. The nature of this consumer interaction with brands ranges from engaging discussions via social media to purchasing products online via e-Commerce platforms. This trend is also being driven by traditional "brick and mortar" retailers, who use digital as a new channel to reach consumers, as well as by the exponential growth of pure play online retailers.

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