Every so often we get the urge to hit the malls and do a little window-shopping. Often it is more of a social exercise than real shopping. However, the overall retail industry is continuing to grow as it is going through changes and evolving to take advantage of the consumer change.

The way consumers shop today is different compared to just two-three years ago. There is an industry-wide change in consumer behaviour, penetration of smartphones and an increase in buying power as well. This is helping in boosting growth for the industry worldwide.

According to a Mordor Intelligence report, in 2017, the global retail industry was valued at $23.5 billion. It is also projected to register a CAGR of 5.3 per cent between 2018 – 2023 and is expected to touch $31.8 billion by 2023.

Southeast Asia’s online retail market is blowing up at the moment

silhoutte of three persons near billboard

However, retailers in Southeast Asia need to keep up with the changes and trends in order to keep with the growing industry. Here are some of the trends we see coming.

The future is personalisation

Soon retail is going to all about personalisation for the consumer and the industry is doing their best to keep up consumer demand for personalised experiences.

Because personalisation replicates the experience of going to the mall or favourite store, consumers want that and the convenience of greater selection and location. The advent of technology like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning has helped improve the ability to personalise and also maintain this growth at scale.

Technology is driving change

We are seeing the boom of the technological era right now that rivals the industrial age and retail is being disrupted on a daily basis. For example, voice recognition is emerging to be one of the most powerful tools in the retail industry.

Beyond voice, the emergence of technologies like artificial intelligence, robotics and internet of thing (IoT) has also become potential areas of expertise that the retail industry has to take advantage of to succeed.

These are impacting distribution and logistics, prediction of consumer behaviour and data analytics. The biggest threat to retailers is not being able to keep up with the change and being left behind.

Global companies have to become local

woman wearing green crew-neck blouse standing near white wooden cabinet

We’ve noticed another emerging trend in the industry, which is localisation. Brands and retailers are starting to study and understand each local market allowing curation according to local tastes and requirements. This is fueled by the data-driven insights from startups like Omnistream and is helping retail continue to grow in these markets. 

Omnichannel is the new norm

Omnichannel is one of the most spoken about the trend in the market and for good reason. Digital-native retailers and traditional retailers are both investing in cross-channel because it is showing strong results.

Consumers no longer want to just go to a shop or look online, they are looking for options and omnichannel retail is a must-have for the new retail industry.