Retailers in Asia Pacific are enduring declining growth, according to a new report by Deloitte Global.
The report attributes this to the digital behaviors and expectations of consumers that are evolving faster than retailers are delivering on those expectations.
This picture is not as dismal in other parts of the world as retailers in North America and Africa/Middle East are enjoying revenue growth.
Although all markets are moving toward widespread digital adoption, some are taking somewhat different routes. For instance, few emerging markets are entirely skipping adoption stages previously experienced by developed markets.
"In a recent Deloitte survey, it was found that Southeast Asia consumers appear to be particularly welcoming towards mobile in-store payments," said Eugene Ho, Consumer & Industrial Products leader at Deloitte Southeast Asia. "Nevertheless, while the majority of respondents are willing to use such payment solutions, they are hindered by the lack of availability of such solutions, as well as the complicated usage and slower processing times relative to cash or credit card."
Varying digital behaviour
Digital behavior is varied across geographies and it depends on demographic factors such as age and income, as well as on the product type being sought.
Consumers now demand better digital tools, and therefore digital tools and channels can both extend a retailer's reach and increase revenue.
However, customers are currently feeling unsatisfied by many retailers' current digital offerings.
"There is a gap between what consumers expect and what retailers are currently delivering in terms of the consumer's evolving desire to incorporate digital into their in-store shopping experience," said Vicky Eng, Deloitte Global Sector Leader, Retail. "Some retailers may underestimate the digital influence, while others recognize the real opportunity to capitalise on this digital divide."
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