Retail in Asia


Retail in APAC: A path to recovery


The health crisis has shaken nearly every aspect of the retail industry. Brands have been challenged to adjust to new “imposed” consumer habits.

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In APAC, countries have been slowly re-opening for business after months of restrictive measures, but going forward, charting a digitally-enabled, customer-centric path to recovery will be crucial for a long-term success.

During the event, co-hosted by IWD, Kendu, and Qingwa, key decision makers from Coty, Zenith & Montblanc shared their insights with Esterina Nervino (Retail in Asia) on the current retail situation and possible impacts on the immediate future.

Here, a quick recap in case you missed it.

“All storms will pass, it is a matter of how you weather them”. This sentence sums up the spirit of the retail talk focused on the key learnings from this crisis more than the crisis itself..

All speakers agreed on the fact that safety and protection of people and businesses is the priority in today’s climate. In the past few months, companies took the opportunity to change the way they work internally and think about a new relationship with customers online and in-store with a strong shift to domestic market.

All speakers also explained how it was the moment to leverage on this time, implementing CRM and use of new technology to speed up the digital transformation of all businesses.

The increasing figures for e-commerce in the past few months is the result of an acceleration in e-commerce adoption for businesses that were initially reluctant to engage consumers on this channel. Figures will definitely grow, however, there is a consensus on the fact that e-commerce will not take over the physical footprint, but pervade the stores to enhance the omnichannel strategy.

Among the keywords characterizing 2020 and meant to remain relevant in the coming years, speakers and audience via polls agree on sustainability and on the belief that retailers and brands have started looking at online and offline as one and implementing CRM to further segment their customers understanding them per interests more than demographics.

Besides the insights from the speakers, there were also moment of interaction with the audience through the Q&A and live polls. Looking at markets to recovering from the crisis after China, audience voted for Korea, followed by Japan, SEA and Australia and New Zealand.

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Questions raised by the audience were mainly about the future of shopping malls in view of an inevitable reduction of shop footprint globally. Speakers answered the questions focusing on the re-assessment of priorities in terms of key locations and diversification between store experience across markets.