The Asia Pacific region is enjoying a retail spending boom. Steady economic growth has led to huge populations with more money to spend – and clothing and accessories are at the top of their shopping lists.
- Emerging online markets such as China and India have had double-digit growth rates in ecommerce apparel sales (Asia Pacific B2C Ecommerce Report, 2016).
- Asia Pacific retail spending is expected to triple to $600 billion, and 75% of luxury goods will come from China alone (McKinsey report on the global fashion and lifestyle market)
- Asian millennials will have more spending power than any previous generation – estimated to be $6 trillion in disposable income by 2020. They represent 45% of the region’s population, and 60% of the world’s total millennial population. (Enterprise Innovation)
- It’s a mobile-first economy for ecommerce. Smartphones delivered the majority of mobile transactions in every major global market, led by Japan, South Korea, Southeast Asia and Taiwan. More than 83% of Indonesia’s transactions are completed on smartphones. (Cashback Industry News)
Ecommerce platforms are a vital cog in winning global markets
North American brands are rushing to enter new geographies to increase revenues and their digital efforts are critical to their expansion. With a website, brands can reach customers without establishing a physical store, and create immersive and personalized shopping experiences.
Executives surveyed in the State of Fashion 2017, a joint study made by Business of Fashion and McKinsey, calls e-commerce “the single biggest opportunity of 2016.” More than 60% said they would be investing more in omnichannel integration, ecommerce and digital marketing.
Agile ecommerce platforms help companies leapfrog to the top
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Companies looking to expand globally need an e-commerce platform that can keep up with their growth and provide consistently positive shopping experiences, whether they are selling in Saskatchewan, Canada or Singapore, Malaysia. Challenges include:
- Scalability. The platform must be able to keep up with transaction volumes, especially during peak seasons like back-to-school and Black Friday.
- Customization. A new market requires changes in price, currency, language, tax regimes and available inventory among others. Certain features may have to be disabled for some regions.
- Speed-to-market. Platforms should allow rapid deployment to different countries, and be easily adapted for new technologies or opportunities. Every technical roadblock slows down global growth and has a real business impact.
The future of ecommerce growth
Global brands also need to consider how ecommerce itself is changing. The traditional view of a shopping cart and retail point of sale is becoming obsolete. “Point of sale is going to merge with online; offline and online will become one in the same,” said Peter Lukomskyj, VP of products at Elastic Path in an interview with Pymnts.com. Obvious examples include the Internet of Things, but as a whole it is the ability to create completely immersive customer experiences and monetize across all touchpoints.
This is particularly critical when studies show that Asia leads the world in immersive tech adoption. While several platforms offer scalability, speed and availability, API-based commerce platforms offer the flexibility to integrate easily with new technologies as they emerge. This can empower global companies to conquer new Asian territories, as well as embrace new ways of selling. Lukomskyj continued, “We’re able to take on the more traditional ways people transact, like point of sale, online, mobile, and also develop new consumption models. That’s where we see the real potential for growth.”
Elastic Path works with global brands from diverse industries as travel, telecoms, publishing, software, and retail to create new and immersive shopping experiences in markets around the world. If you’re looking to expand into global markets, then consider an agile API-based ecommerce platform. Learn more about Elastic Path Commerce.