Retailers play key role in rural markets

Retailers play key role in rural markets

FMCG good waiting!

Sathyanarayana S

According to a thesis on ‘Trends in rural marketing of Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) in Karnataka’ by Sathyanarayana S, a research scholar from the University of Mysore, 66 per cent rural consumers seek clarification from the retailer before purchasing a product.

The study was conducted in 200 villages included around 1,600 people and 320 retail respondents from across the State.

Adding to the retailers importance in the up-country markets is the loyalty of customers to a particular store. About 85 per cent claimed that they were loyal to a store in the neighbourhood, out of them 38.5 per cent attributed the reason cited was availability of credit.

Another important aspect for stake holders is to make sure that exciting offers are given to youth and children as they form the majority of the population that tries to use new products.

While brand loyalty is more in rural areas, the study said that marketers should focus on using the local language to promote the language.

Also the research says that when marketers introduce products in rural areas or develop a new advertisement campaign to either increase market share or to improve awareness, it is suggested to display product and accompany it by a salesperson, who has thorough product knowledge.

Spurious products

While emphasising that spurious products with fake names and labels are a serious threat to packaged brands, Satyanarayana mentions that many of the products survive as they provide a higher margin for retailers.

According to Satyanarayana, “Main threat is from unorganised players, whose main strategy is ‘low price, high volume’”.

He says that the domestic market is witnessing a structural shift in terms of demand with rural markets beginning to show increased demand for FMCG products.

This is happening at a time when urban market is showing signs of saturation. The research was completed under the guidance of Dr B H Suresh.

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