‘Nomophobia’ is defined as the fear of being without a mobile phone or similar smart device.

While modern technology can prove to be a productive and innovative tool, mobile phone overuse has proved problematic for consumers – impacting relationships, working life and social interaction. More importantly, these perils are set to affect the FMCG community too.

Recent findings highlight the problem consumers’ face and their actions against addiction. 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.

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.

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 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.

So, how will smartphone addiction impact key FMCG players? 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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