From robotics to food delivery to education technology, we’ve covered startups that are changing their industry through technology or just passion and strong business models. We reached out to entrepreneurs to find out what they expect to be the next big thing for their industry.

We spoke to David Wong from Deemples and Gabriele Fadda from SmartBite to find out their predictions.

To conclude this series, we find out what we can expect from the ICT industry in general from SilverStreet Chief Commercial Office, Eric Dadoun. A serial entrepreneur, Eric is helping Silverstreet expand their businesses across Asia, which includes omnichannel communication, chatbots and security authentication.

Also sharing his thoughts is Thomas Greysson, Executive Vice President at Omnistream. This retail startup has taken the region by storm and focuses on emerging markets to create efficient retail strategies and data-driven solutions for the at-risk retail stores.

What can we expect from the ICT industry?

Erid Dadoun profile
Eric Dadoun, CCO of Silverstreet

Silverstreet has been a strong presence in the tech market in Southeast Asia for the last 20 years, with established messaging solutions and new forays into omni-channel communication, chatbots and security authentication. We spoke to Eric about his plans for Silverstreet and specifically Twizo, to find out what else can we expect from this technology powerhouse.

Find out his predictions from 2019.

We expect to see increasingly large efforts to lower the barriers for consumers to engage with their service providers and enterprises of choice. As consumers, we have plenty of options today in terms of how we seek out information from service providers. However, in a lot of these cases, these various options are plagued by friction and a lack of clarity. In our increasingly digital and fast-paced world, we as consumers are going to become more demanding in terms of our expectations. Frankly put, we want information now and we want it as quickly, as easily and with as little interruption as possible.

We expect service providers and enterprises to work towards interoperability of platforms and communication flows that will allow us, consumers, to access their brand and message regardless of where we exist in the digital space. In the same way that an individual can receive and view an email, regardless of whether they use Gmail, Yahoo, ProtonMail or other similar platforms, we expect brand messaging and communication to work the same way across the various chat platforms we engage with today.

What can we expect from the retail industry?

Thomas Greysson
Thomas Greysson, Executive Vice President of Omnistream

Formerly from Ernest and Young (EY), Thomas is bringing his decades of experience to Omnistream. By focusing on measurable outcomes and building their business model around profit increases, Omnistream is changing the retail space and also disrupting the consultancy model. We spoke to the Founder and CEO, Wendy Chen earlier to find out her vision for retail and Omnistream.

Find out his predictions for retail in 2019.

The retail industry is in the midst of change driven by the continued explosion of data. Data is being generated at an exponential rate from various sources. This includes eCommerce (in all its forms including pure-play, marketplaces and concierge services), supply chain, which is becoming ever more sophisticated especially when it comes to last mile delivery, loyalty (internal retailer programs) and loyalty coalition programs (external programs serving multiple retailers), as well as, retailers acting as distributors (supplying smaller retailers, or serving as collection points for other retailers, predominantly online ones). All this data drives the ability to provide continued consumer orientated solutions, which are not optional in today’s market, but are more and more becoming expected.

In 2019, the consumer expectations will vary from one market to another with consumers being more discerning in developed markets. However, the overriding message will be that consumers will be looking for increased levels of the shopping experience. So, how do we define customer experience? In its simplest form, customer experience means that the customer gets what they want, and dare I say, what they expect. This means that the products that the customer believes will be there, will be there. Availability is key. To be honest, it has always been that way and this applies to online retailers just as much as brick and mortar! Availability will become more critical in developing markets as more and more stores open their doors and consumers will have a greater choice (of retailers). The second part of availability is making sure that the product offering is correct in every store! Retailers are not going to get away with ranging products just because suppliers have paid for them to be there. The product range will need to be consumer-centric and consumers’ needs, wants and motivations vary from store to store. The final part of customer experience is more about driving customer satisfaction through excitement. Customers like to see things in stores (again, both online and offline) that they did not expect. This can be a new product offering that is truly unique (not just another flavour variant, or pack size; statistics say that the most successful suppliers generate at least 12% of their annual turnover from truly new products), a new form of promotion and most importantly consumers in 2019 will expect more individual services. This means that retailers, with all the available data, will need to treat their consumers as individuals and communicating the individual products, services and promotions directly to each consumer, be it via email, SMS or through the loyalty programs.

So the consumer trend in 2019 and beyond will be getting the right products and services, in the right places, at the right time, to the right consumer. In a way, it seems like we are going back to basics; going back to a time when we have small grocery stores whereby the store manager knew us by name and knew what we were looking for, even if we didn’t know it at the time. The difference in 2019 is that the age of mum and pop shops is slowly disappearing and the advent of big retailers and big data is becoming more prevalent, but with that, we cannot forget that consumer expectations are not that much different today from what they were before.