E-commerce in Asia is bigger and growing faster than anywhere else in the world, and marketers in the region need to be aware of the particular concerns and behaviours that are driving this success.

“If you are thinking about e-commerce, this is the right region to be – and this is the region that is developing fast,” Johan Vrancken, managing director of Nielsen Singapore, told the recent #Ready summit in Singapore.

There are major hurdles in the form of connectivity and security issues, he warned, but these are not insurmountable. (For more, read WARC’s report: How Asia’s brands can wise up on e-commerce.)

Clearly websites and apps have to be secure, fast and reliable. And “make the sales process convenient and easy, so you don’t drop your connection halfway through your sales process,” Vrancken advised.

Beyond such technical considerations, some categories perform especially well across APAC, including fashion and travel, while both fresh and packaged groceries also outperform the global average.

“It’s a recurring story whereby we see APAC leading the way,” said Vrancken.

He recommended companies think about product evolution through slow purchase cycle products such as skin care, bulky products such as toilet tissue, and regular repeat products such as coffee.

From there, they can then build through making premium, niche or out-of-country products available on online platforms for uniqueness. Finally, they can also look at providing fresh produce platforms to virtually assess quality and freshness.

While APAC consumers have taken to e-commerce, “what’s interesting to see is the need for omnichannel sources,” Vrancken added.

APAC consumers consult both traditional and digital channels before committing to an online purchase. “An omnichannel strategy is majorly important to convert more consumers to buy your brand and products,” he stressed.

Canny retailers can build out new digital experiences – both online and in store – to attract consumers who are keen to try new things. But key to this will be making it simpler and easier for them.

“Remove the barriers, whatever they are, depending on the markets you serve,” said Vracken.

Sourced from WARC