Shoppers are now realizing the convenience and benefits of online shopping. The “VMware Digital Frontiers 3.0” study revealed that 41% of Southeast Asian respondents are not missing regular shopping in-store as much as they thought they would.
These latest findings, according to VMWare, will reshape the new retail landscape with e-commerce getting a big share of the market.
With more consumers increasingly entrusting their personal data with retailers to create a hyper-personalized shopping experience, privacy-focused and retail innovations such as artificial intelligence and virtual reality will be pivotal in shaping the future of retail in Southeast Asia.
“The pandemic has led to a digital sprint for the retail sector as it has permanently changed the way consumers shop,” said Walter So, country manager, Philippines, VMware. “In Southeast Asia, businesses are now facing their ‘sink or swim’ moment of leveraging cutting-edge innovations such as cloud and modern apps to redefine how they connect with customers digitally or risk losing them to a competitor.”
Many brick-and-mortar stores in the region are bearing the brunt of the pandemic as lockdown restrictions have pushed more shoppers online. While 61% of respondents in SEA are happy to engage with retail organizations digitally, 60% of them are prepared to switch to a competitor if a digital experience is not up to par — higher than other surveyed counterparts: United States (50%), Germany (40%), France (36%), and the United Kingdom (51%). With more than half of respondents (57%) expressing their excitement for digital services, harnessing next-generation technologies including the cloud, artificial intelligence, and modern applications will be key in enabling the retail industry to accelerate innovations and deliver a more holistic and secure retail experience to shoppers in the region.
The report found that 66% of Filipino respondents welcome the use of virtual technology in a consumer experience for example, to simulate what an item looks like on them, or how an item will fit in the desired space.
The report saw that 43% of the respondents are happy to pay a premium on goods and services from retailers that demonstrate their commitment to being carbon-neutral while 66% want to use more digital services to reduce their carbon footprint (for instance, by driving less to shops).
More than half (54%) would prefer shopping with a fashion retailer that already knows their personal preferences for items that they are likely to buy.
Virtual technology is also a convenience 63% said they are willing to use. There are already brands that offer apps or solutions that allow shoppers to simulate what an item looks like on them, or how an item will fit in the desired space. More than two-thirds (70%) trust that artificial intelligence would be used to benefit society in the next five years.
“Apart from making sure that they are delivering hyper-personalized, seamless digital services, retail organizations now also have to focus on bridging the gaps in their offline and online operations and delivering a superior omnichannel experience to stay competitive in the digital economy ahead,” So said. “At VMware, we are committed to helping retail organizations modernize and strengthen their digital infrastructure so they can unlock new, revolutionary shopping experiences for consumers.”