E-commerce has been cited because of the “most dynamic sector” of Southeast Asia’s online economy. That’s because, for several countries in Southeast Asia, our foray with the web has been through the smartphone. But what does this mean for retailers?

The rapid take-up of mobile phones during this a part of the planet isn’t newly reported. They spend longer online. Longer than their Western counterparts. Reportedly the Thais and Filipinos spend quite four and a half hours on the mobile internet. But what makes this amusing is what these internet users in Southeast Asia do via the mobile. Whatever was previously unimaginable has now become possible. From mobile banking, ride-hailing, instant messaging, virtually anything you would like is now literally at your fingertips.

There’s an App for That

Technology and its rapid adoption in Southeast Asia have meant that customers can have access to goods at a faster speed than previously possible. As a consequence, almost every serious retail brand has made an e-commerce play. Even traditional brick-and-mortar stores have made the online movie. Consumers want increased convenience, and that they want it instantly. This need for convenience has given thanks to a wave of on-demand apps that have sprouted in droves. Consumers in Southeast Asian cities are trying to find apps that deliver groceries, essential services, and other daily essentials. Meanwhile, physical retail seems to be struggling. We’ve seen bankruptcies at considerable chains, retail storefronts compressing locations and empty malls. So it begs the question, can we need physical storefronts anymore? Are brick-and-mortar stores obsolete?

The Disruption of Brick-and-Mortar

Brick-and-mortar isn’t quite obsolete. It’s just changing. Despite the perception that physical stores are now dead and buried, brands born on the web are now opening storefronts. Even pure e-commerce retailers are seeing the worth of physical stores.

However, these aren't the brick-and-mortar stores that we once grew up with. they need an equivalent convenience and variety that online stores offer, but with A level of experience which will only be met offline. For several pure e-commerce players, this online to offline (020) experience is taken into account to be the subsequent step in their development. Using what they’ve learned from being online, they manage to supply a more customer-centric experience at A level that was never done before.

Click-and-brick retail strategy

These retailers use a click-and-brick strategy - a combination of interdependent and unified online and offline storefronts. This suggests that customer data and preferences can allow physical stores to supply an increasingly personalized experience. Further integrating their apps, customers can easily click and collect, or self-checkout, all of which are designed to supply an equivalent convenience online stores offer. Technology also can prompt customers to some extent where they're able to repurchase. This data can then be utilized to enhance inventories at physical stores. A challenge that a lot of retailers struggle with. This is often the tip of the iceberg. Alongside retail technology trends, retailers also are investing in AI like face recognition in auto-checkouts and incorporating augmented reality technologies like smart mirrors to make a more engaging customer journey.