Market research company Nielsen recently published insights about Asia’s retail landscape during the digital disruption. Two words were consistently used: ‘change’ and ‘uncertainty’.

How have the last five years affected Asian consumers, and in turn, retail performance?

1. Increasingly comfortable consumers

Almost three out of four Asia Pacific consumers believe they are financially comfortable enough to buy things because they want them. This correlates with the upgrade in everyday items, where Asian consumers are choosing more premium versions of daily necessities like milk and shampoo.

Asia Pacific benefits from vast opportunities within its own borders. This is a region with burgeoning population growth, a predominantly young workforce, improving living standards and a growing middle class with an increasing desire to spend.

Two out of three consumers across the region feel they are better off than they were five years ago, the global average is 55%.

2. More access to technology and products 

61% of consumers in Asia Pacific cite ‘improved technology’ as the key service they didn’t have access to five years ago.

More premium products, broader assortment and better technology are the key factors that have driven ecommerce forward in the region.

Access to better technology, increasing internet penetration and the rise of different online platforms mean that consumers in Asia Pacific constantly have new ways to shop, to interact with each other, and are always accessible.

37% of respondents from Asia Pacific also cite “better retail formats” as something new that did not exist five years prior.

Very simply, Southeast Asians are more financially stable than five years ago, have more access to a variety of products and technology that enables them to live comfortably. This has resulted in the much-discussed ‘ecommerce boom‘ and will continue to allow the online retail industry to flourish.

This is also the first time Nielsen has included a portion of survey results from consumers in Myanmar, an indication that the country’s developing economy will play a more significant role in Southeast Asia’s growth as a retail market to look out for. For more on Myanmar, read eIQ Insights on the country’s ecommerce potential here.


Survey results included in this article were originally published on Nielsen.

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