Current and Future Drivers of Asia Pacific Consumer Markets
Asia Pacific was the most economically resilient region in 2020 and is expected to lead global recovery in 2021, with real GDP growth of 71%, fastest of all regions, on the back of improved consumer and business confidence.
Understanding consumer values is critical in today’s consumer-centric world, more now than ever, as Coronavirus (COVID-19) has upended many traditional habits. Euromonitor has identified Digital Living, Rethink Wellness, Sustainable Living, Make My Life Easier, and Search for Experiences as the top five trends that are transforming consumer behaviour in Asia Pacific in the world beyond the pandemic.
Keeping up with these trends as they evolve will help businesses operating in Asia Pacific to identify where to invest, build on existing brand equity and create future resilience.
Asia Pacific enjoyed the strongest acceleration in e-commerce in 2020, recording the highest value sales compared to other regions, particularly through mobile commerce. Consumers in Asia Pacific have adapted quickly to shopping for items, placing an order for food, and using apps for health checks, which is rapidly leading to lifestyle changes. Digital living is now key to the customer journey in most industries. Across generations, Asian consumers are becoming familiar with advanced holistic high-tech platforms, superapp ecosystems and enhanced last-mile delivery solutions to create easier, smarter lives.
COVID-19 has heightened consumer focus on hygiene and safety in Asia Pacific. Demand for wellness has intensified with the advent of COVID-19, with consumers increasingly looking for functions enhancing physical and mental wellbeing from the everyday products they consume, while also taking a holistic health approach, such as having adequate sleep, physical activity and engaging in stress-relieving and anxiety-reducing activities. Demand for wellness will keep evolving as consumers adopt this holistic health and wellness concept, with key areas including preventative health, emotional wellness, hygiene consciousness and telehealth for businesses to keep an eye on.
COVID-19 highlighted the huge role that individual actions can play to make a difference to the world, with stay-at-home orders providing time to rethink consumption habits. Several Asian governments including those of Japan, South Korea and China, have taken measures to achieve the 2030 Global Sustainable Development Goals. Sustainable living has become a huge consideration in Asia Pacific, with consumers in different markets having different priorities and demands centring around this broad area. It is crucial for businesses operating in these markets to understand where to play in their respective markets.
Make My Life Easier
The disruption caused in people’s daily lives with Covid-19-related restrictions and home seclusion has led to an increase in daily, at-home occasions. Products and services with the added value of making consumers’ lives easier, better, and safer will continue to gain ground. Key themes identified across Asia Pacific include contactless retail, last mile reinvention, virtual hits mainstream, and personalisation. However, consumers across Asia Pacific show different perceptions towards convenience and technology due to different stages of digitalisation and technological development. It is crucial for businesses to reassess consumer groups and vary convenience strategies by national market and demographic.
Search For Experiences
Longer than anticipated periods of home isolation and pent up demand for out of home experiences have put hometainment at the heart of newly-formed routines and consumer habits in the Asia Pacific. As per Euromonitor’s Lifestyle Survey, developing economies in Asia Pacific indicate a high importance attached to spending money on experiences in 2021, offering significant opportunities for companies to provide experiential offerings. Improving the customers’ path to purchase, enhancing mobile presence, and creating a consistent brand experience across channels should be an immediate priority for all brands.
If you want to find out more about this topic please have a look at our report Themes Driving Asia Pacific Consumer Markets in the Next Decade.