Digitalization in Asia - The Competitive Advantage

Using digital technology is no longer meant for just driving solutions for economic activities. Triggered by a worldwide pandemic, enhanced penetration of technology, and globalization, digitalization is now utilized to a level of a competitive edge among brands. And exactly this is what is needed to unleash the key to fare well in the vast landscape of emerging markets in Asia.

Home to some of the world’s fastest-growing economies, Asia is now revolutionizing how businesses fared in the recent past. Having more than 50% of the world’s total internet users, digital transformation is now strategically an important factor for all consumer-facing businesses operating in the region.

Consumer in the region is constantly looking for digitalization edges to choose their brands. Smartphone penetration rates in the region are the highest globally. With levels like 87% in Singapore, 83% in Malaysia, and 75% in Thailand smartphone usage in Asia is indicative of how businesses need to ace the digital transformation race to capture the demographic. As opposed to just 43% of e-commerce retail sales via mobile phones in North America, Asia registered 78% of sales via mobile phones in 2020. Digitalization needs to entail a vast scope of applications to capture the ever-evolving customer needs of the region.

Strategizing to capture the young demographic

With nearly 60% of the young people of the world living in the APAC region, it is of significant relevance to strategize to capture this demographic. With higher levels of affluence and digital literacy, it is important to capture the attention of the younger generation in this region. Leveraging digitalization mediums like social commerce, digital wallets, and embedded payment strategies can prove to be significant advantages.

Optimizing user experience

Focusing on personalization should be a major strategic idea amongst businesses. Providing essential cost-saving benefits and deals tailored to suit the diverse crowd is of utmost importance for retaining customers in the region. With a complex mix of nationalities, cultures, languages, and preferences, tailoring is the key to survival here. From application platforms to customer choices, there is an underlying trend that needs to be observed keenly. A popular survey reported that 88% of online shopping in Indonesia is done via a mobile-based app in Indonesia while on the contrary just 41% in Japan. Integrating tech-enabled solutions like data analytics and artificial intelligence can prove to be an essential tool.

Customer engagement

Surveys have reported that 40% of consumers use online sources to consult product reviews while being in a physical store. This indicates a major need for robust digital marketing strategies to be able to engage with consumers. Brands witnessed 91% of consumers returning due to personalized recommendations and offers. This can be easily achieved by adopting data-driven automated models in the operations. Engaging with customers can reap extensive benefits translating to a 5-8% increase in revenue in just a year.

In a pool of several marketing technology solutions in the market, navigating through the best-suited option can be an exhaustive task. Thus, it is essential to consider a multitude of factors before adopting a specific strategy. Understanding the nuances of the Asian market is an essential part of the successful implementation of strategies and having a competitive edge.

Sources: McKinsey, World Economic Forum, Forbes.

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