Asia Pacific continues to shine on most companies’ radar when looking for growth opportunities thanks to its combination of large populations with increasing spending capacity and optimistic consumer sentiment. Across Asia Pacific, four markets boast GDP growth at greater than 5% (China, India, Philippines and Vietnam) and six markets are enjoying higher GDP growth in 2016 than last year (Australia, Indonesia, South Korea, New Zealand, Philippines and Thailand).
Consumer confidence has remained stable or increased throughout 2016 for the majority of emerging markets in the region, although the same can’t be said for the region’s more developed markets where confidence remains low. Nonetheless, there is a growing number of consumers across Asia whose disposable incomes are growing, and who are both able and willing to spend.
Some global business leaders may have questioned the real potential for consumers in emerging markets to fuel growth. But for the foreseeable future emerging markets, particularly in Asia, represent the fastest growth opportunity for global consumer-facing companies. This growth will be spurred on by the ASEAN economic community which is estimated to boost GDP in the region by up to 5% by 2030.*
Not only is growth in these markets outpacing most of the developed world, the rate at which consumer behaviours and attitudes are evolving is just as rapid. Asian consumers are some of the most connected in the world, and as internet and mobile infrastructure improves and penetration increases exponentially across the region, Asia’s hyper-connected consumers are engaging with brands in a totally new way. Unfettered access to information on brands and products is giving way to a new ecosystem of e-commerce, online and mobile payments, social media, location services, shopping tools, and manufacturer and retailer websites. Many of these consumers have only recently joined the throngs of Asia’s middle class, and they are leapfrogging traditional shopping and media channels to engage directly with brands and products on digital platforms that go far beyond those in developed markets.**
Amidst this consumer and market evolution, companies are seeking out new and innovative approaches to leveraging digital platforms. While physical stores will continue to play a key role in the Asian retail landscape for the foreseeable future, the emergence of e-commerce cannot be ignored as it continues to stretch beyond existing platforms and become intrinsic in consumers’ lives.
In the retail landscape of the future, retailers and brands will need to consider how they balance their offering across an omni-channel environment, and the strategy they will employ to strengthen their brand, deliver value, and provide a differentiated customer experience.
**Source The Demand Institute
Insights contained in this article are extracted from the 2016 quarter 2 edition of Nielsen Quarter by Numbers, where a total retail picture in Asia Pacific is presented. Every three months, Quarter by Numbers will scan the markets that matter to organisations doing business in Asia Pacific, report on the latest consumer insights, and dive into FMCG landscapes to help senior business leaders think fast and win big in this region..
To purchase the report, click here.