7 Trends shaping Asia’s future retail landscape


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.

Trends retailers need to invest in

ETP blog trends retailers need to invest

Evolution is key to sustainability and every business needs to evolve in order to survive for years together. Retail businesses also need to adapt to their fast paced, dynamic, highly competitive and challenging environment to be able to progress in today’s day and age. This can certainly seem like climbing a huge mountain. Hence, to be able to achieve this feat, below are a few trends that retailers can invest in now, before it is too late for them.

Omni-channel is the way to go: If a retail business is still banking on one or a few channels to stake its claim to the market share, well, it is time to realize that such a strategy won’t work in the long run and sooner or later, the business would be biting the dust. Omni-channel retailing is the way to go forward and any retailer who is not adopting an omni-channel strategy should invest in it right away, else the business’s survival will be jeopardized.

Same day delivery or it is a ‘no-sale’: Gone are the days when retailers could take weeks and months to deliver products to their customers. With the intense competition in the e-Commerce market, everyone is trying to be better than the others. One of the latest features big giants have started providing to their benefit is ‘same-day delivery’ to their customers for the products purchased. Fulfilling this kind of a commitment requires a pre-planned yet flexible and comprehensive supply chain management. Retailers need to invest in it or else face no sale situations.

Customer expectations is not the limit: If the focus is not the customer, the retail business is sure to perish. Customer experience today is an extremely competitive battle ground. In order to stay in business, retailers, however big or small, need to ensure that they are leaving no stone unturned in providing their customers with an experience that would drive them to come back. Retail business owners have to ensure they invest in the right resources so that they do not limit their offerings to merely fulfilling the customer expectations, but aim to exceeding them.

Mobile is the destination: Retail businesses need to be where their customers are and one of the most favorable destinations where retailers can engage with their cusomers is on mobile devices. Smartphones and tablets are the new norm for the consumers today. If retailers need to keep up with this norm, they have to invest in the right mobile technology. This will enable them to be where their customers are and not fade away because of obsolescence.

If retail businesses want to make a lasting impact on their customers, they have to be armed with the right resources – people, products, processes, technologies and so on. Retailers must get ready to invest in the right trends at the right time as this will help their businesses to evolve and keep-up with the quick, ever changing needs of the retail industry.