A key region of growth, ASEAN presents vast opportunities for the retail industry to burgeon with its younger population, increasing socio-economic status and exponential growth in digital adoption across the region. Developments in economic growth, population age structure and spending power as well as digital adoption are key factors that affect consumer behavior. Government support for smart city initiatives and increasing connectivity across ASEAN will also drive changes in consumer behaviour.
In 2020, changes in the retail industry have largely been driven by necessity. The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly accelerated digital adoption among retailers forced to temporarily close physical stores amidst social distancing measures.
ASEAN consumers have also been observed to be placing more importance on convenience, personalization, speed, and sustainable practices. The use of online shopping platforms and digital payment options, both of which have been accelerated by the pandemic, has become ubiquitous. To survive and remain competitive, retailers are striving to be more responsive and attuned to customer feedback and needs.
The new customer journey includes Building Awareness, Engaging Customers, Managing Purchases, Fulfilling Orders and Retaining Customers. Retailers across different retail segments, including fashion, food and beverage, and groceries, have innovated differently and adopted different technologies to remain competitive, scale, and anticipate future developments.
Many emerging innovations for retail are in their early stages of testing or have only recently been implemented. As such, they may not produce obvious returns on investment as of yet. However, they do provide, very comprehensively, a gist of the possibilities for the future of retail in ASEAN.
This report presents an overview of the consumer and retail landscape in ASEAN to provide context for consumer behaviour and expectations among its people, followed by highlights of key emerging trends among retailers both within and outside the region to address different objectives along the new retail customer’s journey.