The last few years have witnessed a massive shift in consumer behavior as mobile platforms have redefined the way we interact with the world around us. Today, more and more consumers are seeking out online content as they navigate their world, whether that’s shopping for a new pair of shoes or booking a manic or dental appointment.
Asia is one of the fastest-growing mobile markets in the world, and as the population becomes more active on social media channels, marketers should take note and adapt their strategies to keep up. Here are some of the top news stories from the Asian market in the past year.
E-commerce Continues To Rise
Looking back at 2018, it’s clear that online retail gained popularity as consumers sought convenience and speed in their Amazon explorations. According to research company eMarketer, online retail in the Asia-Pacific region is projected to grow at a healthy rate, reaching $136 billion by next year.
In China, online retail is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 23% between 2018 and 2022, reaching $128 billion. That’s compared to the global average of 18% and North America’s 16%.
More Consumers On Mobile
Mobile commerce accounts for more than half of all e-commerce sales today and is projected to rise to 67% by next year. Thanks to the increasing adoption of mobile platforms across the region, particularly in China, where more than 95% of the population uses a smartphone (up from 60% in 2017).
E-commerce platforms like WeChat and AliBaba have opened up new opportunities to reach consumers on mobile. In China, for example, people can use their WeChat Pay account to make purchases on WeChat-owned businesses’ platforms, while Alipay and WeChat’s proprietary gift cards allow users to shop on the go.
Shopping With Family
Last but not least, we come to the most popular article this year, and probably the most important trend to follow in 2019. The way we consumer is changing, the way we find content and the way we interact with businesses is evolving, and marketing campaigns focusing on families are going to become incredibly important. From a generation raised on WhatsApp to a society obsessed with TikTok and Instagram, online platforms have redefined how families and friends connect and stay in touch. This is a prime example of a trend that is going to sweep the region.
According to a 2018 report from the Global Retail Summit, almost half of all Gen Z consumers are expected to shop with their families alongside and occasionally instead of, their friends. While the study didn’t state it, this is probably the best indication that consumers are seeking out marketing campaigns designed around their needs.
These shoppers are commonly referred to as the “digital nomads,” and companies that want to target them should consider e-commerce as a potential growth opportunity. As mobile technology and the internet continue to evolve and improve, making transactions easier and more convenient, more consumers are going to turn to online shopping. What better way to reach this audience than via their smartphones?
Marketing In 2022: From GDPR To APAC
Looking ahead, the next few years promise to be even more exciting for marketers. As the world adapts to a digital sphere, with new regulations and guidelines popping up left and right, marketers need to continue adapting with the times to stay relevant and engage with audiences.
The regulation will affect how any business handles personal data from customers or potential customers throughout the world, not just those companies located in Europe. Essentially, GDPR gives customers more control over their personal data and how it’s being used by businesses, something that is bound to make a difference in how companies operate going forward.
The Asia-Pacific region is also stepping up with its own set of regulations. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, is currently drafting the Regional Internet and Mobile Economic Regulations, or RIMER for short. The draft rules aim to protect consumers’ personal data while promoting investment in the digital economy.
RIMER will have significant impact on how companies do business in the region, particularly on the internet. For example, the regulation will prevent companies from collecting personal data of consumers without their informed consent. If a company already has your personal data, it will have to be deleted or anonymized. RIMER will also establish a private legal area on the internet, where people can feel safe sharing their personal data.
The opportunity for digital nomads and others who frequent e-commerce platforms to shop is also going to increase. International consumers are going to have the choice of shopping in their local currency or in dollars, while the average consumer in a developing nation will still have to rely on the dollar to the same extent.
The world is shifting to the digital sphere, and as a marketer, it’s your job to stay ahead of the curve. In 2022, as consumers continue to flock to mobile platforms, you can bet that e-commerce is going to play a huge role in how you market your products.