RETAIL | Staff Reporter, Singapore

25% annual surge in ASEAN e-commerce projected over the next few years

Thanks to improved offerings and infrastructure.

It has been noted that e-commerce will surge by 25 percent annually in ASEAN over the next few years thanks to favorable demographics as well as improved digital infrastructure, social media, and online offerings.

According to a research note from A.T. Kearney, already, as more ASEAN e-commerce companies enter the offline world, more retailers are engaging in cross-channel integration.

For example, the report said, Zalora has pop-up stores in Singapore, Malaysia, and Vietnam and has joined forces with 7-Eleven to use its convenience stores as pickup points for online orders.

Here's more from A.T. Kearney:

Traditional brick-and-mortar retailers are also pursuing multi-channel strategies, with chains in Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines offering online gift registries, in-store pickup, and delivery.

Bolstered by a range of new and more innovative operations and back-office processes, retailers are getting more efficient at serving customers. Collaborative procurement allows retailers and suppliers to create value together. Guided by data analytics, unique capabilities are combined to optimize product specifications, store-level portfolios, and promotional and rebate programs.

Customer-driven inventory management uses data analytics to plan inventories and assortments based on pricing, competitive dynamics, and even external factors such as weather conditions that are likely to affect demand. Analytics-enabled marketing and customization gleans insight from customer data and uses it to customize offerings, identify cross-selling opportunities, and focus supply chain and production activities on the products and features that customers value most. 

End-to-end product tracking based on radio frequency identification (RFID) technology and the Internet of Things enables continuous, automated inventory management and last-mile solutions such as crowdsourced delivery.

Sophisticated retailers are using these and other ideas to better understand customers, sharpen product offerings, and improve service—all while driving growth and profits. While ASEAN retailers are not yet at this point in their development, those that follow suit and adopt enabling technologies are destined to be among the first to tap into the true potential of the fastest growing ASEAN markets.

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