It's boom time for e-commerce events in new age of retail

With online shopping showing few signs of slowing down, exhibitions are also capitalising on the e-commerce boom.

In the age of "faceless retail", the e-commerce boom is propelled by the popularity of digital wallets and mobile "super apps."
In the age of "faceless retail", the e-commerce boom is propelled by the popularity of digital wallets and mobile "super apps." Photo Credit: GettyImages/oatawa

Global e-commerce, which enjoyed a surge during the pandemic, continues to be a booming sector in Asia.

NielsenIQ 2022 data shows that e-commerce accounts for nearly 20% of FMCG sales in Asia Pacific, and that it is the second biggest retail channel in South Korea and China. More than 30% of FMCG sales are made through e-commerce and the sector in both countries and the rest of Asia is being driven by the rise in digital wallets and super apps - so-called one-stop-shops that include a wide range of virtual products and services. Examples include PayNow and Paylah! in Singapore, Gcash in the Philippines, and China’s WeChat Wallet and Quick Money as well as AliPay.

Asia’s retail landscape differ region to region, according to a December 2021 report from Kantar focused on the factors transformingIt. It said: “Retailers in North Asia need to augment their brick and clicks offer to meet the needs of different shopper segments and habits. In Southeast Asia, online marketplaces or retailers need to focus on expanding reach to connect with rural, lower income shoppers.”

Kantar identified beauty and personal care items as products that shoppers buy most online, especially facial care products such as moisturisers and make-up .

The recent Etail Asia 2022 event, which returned to Singapore for the first time in two years in June, focused on how Southeast Asia is leading digital transformation in the Asia-Pacific region, with e-commerce sales growing at a rapid pace.

This, in turn, fuels digital payments and paves the way for cross-border solutions within the region, with some having already been announced. In December, Singapore and South Korea finalised plans on a digital economy agreement, with both nations joining forces across several areas, including cross-border online payments.

The future of retail

Singapore will host eCommerce Expo Asia, the region’s largest e-commerce event, on 12-13 October at Marina Bay Sands. Topics under discussion will include cross-border e-commerce, how consumers’ shopping behaviours are changing, with an expectation of more immersive, personalised experiences, and how to reinforce a sense of loyalty in the age of "faceless retail".

Meanwhile, the latest retail technology will be on show at Retail Asia Conference & Expo, taking place from 6-8 September at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.