23 March 2022 AIBP Insights

Enabling Hyperlocalisation with Big Data – Takeaways from AIBP Insights The Retail Revolution

Towards the end of 2021, distributors and retailers around ASEAN highlighted that one of their 2022 digitalisation priorities is to focus on optimising supply chains with predictive data and analytics.

Consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies have placed much focus on e-commerce and direct-to-consumer distribution in the past couple of years, partly due to the ease of access to end-consumers in the age of digitalisation. Following the COVID-19 pandemic where end-consumers have become more comfortable with online shopping for groceries and necessities, retailers and distributors are focused on maximising customer satisfaction and deriving value from consumer insights and data.

Driven by consumer needs and preferences

Michael George Lim, CEO, Pushkart, shared that as an online grocery marketplace, Pushkart prioritises hyperlocalisation in order to fulfil orders for consumer perishables and fresh items. Right from the creation of an account on the Pushkart application, the platform makes use of the customer profile, demographic and preference to provide personalised recommendations and to expand product offerings.

John Funtanilla, VP, Advanced Analytics Lead, Nestle, also provided an example about how Nestle’s cream products, which traditionally experienced spikes in demand during festive periods, saw an unusual increase in demand for Nestle’s cream products during the COVID-19 lockdown in the Philippines as more people explored baking at home. This also enabled Nestle to explore cross-selling through avenues adjacent to the consumers’ journey. Similarly, Roger Lau, Head of Regional e-commerce, Uhrenholt, mentioned that in offering products that are often accompanied by other adjacent products, Uhrenholt explores virtual bundling with partners to value-add to the customer.

Ethan Chee, Director, Talend Asia, shared how Estée Lauder partnered with them to make use of a customer data platform and understand consumer preferences across channels in 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

In going direct-to-consumer, Roger mentioned how customers are particularly sensitive about deliveries for dairy products, and a key struggle lies in logistics and delivery. Despite this, the team strives to give their customers a good first impression and customer experience with excellent packaging and smooth deliveries. He also mentioned the importance of achieving a balance between speed (of delivery) and variety (of product offerings), as well as creating brand awareness on online marketplaces.

More importantly, as consumer culture, habits and preferences differ across countries and regions, it is important to localise product offerings to the local consumer, as mentioned by Michael. For Pushkart, information from various touch points will also support their customer loyalty programs, promotions and new product offerings. 

Unifying sources of data for value-creation in the omnichannel world

Suraj Kamath, Director, APAC Industry Consulting – Manufacturing, SAS, believes that the online channel is a great source of data which enables the creation of models to predict customer preferences and buying behaviour, conduct assortment planning, and potentially build hyperlocal segments.

For Roger, sales data obtained from dark stores in different areas will inform them of buying patterns and product appeal, which will subsequently allow for optimisation of product offerings. 

John mentioned how he makes use of both qualitative (customer sentiments and surveys) and quantitative (historical performance or existing products) data to model how new product launches may perform. He also makes use of combined internal (  and external (ie. sell out data) for visibility of sale, activities, etc of competitors as well) sources of data.

A key issue to address is the integration of data across different sources, along different segments of the supply chain. 

Ivan Seow, Supply Chain Officer and Co-founder, Trames, mentioned how the supply chain and logistics industry is highly fragmented, involving multiple parties and interactions. He posits that connecting different systems will help with closing gaps across different supply chain interactions. This is echoed by Suraj who also believes that the right data infrastructure could provide flexibility in plugin data sets into the system. In a similar vein, John shared that local teams are taking ownership of integrating all data sets to apply local processes and needs.

Moving forward, today’s panel concurred that supply chain disruptions will remain even as the COVID-19 pandemic subsides, and emerging technologies like AI and automation will drive productivity in the omnichannel, D2C world for CPG companies and retailers.

This concludes the second of 3 sessions for AIBP Insights: The Retail Revolution this week. Stay tuned tomorrow for Stronger Data-enabled Customer Relationships! If you have not registered, you may do so here:


23 March 2022