Retail in Asia

In Trends

The empowered consumer creates a Pandora’s Box of challenges

For the last 60 years, retail has been driven by product-oriented strategies; the idea was to push as much product through the selling channel as possible, “rationalising” slow movers out of the assortment, and stimulating demand with attractive prices and promotions. As long as the consumer was a passive participant, that model worked, and companies that executed this product-oriented strategy (particularly for low-differentiation/high-consumption “mass” products) were able to scale to hitherto unimaginable levels.

With the introduction of technologies that could capture and analyse information about customer purchases – point-of-sale scanning, electronic-payment options, loyalty programmes, electronic-order management, data warehouses and business analytics – retailers have been able and willing to adjust their strategies around the notion of identifying “best” customers and offering a more differentiated value to them as a way to build loyalty.