ASIA-PACIFIC: Business in Asia-Pacific can boost revenue growth by shifting more consumer purchases to digital channels, according to a new report which also emphasises the need to deliver a seamless customer experience across channels.

The Asia-Pacific commerce report from Deloitte Access Economics (carried out for experience management software business Sitecore) was based on a survey of over 1,000 businesses, each with at least 250 employees, across the Asia-Pacific region, including Australia, New Zealand, Japan, China, India and Singapore.

This found that the use of digital channels to support sales activities is expected to grow, with businesses aiming for a 5% shift in channels from traditional to underpin their customer and growth strategies.

Deloitte observed that “this aligns with our economic modelling, which finds that for every 5% increase in the share of customer purchases conducted through digital channels there is an associated 3.5% increase in revenue growth”.

Websites and email currently remain the centrepiece of most digital strategies – 72% of those surveyed said that a website was very important to their business operations – a much higher proportion than other traditional or digital channels.

The report added that businesses face an emerging risk of fragmentation in sales channels, with many having eight channels for sales – potentially reducing the productivity benefits usually associated with digital and adding to the risk of friction between channels.

“Benefits may be more likely to be realised through higher revenue than reduced costs,” the report noted as it advised a commerce system that operates consistently across multiple channels and which provides a seamless customer experience.

But merely being seamless will not suffice. A future of ‘experience commerce’ means that businesses will need to ensure their online customer experience is as engaging as the physical one.

“Businesses in the Asia-Pacific region are aware of just how pivotal having a focus on the customer journey is, with over 80% of those we surveyed agreeing that continual engagement is important,” said John O’Mahony, Deloitte Access Economics partner, and the report’s principal author.

Sourced from Deloitte; additional content by WARC staff