Retail in Asia

In Trends

What are the key trends in 2020?

2020 trend

Facing an increasingly competitive market, companies are ratcheting up their efforts to better meet consumer expectations, with artificial intelligence, eco-friendliness and customer needs expected to be the key trends in major industries like information and communications technologies, cars and retail, according to an analysis by state-run Korea Productivity Center.

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Last year, the Korea’s three mobile carriers — SK Telecom, KT and LG Uplus — made efforts to innovate products and services to boost 5G network-based services. They also focused on reorganizing their business structure to strengthen AI, mobile media and security businesses. Their restructuring efforts are expected to continue this year and the competition in 5G network-based products and services will also intensify, the KCP’s latest report on its National Customer Satisfaction Index said.

As for smartphones, the emergence of the foldable form factor, the application of an infinity displays and rising interest in AI will be a positive factor, especially for Samsung Electronics, to increase customer expectations and satisfaction, according to the report.

In the home appliance sector, there is a noticeable increase in the value of environment-related appliances in relation to air quality. Products, such as air purifiers, air conditioners, dehumidifiers, washing machines, dryers and robot cleaners, have shown an upward trend in recent years.

Vehicles are evolving from machines that emit air pollutants to being eco friendly, according to the center, predicting that they will account for more than 100,000 units in the local market in the future with rise in customers’ awareness.

There is also a movement to enhance the performance of the vehicle air conditioning systems. In the case of hydrogen fuel cell-powered car Nexo, Hyundai Motor is promoting the brand as a moving air cleaner by utilizing the characteristics of the drive system.

The active introduction of AI, eco-friendly technology, autonomous driving and continuous innovation in design will attract customers’ attention in the auto market, the report noted.

Last year, the local retail sector stagnated due to the prolonged economic recession and the slow recovery of consumer sentiments. Still, consumer satisfaction rose for businesses such as department stores, online shopping malls and large bookstores, as they provided enough benefits to customers. But the satisfaction level declined for duty-free shops.

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As the economic downturn is expected to continue this year as well, providing quality products to customers at competitive prices would ultimately be the driving force for satisfaction growth considering the nature of the retail industry, the report said.

(Source: Korea Herald)