This year’s FUTR Asia summit was focused on charting the future of retail, marketing and commerce from the perspective of Asia’s digitally-savvy consumers.
3,000 attendees from 31 countries came together at Suntec Exhibition and Conference Centre to examine the relentless pace of innovation and disruption across key industries towards a “seamless journey” for customers.
The summit hosted more than 3,000 of the world’s most disruptive brands, retailers, solution providers and personalities who anchored more than 60-presentations, panels discussions and showcases across the summit’s two days.
In its third edition, the FUTR Asia Summit welcomed new conference tracks such as Consumer Goods, Breaking China & New Markets, and Startup Innovation Lab, and introduced popular fireside chats allowing visitors to unearth greater insight and analytics that will better equip them to tackle challenges from tomorrow’s ever-evolving marketplace.
Conversations at the three main stages, Brand Stage, Commerce Stage and Innovation Stage spanned across the twelve conference tracks of New Age Advertising, AI & Smart Marketing, Retail Evolution, Data & Personalization, End to End E-commerce, Consumer Goods, Next Generation Marketing, Fashion & Beauty, Travel & Hospitality, Breaking China & New Markets and Startup Innovation Lab.
Sessions at the Brand stage started the day off discussing the art of brand building and successful advertising, from building brand credibility, tracking engagement and measuring ROI for digital advertising.
The afternoon sessions cast the spotlight on how to achieve brand loyalty in an age where experience and sharing is everything in the Travel and Hospitality industry.
Over at the Commerce stage, speakers convened to discuss what is in store for the future of retail.
Key retail players defined the current and future landscape for retail, shared industry insights, discussed how offline and online is converging, the lessons learned from new retail trends and how data and technology is playing a significant role in footfalls, sales, and customers experiences.
The Innovation Stage provided competitor insights into merging social engagement and sales performance, how the winners will always be the one who succeeds in being bold, experimental and determined enough to turn all their available data into profit-maximizing strategies.
It also delved deep into discussions on how brands and retailers can use data to drive decision making and be more creative in telling their brand story.
A single recurring theme resonated throughout all sessions – “Seamless Customer Journey”; be it in strategies adopted by marketers to ensure frictionless purchase experiences for today’s shoppers, or ensuring that brands have a good understanding of non-traditional platforms that achieve a higher rate of engagement with today’s consumer.
The Startup Innovation Lab brought together 12 of Asia’s most ambitious startups that are reimagining the future retail and commerce today.
FUTR Summit also hosted a number of exclusive FUTR Backstage events which was a dedicated area of the Summit that hosted brand and retailer roundtables, workshops and lunches.
These backstage programmes brought Asia’s leading companies together to have closed group discussions on opportunities and challenges facing the industry.
FUTR Asia also presented the prestigious FUTR Innovations Awards 2018 to recognise excellence in the market, to acknowledge those embracing the evolving commerce landscape and building new brands, solutions, campaigns, technologies or platforms that are enabling change in the Industry.
There are many places that customers can learn about your product and services. Understanding the customer’s interactions (both online and offline) is crucial.
Speakers of the track concretised strategies that put the consumer at the forefront and explored how the adoption of data sciences, machine learning and AI are revolutionising a marketer’s role, as well as enhancing product discovery, improving personalisation and securing the future for in-store.
- Getting creative with your data and using personalisation to get ahead
Speakers of this track converged to discuss about how using empirical data, technology and culture of experimentation can drive a better business decision. From using customers’ data points including online, social media, forecasts and records to improve sales, while not being seen as invasive.
- Direct to consumer revolution in the end to end e-commerce
It doesn’t matter if your retail business starts off as an online or offline business, a desktop business or a mobile-first proposition. Consumers simply expect a consistent interface across all channels. Speakers in the session discussed how you could be a channel agnostic provider and capture the sales before you lose their attention. Customer payment preference, rewards programmes and conveniences are all fueling the retail and e-commerce landscape.
- This changes everything – How Al is transforming marketing as we know it
There is so much buzz around AI that it can be hard to understand how and where it has the most significant impact. Speakers discussed how the hype could be a highly powerful tool to capture the attention and hearts of today’s digital-savvy customers.
- Consumer goods – How are leading brands using off-line data to sell more
From ingredients to influencers and marketing channels to the marketplace, the FMCG industry is going through a massive overhaul. Speakers explored the changing consumption and behavioral habits of Asia consumers and how whitespace innovations are helping brands stay ahead of the curve through proactive innovation that brings meaningful benefits to consumers.
- Breaking China and New Markets
The world’s most populous nations are notoriously complicated markets for non-Chinese and non-Indians companies. Speakers shared how you can adapt your strategies and expand to become profitable and leading brands in these nations.