Consumers in Asia are markedly different from their counterparts in other regions, according to Jake Shepherd, GfK's head of retail in Asia Pacific.

"There's something in the psyche of these shoppers which is quite different," said Shepherd, speaking at the recent New Retail Asia Summit in Singapore.

He cited a "willingness to adopt new technologies" and "passion about shopping" as differentiating attributes of the region's shoppers, compared to other markets such as in Europe and North America.

Here some of the key retail trends emerging from the region in 2018:

1. Mobile communication is fueling retail

Buoyed by a younger shopper population, APAC markets have seen high Internet access via smartphones and a taste for all things mobile.

In fact, this gravitation towards mobile is so strong that mobile communication in this region even trumps the global key trend of convenience, according to research findings from GfK's Retail Trend Monitor. In APAC, mobile communication (89%) is favoured over convenience (87%), while social media sits third at 86%.