7 Trends shaping Asia’s future retail landscape

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1. Foreign retailers focusing on core Asian markets

With the likes of China, India and other large Asian countries poised to have a large consumer base in the coming years thus creating a higher demand for international retail brands. This scenario is prompting big-name retailers to focus on capturing revenue from core Asian markets.

2. Big players emphasizing on Southeast Asian markets

As barriers to entry are erected in some of the larger Asian markets, Southeast Asian countries in-turn are seemingly converting into new playgrounds for big-name retailers.  Countries like Indonesia, which is seeing a strong population growth and a rise in the income, and Vietnam, a country which is relatively FDI-friendly, are favoring big retail players to enter these markets.

3. The line between online-offline channels are blurring

As omni-channel retailing is the new rule in the retail playbook enabling retailers to transform their business and add features such as click-and-collect, endless aisles. Further, driving engagement using retail touch-points is becoming popular favoring the connected consumers’ sentiments and preferences of swift and simplified shopping.

4. Deeper penetration

From time-to time brands are announcing the grand openings of more and more stores and outlets in Asian markets. As in China, flagship stores are popping up in tier three and tier four cities, going beyond tier one and tier two cities, other regions will also witness a similar trend in the future.

5. Discount retailing

Although the discount retail channel is not as strong as it is in Western Europe, the trend is catching on in Asian countries such as China, India and so on where discount retailing is becoming popular online and Japan in the form of 100 Yen stores.

6. Equipping for m-commerce and s-commerce

Global e-Commerce growth is going to be driven by Asian retail markets, which are equipping themselves for m-commerce and emerging forms of social media commerce. As consumers in the Asian market are heavy mobile users and active on multiple social media channels on a daily basis, retailers adding m-commerce and s-commerce capabilities will favor these consumers.

7. Importance of local shopping cultures to retail markets

As foreign retail players are looking to expand their brands and businesses into Asian markets, they will need to imbibe the local flavor of the domestic retail markets and adhere to their respective shopping cultures as these will prevail over the coming years. As such retailers entered into countries like China (the likes of Starbucks) have opened outlets that feature local tastes and preferences.

ETP amongst the 25 Most Promising Retail Solutions Providers – 2017: APAC CIOOutlook

ETP Group, a leading provider of Omni-channel Retail Solutions in Asia, India and the Middle East is honored to be amongst the 25 Most Promising Retail Solutions Providers – 2017, as presented by the editorial board at APAC CIOOutlook. The key points of consideration while compiling this carefully selected list of new age retail solutions providers were their expertise, innovation and the ability to provide the right intel and resources to implement a scalable, cost-effective and easy to implement retail solution.

ETP apac-cio-outlook

ETP is specifically focused on brick and mortar retailers as well as online retailers, and in fact is the change agent for the convergence of the two. ETP’s Omni-channel Retail Solution – ETP V5 serves large retailers for their enterprise class requirements of scalability, security, compliance and high performance. “We are very happy to be recognized at this moment in time for our leadership in the retail industry, when we are helping retailers transform from traditional brick and mortar models to a fully omni-channel model and embrace the new age consumer”, says Naresh Ahuja, Chairman and CEO, ETP International.

ETP is an Omni-channel Retail Solutions company headquartered in Singapore, driving change in Asia Pacific, India and the Middle East. ETP’s software includes Omni-channel POS, Mobility, CRM, Marketing and Promotion Campaigns, Procurement, Warehousing, Distribution, Omni-channel Analytics and Omni-channel Connect. ETP V5 is used to serve customers across 22 countries and thousands of stores for over 300 brands.

ETP is enabling brick and mortar retailers to embrace omni-channel commerce and drive their brand-customer relationships in a unified manner with features such as Click and Collect, Click and Deliver, Endless Aisle, a holistic view of the inventory and a single view of the customer. ETP helps its customers get it right in omni-channel retail.

Top 5 Retail Trends

The retail industry is continuously evolving with increasing complexity and momentum. Fluctuating demographics, domestic downscaling, savvier consumers, multiple information and business channels, and trends require nimble, flexible and intuitive models and processes to manage customer expectations, stay relevant and increase profitability. Retailing is rapidly and perhaps irreversibly becoming an industry that must tailor its offerings to its customers, in order to win them over and foster greater loyalty. Well, the future is here and here are its most important retail trends:

Personalized In-store Experience: A recent Infosys survey reported that 78 percent of consumers are more likely to be a repeat customer if a retailer provides them with targeted, personalized offers. The burgeoning competition and the homogenous products and service market space has resulted in customers cutting ties and ending long-standing loyalty, post even a single unsatisfactory shopping experience. Delivering the right store experience has become and will continue to be vital in order to differentiate one’s brand from the competition and also increase repeat sales and overall productivity. Falling short of customer expectation in this regard leads to negative word-of-mouth, which is often more freely dispersed amongst family, friends and co-workers.

Right Business Intelligence: The retail analytics market is estimated to grow from $ 1.88 billion in 2014 to $4.4 billion by 2019. Business Intelligence technology helps retailers effectively reach consumers, reduce operational time and costs and allocate their resources more efficiently. Most importantly, it lends the marketing and operational ingenuity to make better strategic decisions, accurate targets and devise fail-safes. Gartner recently revealed that “Leading business intelligence (BI) vendors will shift the emphasis of their new product investment from IT-authored production reports to business-user-driven data discovery and analysis tools.” This trend shall gain more impetus through increasing adoption of Cloud Technology, Mobile and Big Data applications for analytics which contribute to the mass implementation of IT in retail.

Chuck the “Hard-Sell”: In the year 2015, brands will employ processes and people that impart likability and approachability to induce a solution-based dialogue and build relationships. The cool clinical expertise approach is swapped with regular staff training to arm all customer-facing employees with the right tools to be more perceptive and engaging. Business is done between people, not companies – customers first learn to trust and be comfortable with the person representing the brand or the company. This is followed by building enough customer inclination to venture understanding brand offerings, consume products and services and become loyalists.

Omni Channel Shopping: Consumers expect a consistent and seamless shopping experience, regardless of the channel they choose to engage, at any given time. Forrester Research expects $ 1.8 trillion in retail sales via online and web-influenced channels in the year 2017. The line between physical and digital touch-points will continue to blur. Today, the customer’s retail journey is non-stop – dynamic, accessible, and constant. According to Teradata, by 2015, a company’s digital strategy will influence at least 80% of a consumer’s discretionary spending. While retail stores remain relevant and the nerve-center for the industry, accurate omni-channel strategies will help retailers increase volume of sales and revenue via other channels.

Emerging Markets: Retail organizations are beginning to understand the brimming potential of markets within Brazil, China and India. To give an example of how these hyper-growth markets are geared to change the world’s retail landscape – By year 2020, 53 percent of the world’s retail consumption will be from Asia alone. Companies from the emerging world are increasingly becoming major players in global markets—the BRICs now account for 75 of the Fortune 500, compared with just 29 in 2005. Retailers will expand operations to these countries, exploring unique opportunities of each market.

The retail industry is being beckoned by booming opportunities across continents, despite cultural disparities and local limitations. Each retail enterprise needs to set their own course and business trajectory which will determine eventual success. From the above trends, it is fairly easy to establish the large role technology continues to play in our lives. Retailers who adopt, build and integrate stable, scalable IT in their business shall remain resourceful and ready to unlock the market potential.