Retailers present in Southeast Asian countries are going to witness the year 2019 as a profitable year if they adopt digital technologies, take advantage of consumer trends and follow responsible business practices. Voice technology, a subset of Artificial Intelligence (AI) can help retailers have real-time conversations with consumers. Analyzing the discussion with the consumer, the Chatbot can learn what consumers want and later push products and promotions that suit their needs. Voice technology can answer queries faster and more precise, stimulate impulse purchasing, and promise to deliver more personalized experiences.
Siam Commercial Bank has embraced digital technologies in the form of QR codes that eases the process of paying bills. People migrating to digital platforms will not be the downfall of the malls and supermarkets because, in countries like Thailand, people enjoy visiting shopping malls for social reasons. To attract foot traffic and increase purchases, retailers need to provide exciting experiences that tell a story that reflects the brand message. This new metric is called experience per square foot according to KPMG’s annual report. Consumers always look for a unique shopping experience, and the retailers who can cash in on the opportunity will be successful.
Incorporating health and wellness into the business is one of the emerging trends. Especially, in countries like Thailand which has the fastest aging population, consumers are concerned about eating and living well. Majority of the shoppers admit that they are actively trying to eat healthily. Retailers must concentrate on how consumer's look and feel as it will be a primary factor for retailers to position themselves in the market. Consumers generally choose retailers that are responsible, good corporate citizens with an unblemished reputation. Consumers care about a plethora of things such as refraining from selling the products that perform drug testing on animals, preserving the environment or child labor and retailers need to be aware of these issues.
Thailand is facing internationalization which translates to fewer people, but smarter technologies. Similarly, Tesco in the UK has started to reduce people in the organization. The reasons behind these actions are the higher cost of workers, the emergence of new technologies, and people adopting these new technologies.
Retailers are turning ordinary customers into tech-savvy customers by allowing them to scan the barcode to make the purchase. Customers are divided into two groups. The first one is niche shoppers who shop based on emotional drive and the second one comprises of those who buy products based on price and promotions. To attract the second type of customers, retailers have to sell a massive amount of products at low prices. In 2019, shoppers will have different dimensions and retailers will have to perform data-intensive research to cater to a different dimension of shoppers.