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Marketing Featured East Asia

What are the latest e-commerce trends among shoppers in China?

Beijing, China – With China becoming more and more open to exploring new trends and strategies within the retail and commerce market, Asia-Pacific and Western brands ought to take better attention in order to succeed in tapping the Chinese consumer market, a new report from Wunderman Thompson Intelligence shows.

Citing data from market research firm eMarketer, who notes that 52% of total retail sales globally originate from China, the report unveils how China is ‘opening’ itself to the world in terms of commerce. For Chen May Yee, APAC director for Wunderman Thompson Intelligence, Chinese tech giants and global brands alike are trying new ideas first in cities like Shenzhen, from where they spread across China and its borders, hence no global brand can afford not to pay attention. 

Statistics-wise, 27% of Chinese consumers shop online four to six times a week, compared with 19% of Indians, 14% of Thais, 12% of Australians and 11% of Indonesians. Despite the regularity, 9% of Indian consumers say they shop online every day, compared to 7% in China.

In terms of spending power, Chinese consumers are willing to spend the most on online purchases, averaging to US$1,507 though Australia is not far behind, with an average of US$1,177.

While there has been a significant rise of the Gen Z demographic in the consumer space, the older generation are not to forget as well. China’s seniors are the last untapped demographic when it comes to commerce, but not for long. Post pandemic, 81% of Chinese consumers that are aged over 55 years old are now more comfortable using digital technology.

The report also notes that the pandemic and accompanying lockdowns have pushed record numbers online, often through sheer necessity when shops were shut down. This is evident by the fact that even in China, which already boasted a high level of digital literacy before the pandemic, 62% state that they have become more comfortable using digital technology post-pandemic.

In China, the country that created the mega-influencer capable of moving millions of dollars of merchandise in a single livestream, a degree of influencer fatigue is setting in. About 24% of Chinese say friends and family are now their biggest influence on buying decisions, versus 16% who cite social media influencers and 4% who say celebrities. In China, some online marketers are tapping into this shift by promoting friend recommendations, micro-influencers and peer-to-peer networks.

The report also notes that the Chinese market has pioneered various strategies and new demographics to tap into, including launching of live commerce as well as venturing into the gamer market, where eight in ten among Chinese respondents are playing games on mobile phones. Surprisingly, 91% of respondents who are over 55 years old say they do gaming as well on mobile.

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Platforms Featured APAC

APAC ad investment projected to grow significantly to 6.3% by 2022

Singapore – Despite the decline in the advertising industry last year due to the pandemic, it proved to be less severe as they continued to roll out into this year, as new findings from advertising company dentsu projects the industry to see significant growth by 2022 at a rate of 6.3%, including within the Asia-Pacific region.

While 2020 remains the weakest performing year since the global financial crisis, the decline in growth has been raised since dentsu’s January 2021 forecast from -8.0% to -5.2%. In 2021, the market is seeing an 8.0% growth recovery, an improvement of 2.1% points on January’s prediction. Looking to 2022, recovery is set to continue when spending is likely to reach US$243.6b.

The forecasted growth of the advertising industry is highly attributed to the increase in ad spending among brands agencies, both regionally and globally.

According to the report, ad spend in APAC is expected to grow by 8.0% or US$17b to US$229b. In the region, Australia and India are forecasting particularly high growth rates in 2021, with 2021 growth expected to exceed pre-pandemic levels in China.

The report also noted that in APAC, the 6.2% rise in digital spend last year is forecast to grow by 12.8% in 2021 to reach US$124.5b, representing a 54% share of total ad spend globally. Forecasts for social and video will increase by 33.4% and 10.8% respectively, as well as within the search advertising space, targeted at a 7.8% increase, therefore reaching digital spend to US$23.1b in 2021.

With restrictions lifted on social activity, out-of-home (OOH) advertising will see a bounce back post impact of the pandemic, rising 7.5% in 2021 in the region. Cinema has a slightly longer recovery, with a decline to 5.0% in 2021, yet expected to bounce back in 2022. Radio will also see growth by 4.3% in 2021.

Regional live events such Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics Games have continued to be a significant driver of growth in linear TV ad spend in APAC, which has noted 3.9% increase in 2021 to reach US$59.2b. Data suggests a shift towards connected TV (CTV) and over-the-top (OTT) media and audiences moving more towards digital media consumption mean linear TV spend will remain below pre-pandemic levels until beyond 2021.

“It is promising to see a return to growth in the APAC region with two of our markets in the top five contributors of ad spend growth; China and Japan. While China continues to see strong levels of growth driven by digital and OOH, Japan’s growth will be buoyed by events like the 2020 Olympic & Paralympic Games, and the House of Representative elections [in Japan] and the advertising spend associated with it, particularly in TV,” said Ashish Bhasin, CEO for APAC at dentsu international.

He also added that Australia and India are two of the top year-on-year growth markets, forecasting a surge in ad spend. 

“Australia has had a stronger economic recovery after the pandemic particularly in TV and Digital where the government focused much of their COVID-related campaigns, while India is expected to see a resurgence in Digital advertising spend though TV is still the main contributor with a 40.9% share,” Bhasin added.

Meanwhile, Prerna Mehrotra, CEO for media in APAC at dentsu international and managing director for media in Singapore at dentsu, commented that they are optimistic that the region will bounce back to positive growth in ad spend, with some channels likely boosted higher than pre-pandemic levels. She also noted that the main driver behind the growth is economic recovery, with the APAC GDP set to increase by 7.3%, and a stronger-than-ever push to digital marketing.

“Serving as a stimulus the pandemic has accelerated digital adoption. Digital media will continue to drive ad revenue growth this year with a strong performance in social (+33.4%) and video (+10.8%) and the majority of spends in mobile. We will also see more investments diverted towards addressable and the digitalization of OOH channels,” Mehrotra stated.

She added, “Programmatic DOOH will also be a key growth driver in the future. With the growing numbers of supply-side platforms (SSPs) and demand-side platform (DSPs) partnerships and increasing demand for location-based solutions to ad-reaching consumers in these times of uncertainty, advertisers will benefit from the speed, flexibility and targeting capability that the medium will provide.”

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Platforms Featured APAC

One in four of APAC consumers on the hunt for new finserv providers

Singapore – As the financial services industry in the Asia-Pacific region has reached maturity and high adaptability, around 22% of consumers in the region are stating that they eye switch financial service providers, with 48% of the respondents saying that they are inclined to use digital banks instead, new data from experience management (XM) company Qualtrics shows.

According to their latest report, 25% of those aged under 40 and 21% of 41-50 year olds say they plan to change who they bank with over the next year. In contrast, just 14% of people aged over 50 plan to switch banking providers. Similar results are seen in insurance, as 29% of people aged under 40 are likely to switch, compared to 27% of 41-50 year olds with20% of those aged over 50.

Qualtrics notes that the product and customer experience consistently ranked in the top reasons driving trust in providers, and the reasons for choosing digital-only offerings. Alongside competitive rates and brand perception, the quality of the mobile app and website, products, and customer service are also some of the top factors driving trust in the industry. 

In addition, consumers said they were opting for digital-only offerings for better customer experience, lower fees and charges, flexible products, higher returns, and more personalization.

“While Asia Pacific is a hotbed of innovation and opportunity for financial service providers – from traditional players through to emerging fintechs – what’s clear from our research is that share of wallet is dependent on the quality of the physical and digital experiences provided. Consumers are actively hunting for products, services, and engagements tailored for their rapidly changing needs and preferences,” said Harish Agarwal, head of customer experience solutions and strategy for Qualtrics in Southeast Asia, India, and Greater China.

He added that this means organizations that are able to quickly listen, understand, and act on customer feedback will have a significant advantage.

The report also stated that despite two-thirds of respondents saying they were satisfied with their banking provider (68% of respondents) and health/life insurer (65% of respondents), a significant portion of consumers are still looking to switch, as 22% are planning to change who they bank with, and 27% are looking to change their insurance provider.

Regarding service feedback, around 69% of respondents said it was very important their provider captures ongoing feedback from them regarding products and services – and that most especially, feedback is acted on. Meanwhile, 48% of respondents said it was unlikely they’d purchase from a provider in the future if the organization failed to respond to their feedback.

Consumers are also moving away from traditional providers when it comes to investing, with 73% saying they adopted digital channels to meet their needs, such as online brokers, fintech apps, and digital wealth management solutions. Younger consumers are consistently the most willing to engage non-traditional providers.

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Skincare top health priority among SG Gen Z’s, report shows

Singapore – In the wake of the pandemic, there is no doubt that people are showing unprecedented concern over their health. Within ‘health’ meanwhile, we’re looking at a variety of areas and for the Gen Z demographic in Singapore, specifically, there has been a heightened interest in skincare at the farther period of the pandemic, a report from communications agency DeVries Global shows.

With more than a year into COVID-19, skincare has now emerged to be top-of-mind. The report notes an uptick in skincare consumption among Gen Z’s in Singapore, with 84% of the respondents saying they care for such endeavors. Demographic-wise, 67% of the total female respondents and 57% of the total male respondents consider skincare as an integral part of overall health.

In addition, over 80% of the respondents say that they would consider switching skincare brands if it’s proven to improve their skincare health. Meanwhile, for those who refuse to switch, the reason boils down to three factors: satisfaction with their current brand, competitor brand’s price, and personal concerns on whether the competitor brand will work for them.

In order to convince consumers to switch from their current brand to another, the report’s data showed they would need to be recommended by health professionals (287 respondents), reviewed positively by other customers (280 respondents), and should carry scientific study results (211 respondents).

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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

SEA report says e-commerce, retail, D2C consumers engage with brands on web more than mobile

Singapore – As the industries of retail, banking and finance, and digital entertainment become more and more active, these industries have ramped up their personalized customer engagement across their target users in Southeast Asia, as a new report from customer engagement company MoEngage shows.

According to the report, daily active users (DAUs) of e-commerce, retail and D2C brands increased by 13.36% in the first four months of 2021. When studying the monthly active user (MAU) trends of the same brands, web MAUs had increased the highest (by 8.7%) compared to mobile. 

The report notes that such activity is recorded most likely due to pandemic movement restrictions and shoppers working from home, as opposed to shopping via mobile on the go.

As the report targeted three main channels in their report namely push notifications, email, in-app messages, and website messages; they found out that push notifications that used behavioral attributes with an added layer of personalization from shopping brands saw deliverability of up to 85.67% and campaign conversions increased to over 27%.

There has been an increase of 54.9% in the number of DAUs across all digital banking, fintech, peer-to-peer (P2P) lending, insurance, and cryptocurrency platforms during the first four months of 2021.

In terms of email click-throughs, it saw better click-through rates and conversion across all industries as compared to the generic ones: open rates of emails from shopping brands went up to 28.17% and the 0.5% of emails that were behavior-based in the digital entertainment sector saw 2.4 times better click rate, while in banking, behavior-based emails boosted conversions by 2.72 times compared to generic broadcasts.

Finally, the report noted that digital media and entertainment brands using custom user segments based on behavioral and user attributes to send in-app messages to Android users saw twice the increase in click-through rates and conversion rate of up to 50.05% as compared to sending the same message to all users.

“Consumer behavior in Southeast Asia has changed rapidly over the last year, and digital adoption across industries has accelerated during the pandemic period. We’re pleased to provide organizations globally with a holistic view of how their current and prospective customers are behaving and guide them through their insights-led customer engagement and business growth journey,” according to Saurabh Madan, GM for SEA and ANZ at MoEngage.

The report concludes by stating that the findings demonstrate the importance of closely analyzing consumer behavior across every critical channel and developing both proactive and reactive outreach in association with these insights.

“Laser-focus on this [customer engagement] establishes customer-centricity, ensuring that brands meet and exceed the expectations of their customers and boost long-term loyalty and repeat business,” the report added.

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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

New report shows PH esports still grasping for mainstream success amid rising popularity

Manila, Philippines – While the esports scene industry in the Philippines has been thriving, thanks to a combination of local area network (LAN) gaming centers or more known as ‘computer shops’ and mobile gaming accessibility, the industry has seen its fair share of struggles maintaining mainstream focus, a new report from strategic advisory firm YCP Solidiance shows.

According to the report, the local industry has yet to prove that esports titles hold a lifespan long enough to support professional players’ careers, unlike traditional sports that have a long-proven history of consistent returns and established fan support. In contrast, international leagues such as The Overwatch League and League of Legends: League Championship Series have successfully proven their success in other countries, paving ways for a profitable future for the Philippine esports market.

On the other hand, while these esports tournaments have yet to see themselves ‘ripen’ in the local scene, the esports industry in the Philippines currently has over 43 million active gamers, a number growing steadily by 12.9% yearly since 2017. The country’s most played game, Mobile Legends, reached a whopping peak of 2.65 million active users daily (from data by the Google Play store in April 2019), and has shown consistent growth at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9%.

The report also suggests that in order for the esports industry to thrive in the country, they need to combine three elements: content, packaging, and accessibility. In the case of establishing an esports league tournament in the country, for instance, the Mobile Legends Professional League (MPL) in the Philippines, they have one of the highest levels of Mobile Legends competitive play that is accessible today in the country.

“Even better is that it shows a marked improvement, exponentially growing the viewership number from the previous seasons, and a growing loyalty amongst its viewers as seen with the returning support after multiple editions of the tournament. Though more outside investments and direct sponsorship support is not yet prevalent, it stands to reason that future editions of the tournament will very likely catch the eye of many non-endemic sponsors,” the report stated.

They added that at the end of the day, it is a ‘delicate balancing act’ that requires concrete efforts on all ends to make sure all bases are covered. Such efforts require considerable investments, but when these are done right, successes such as the one Mobile Legends has shown is a definite possibility. 

“Especially now that Mobile Legends’ success along the way is converting many nonparticipants of esports into potential audiences of tomorrow, the esports industry in the Philippines has never looked more approachable and primed to succeed in the coming years,” the report concluded.

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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Indonesia, rising powerhouse of mobile gaming in SEA: report

Singapore – Pandemic-driven ‘shelter in place’ advisories have pushed the greater majority of Indonesians to try mobile gaming for the first time, making them the new ‘powerhouse’ of said industry, a new report from marketing cloud company InMobi shows.

According to their latest report, over 80% of Indonesian gamers are ‘committed’ as they play once to several times a day, with the 35-44 years old bracket coming out with the highest overall percentage of committed gamers. The gamer demographic is split nearly equally between females and males.

Furthermore, the report also found out that 46% of their Indonesian respondents stated that it is their first time venturing into mobile gaming in general.

In terms of frequency in installing mobile game applications, about 54% of Indonesian respondents have three or more games installed, and 46% of committed gamers download games several times a week. Around 24% of respondents spend over an hour gaming, while the average mobile gamer spends an 11-30 minute ‘snack-sized’ playtime per session.

Rishi Bedi, general manager and vice president of Southeast Asia, Japan, and Korea at InMobi, notes that Indonesia has demonstrated that significant growth potential for mobile gaming in the region was seen due to better accessibility and affordability, as well as the rising demand for ‘snack-sized’ entertainment.

“Gaming is among the biggest opportunities for advertisers across Southeast Asia today. What it provides is not just huge reach, but the ability to access an audience that is highly engaged and receptive to ads in an environment that is completely brand safe and impactful. This, in combination with the richness of mobile, ensures that every brand can drive relevant ad experiences at scale,” Bedi stated.

The report also found that Indonesian gamers are familiar with and receptive to ads during gameplay, with over two-thirds of respondents preferring to watch ads to progress in games instead of paying. At least 62% remembered the ads they had seen when playing mobile games because it catered to their interests, was immersive, or provided them with in-game rewards. 

Within the wider Southeast Asian market, smartphone gaming experienced triple growth in the region during initial lockdowns in April 2020. This also translated into a long-term behavioral shift beyond the pandemic as gaming usage more than doubled year-over-year on average since January 2020 – a significant register as Southeast Asia is home to 250 million mobile gamers.

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Marketing Featured East Asia

Improved retail service top factor of Taiwanese’s high likability towards FMCG brands: study

Taipei, Taiwan – The fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) scene in Taiwan has been majorly dominated by local-grown brands, with a greater inclination to dairy products and beverages, the latest data from Kantar’s Brand Footprint report shows.

Leading the list is homegrown brand I-Mei Foods, a well-known milk processor company in the country; followed by Kuang Chuan, another milk brand; and Fresh Delight, a beverage company. Coming up next on the list is local food production company Uni-President, dairy company Wei Chuan Lin Feng Yin, and dairy brand Chui Sui, which is part of the Uni-President company group.

Only two global brands made it as the top FMCG brand choice among Taiwanese, which includes Quakers, Kirkland Signature.

Such high preference to local brands, according to Kantar, can be largely attributed to the rise of retailers in the digital age in Taiwan, and coincidentally the top-three choice brands are well-known retailer staples. According to them, retailers drove growth in consumer purchases via a digital approach – apps, payments and CRM to link the consumer journey. This demonstrates that private labels are now able to meet consumers’ expectations and get the balance between quality and price right. In 2020 they were able to recruit and drive repeat purchases.

Uni-President’s beverage lineup CH’UN CHI CHA ranked as the top beverage brand choice in Taiwan, followed by local beverage brand Hey Song and Super Supau. Global beverage brand Coca-Cola followed suit, then Vitalon Ochaen, a tea beverage brand.

In terms of dairy and dairy substitute products, Kuang Chuan takes the lead, followed by I Mei and Fresh Delight. This is then followed by Wei Chuan Lin Feng Yin and Uni-President’s Chui Sui.

Kantar notes that the reason why Coca-Cola managed to be alongside local brands is due to Coca-Cola’s campaign in 2020 focusing on Taiwan’s cities using local languages to build strong engagement with consumers. 

I Mei also takes the lead in the food category ranking, followed by frozen foods manufacturer Laurel and food brand Uni-President, as well as potato chip brand Lay’s and local food brand TAI SUN.

In the health and beauty category, women sanitary brand Sofy takes the lead, followed by global sanitary brand Kotex and beauty brand Carnation (KNH). Toothpaste brand Darlie follows the list, and global hygiene brand Colgate. For the homecare category, on the other hand, global tissue brand Kleenex tops the list, followed by local tissue brand Andante and De Yi. 

“Brands won through agile adoption and disruption, catering to the growing demand for convenience and by accelerating innovation to win new consumers. In an era driven by data, Kantar is uniquely placed to connect the dots through the consumer journey and link everything back to real purchases to uncover your next growth opportunity,” said Jason Yu, managing director for Greater China Worldpanel Division.

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Marketing Featured East Asia

Latest report unveils exponential growth of on-demand consumption among Chinese consumers

Beijing, China – As consumers are now migrating to online channels to respond to their daily shopping needs, the greater specificity of Chinese consumers patronizing e-commerce channels for their shopping needs have risen exponentially, with a greater interest in hyper-local e-commerce providers, a new joint report by Chinese e-commerce JD.com and Dada Group shows.

In their latest report, they state that on-demand consumption among Chinese online shoppers is here to stay, noting that fresh food is, by far, the largest segment of the on-demand delivery, accounting for 70% of daily consumption among the report respondents. Other areas have shown exponential growth in on-demand consumption this year, such as dairy (+120%), personal hygiene (+114%), snacks (91%), and maternity/baby care (90%).

Consumer-wise, millennials are still the most prevalent consumer group, making up 50% of the on-demand economy, with female consumers born after 1980 as the most dominant consumers, representing 67% of the on-demand market. That said, the market is attracting an increasingly diverse group of consumers, by both age and region. 

On other demographic factors, the report details how the number of male consumers has jumped by to 33% in 2021, up from 25% in 2018, while the proportion of middle-aged and elderly users who are more than 40 years old has increased to 28% in two years, up from 22% in 2019. 

Driven by easing lockdowns and an increasing focus on connecting people with a wider array of products, post-pandemic on-demand consumption in China has experienced a shift from households (74%) to workplaces (8%) and educational institutions (3%), which is further extending to recreational venues, including fairgrounds, tourist hotspots, and parks. 

There is also significant demand for 24/7 on-demand services, and those businesses serving late-night, usually at 12 am to 2 am, customers are reaping the benefits from a new wave of customers who want reliable delivery service outside of traditional business hours.

“China is leading the way in omnichannel retailing. A new wave of transformational change of omnichannel retailing is underway, fuelled by the integration between traditional e-commerce, offline retailers, and on-demand retail platforms to meet the customer demands for a more diversified shopping experience. In the era of hyperlocal e-commerce, one-hour delivery has become the new normal and it is quickly emerging as a major channel for supermarkets and grocery chains to win business,” both companies said in a press statement.

Huijian He, vice president at Dada Group stated that the unprecedented growth of China’s on-demand economy in recent years, particularly its accelerated momentum through COVID, is revolutionizing consumer behavior across China. He also added that the rise of on-demand, hyperlocal one-hour delivery of goods, has transformed the retail industry and increased consumers’ expectations for a best-in-class shopping experience.

“With significant consumer demand in first- and second-tier cities, and large and rapidly growing demand in lower-tier cities, retailers, on-demand retail platforms and delivery services are increasingly competing for higher speed, flexibility and convenience across the on-demand economy,” He stated.

Meanwhile, Hui Liu, chief data officer at the JD Big Data Research Institute, commented, “We look forward to leveraging this data to continue to drive innovation across our platform as we deliver the speed, flexibility and convenience that consumers are increasingly demanding and realize the numerous growth opportunities in China’s on-demand economy.”

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Marketing Featured East Asia

About 73% of Greater Bay Area retailers applying localized digital strategies: report

Hong Kong – As more and more consumers are embracing an online-to-offline (O2O) approach to the retail industry, a greater majority of retailers across Hong Kong and nine key cities in Mainland China, known as the ‘Greater Bay Area’ (GBA), are keeping in mind the importance of digital strategies to their business, specifically in the local setting, a new report from consulting firm KPMG, in partnership with the Hong Kong arm of business communication non-profit GS1, and financial institution HSBC shows.

In its latest report, they note that 73% of GBA retailers are implementing localized forms of their retail digital strategies, keeping in mind that they are increasing their use of both direct-to-consumer e-commerce and third-party e-commerce platforms.

The most common business functions for which 43% of surveyed retailers are implementing a GBA strategy are sales and marketing and communications, as companies look to attract customers in the mainland China market. Thirty percent of those retailers polled are developing a GBA programme for fulfilment, logistics, operations or supply chain management.

Consumer-wise, one in two (50%) of Hong Kong consumers said they felt more comfortable about shopping online since the start of the pandemic, not far behind the 59% of respondents from the nine mainland China GBA cities surveyed. Tellingly, 24% of Hong Kong consumers and 23% of those in the mainland GBA cities say they could live without physical retail stores.

The greater force that the report notes as game-changer for the modern retailer is the choice of Gen Z consumers towards online shopping, as 73% of Gen Z consumers in Hong Kong and 86% in mainland GBA cities expecting a swift response to product enquiries logged on online chat, and expecting brands to use tech including AI to help shortlist new products. 

They also expect augmented reality (AR) functions to help them make better purchases online, with 61% in Hong Kong, and 82% in mainland GBA cities. The research also shows Gen Z consumers prefer contactless shopping (60% in Hong Kong and 77% in mainland GBA cities). Around 76% of retailers surveyed are adopting at least one type of Gen Z-specific strategy.

In the mid of the rising population of shoppers moving towards online, GBA retailers need to act fast to respond to the consumers’ O2O needs. The research shows a vast gap between customer expectations and what retailers are delivering, with 77% of Hong Kong and 85% of mainland respondents in the GBA indicating that retailers need to have a better connection between channels and create a seamless customer journey. Among retail executives that were surveyed on their actions to enhance customer experience, only 39% of businesses were currently focusing on the integration between physical stores and online, suggesting a significant gap in retailers’ O2O propositions.

Alice Yip, partner at head of consumer and industrial markets for Hong Kong at KPMG China, notes that these results cement the fact that more consumers are buying more online than ever before, and the retail brands who have best survived this rapid transition are those who have proven agile in their response to the growing demand for digital engagement.

“Hong Kong and mainland China GBA retailers are already implementing strategies for regional growth across the region while also looking to expand into Southeast Asia, with industry leaders emphasising the need for adequate localisation of products, services and marketing approaches to attract the growing pool of digital-savvy consumers,” Yip stated.

For Anna Lin, CEO at GS1, she explains that consumers expect a seamless transition from an in-store experience to an online experience. She added that consumers also want to engage with brands across social media and other digital media and they expect brands to use technology to improve customer service, ease of payments, flexible delivery options and convenient returns.

This is also agreed by Lewis Sun, head of product management for global liquidity and cash management for Asia Pacific at HSBC, who commented, “In order to deliver a seamless customer journey, more retailers in the Greater Bay Area are looking for a single platform that can take payments from multiple channels – from credit cards, bank transfers to e-wallets.”

As retailers and brands develop more complex digital channels and deploy new technologies, sourcing, upskilling and reskilling talent to build a future-ready workforce will be a key priority for retailers in navigating the new normal and capturing growth opportunities. With technical areas such as IT and systems support (38%), data analytics (35%), and research & development (31%) identified as top areas demanding more workforce, professional development programs as well as talent exchange within the GBA will provide opportunities to fill the gaps.