Coronavirus: Preference for hygiene products to rise, online sales to zoom, says GCPL
Godrej Consumers Product Ltd (GCPL) expects a shift in consumer habits and preferences impacted by the coronavirus pandemic with a greater focus on health, hygiene and protection, according to a top company official.
To address the changing requirements of consumers, the FMCG major plans to introduce new products in the sanitiser category, extending its offering.
Besides, the Godrej Group firm sees a greater role by online sales channels, which it believes will emerge stronger post the ongoing health crisis as people would tend to avoid stores. For this, it is gearing up its plans to be more aggressive on e-commerce platforms.
"What is likely to happen is consumer habits and preferences will change quite a bit. What we see now is a greater focus on health, hygiene and protection," GCPL Managing Director and CEO Vivek Gambhir told PTI.
Keeping this change in mind, the company is launching some new products in the sanitiser category, he said.
Commenting on online sales, which have witnessed an upswing due to the pandemic, Gambhir said, "There would probably be a larger focus on online sales. So we are developing plans to become more aggressive online. We are also evaluating to launch new products in hygiene and health."
Gambhir also expects a "polarisation" in consumer buying patterns due to the 21-day lockdown as those avoiding store visits will buy bigger packs for convenience, while those looking to cut their discretionary spends post crisis will buy small units and sachets.
"Certainly, you would see a market for more convenience products, particularly sachets would become more prominent. At the same time, there would be some segments, which would be looking for greater value for money," Gambhir said.
He further said, "In urban centres, large packs would become more important as well, because people would want to reduce the frequency of their visits to stores and some consumers fearing shortages, may want to stock more in reserve. We would see both sachets and large packs gaining prominence."
When asked about the current status of production, he said GCPL is facing a shortage of manpower and supply chain due to bottlenecks in logistics and transportation and is working along with the government on that front.
At this stage, the bottleneck is around logistics and transportation. Once there are adequate supplies available, we can ramp up production gradually, he said.
According to Gambhir, the real challenge is "to get the products in retail outlets. That is the big problem.
The other parts of the supply chain will fall in place if we can fix the distribution bit. The government is working with various industry partners to help. We have seen improvements in last one week, he added.
(Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta)