The Asia-Pacific region shows a growing lead when it comes to retail business. While the prospect looks attractive, the retail strategy can be complicated since the market is diverse. Ensure you understand the best approach to benefit from Asia's retail market.
The Asia-Pacific region is responsible for about three-quarters of the global retail growth. The area also shows a significant boost in retail and online penetration. Online sales, for example, have twice the amount of growth compared to the rest of the world.
However, since the Asian region is diverse, investors and business owners must understand the four main clusters and their characteristics. They are:
With a low market maturity, the fast modernizer cluster tends to experience a small impact from digital disruption. However, it shows growing potential to become digital leaders. Examples are countries like Indonesia, Malaysia, and India.
China is currently the digital leader in the Asia-Pacific region. While the market maturity level is still low, the country shows a high impact of digital disruption.
Mature followers depict countries with a high level of market maturity and digital disruption. Japan, Australia, and Singapore have long been recognized as members of this cluster, with South Korea as a recent addition.
Developing digitalizers are countries with low digital disruption levels, but the market maturity level has reached a medium level. They include countries like Malaysia, Thailand, and the Philippines, and they have the potentials to grow into mature followers.
The Asia-Pacific region has several supporting factors that become their advantages in retail. High-level digital penetration is one of them. People quickly embrace technologies supporting retail businesses even in countries with low disruption levels.
Internet penetration, smartphone ownership, and various mobile apps also support the retail trend in the Asia Pacific. In Southeast Asia alone, 88 percent of internet users are projected to become smartphone users this year. Users in other growing countries like China, South Korea, and India do not count. Smartphones allow people to shop, browse, and conduct payments efficiently.
Are you interested in joining the prospective retail ecosystem in Asia? Here are six strategic steps to tap into this profitable market.
Rising customers in Asia-Pacific regions are becoming more demanding, especially for ease and convenience. Business chains like convenience stores and supermarkets provide options for quick, accessible shopping experiences. Technologies like QR scans or digital payments are expected to rise.
Livestream offers real-like experiences for customers, allowing them to see products from multiple angles. Live Streams are also great tools for engagement, allowing retailers and brand owners to answer questions, announce special offers or events, and create shareable content.
Future retail strategy in Asia must consider shifting shopping habits impacting asset handling and operations. For example, consider the automation strategies of Hema in China or Emart in South Korea. They turn the stores into pick-and-collect spots where shoppers can shop online and stop by to pick up the goods. Future investors must also consider the growing trend of shop local, especially after the height of the pandemic.
When choosing supply chain strategies, consider the geographical conditions of each region. For example, the supply chain method in Shanghai or Jakarta differs from those in Sydney and Tokyo. Use local transport styles, road conditions, and other local features to facilitate the system.
Instead of standing alone, companies in retail will get more benefits from forming a digital ecosystem. This way, companies can cut costs without reducing the quality of services and performances. Examples are Future Group's retail stores partnering with Amazon to deliver goods in India or retail stores in South Korea partnering with KakaoTalk for payment and message service.
Retail owners need to adopt digital solutions to compete in the Asia-Pacific region. One example is using a digital system to support the frontline operations, such as automation, accounting, stock calculations, and cashier system. In addition, digital solutions will make the operational processes smoother and more manageable, allowing for quality improvement.
Nimbly is an example of a digital solution for retail businesses. This management tool offers supporting features for retail companies, like standardizing display, tracking issues in real-time, and providing SOP checklists.
Asia is the biggest future player in the retail industry. Visit Nimbly to apply digital solutions as a best practice for retail in Asia.