Asian retailers nominate their digital transformation priorities

Research released by unified commerce platform provider Tofugear and Inside Retail Asia has uncovered the top technologies that retailers in Asia will invest in over the next year. The 2018 Asia Digital Transformation Report is based on a survey of 150 senior retail executives from across the region.  

Here are the three technologies retailers are prioritising this year:   

Business intelligence and data analytics

Business intelligence and data analytics is the number one priority in terms of investment, with 43 per cent of retailers saying they will invest in this area over the next year.

Currently, retailers not only extract data from their e-commerce operations, but are also increasingly using their brick-and-mortar stores to collect data through technologies such as beacons and mobile apps. As such, it might not come as a surprise that this is a major priority.

Andrew Massey, director of innovation at luxury department store retailer Lane Crawford, says: “Pureplay e-commerce retailers have had this data for years, and it is one of the reasons they could respond quickly and effectively to market demands.

“As physical retailers’ systems are upgraded, and especially with the move into the cloud, enterprise data is improving and becoming easier to leverage.”

Mobile apps

Mobile apps have risen up retailers’ agendas as they look for ways to enhance the customer experience rather than create a carbon-copy of their website. Just over a third of retailers will invest in mobile apps over the next year.  

Consumers need a reason to download apps. If they don’t see the added value of an app or how it can enhance their lifestyles, they will not sacrifice valuable space on their smartphones.

Interestingly, retailers are also increasingly looking at ways in which mobile apps can be integrated into the store environment.

Pop-up store solutions

The Asian market has proven particularly receptive to the pop-up format and it is easy to see the appeal for retailers, with 32 per cent saying they will make moves into this area.

Pop-ups are usually located in high-traffic areas, but operating costs are relatively low when compared to regular stores. They also allow retailers to experiment, including with new retail technologies ahead of a full roll-out.

Giovanni Cirillo, e-commerce director at fashion retailer I.T comments: “We see pop-ups as a way to test the omnichannel experience and see how people react to technology. Because we have a huge network of stores, it’s quite hard to adopt a solution all of a sudden in terms of cost.”

The 2018 Asia Digital Transformation Report

The 2018 Asia Digital Transformation Report can be downloaded here. This report allows retailers to benchmark their digital capabilities against their peers in Asia. Apart from investment priorities, it will also give insight into the following areas:

  • How retailers organise their business to foster innovation.
  • What barriers they face when implementing digital initiatives.
  • The ways in which online marketplaces are used in the e-commerce strategy.
  • How retailers in Asia view their digital capabilities.
  • What strategies are used to target the connected consumer.

Click here to download the full report

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