Smartphone 'addiction' might damage FMCG brands

Smartphone 'addiction' might damage FMCG brands
It's not just idiots getting run over because they were too busy playing with their phones, smartphone addiction could damage brand's marketing efforts.
Published: 30 August 2018 - 12:31 a.m.
By: Mark Sutton

Growing awareness and attempts to tackle ‘smartphone addiction' may have a downside according to data and analytics company GlobalData.

The prevalence of smartphones has meant that many fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) have developed smartphone apps and services to promote and sell their products, but an increased rejection of excessive smartphone usage might damage the effectiveness of these apps.

Studies have indicated the damaging impact of excessive use, and the perils of smartphone addiction and its effects on every aspect of life. This has led to government action to raise awareness, and increasingly consumer awareness of the issue.

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.

Charles Sissens, Consumer Analyst at GlobalData, said: "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."

GlobalData noted that 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.

Sissens concluded: "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."

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