Exponential advances in technology, the proliferation of digital devices and constant connectivity has given rise to a new legion of consumers who live in the Easyverse™. These Connected Customers expect fast, easy and personalized experiences anywhere, anytime.

The imperative for brands to understand the ‘Connected Customer’

APAC’s digital economy is expected to top $1.2 trillion by 2021. To cash in on this multi-billion dollar opportunity, brands will need to get a deep understanding of the Connected Customer.

Furthermore, the term ‘experience’ has become more important than ever before for brands. In an era of minimal product differentiation and diminishing brand loyalty, customer experience and service will spell the difference between growth and a painful downward spiral into irrelevance.

But, do retailers and brands have what it takes to meet the expectations of the ‘Connected Customer’?

#Ready

To answer this, we invited business leaders and brand experts Maya Hari (VP, Twitter, APAC) and Johan Vracken (MD, Nielsen, Singapore) to share exclusive insights about priorities, purchase preferences, and expectations of the new age, digital-savvy customer.

Understanding the Connected Customer

Johan Vracken

According to Nielsen, ecommerce in APAC is growing at a rapid pace with more than 98% of consumers making an online purchase against a global average of 95%.

Here are some more key takeaways and insights on the Connected Customers in APAC according to Johan Vracken (MD, Nielsen, Singapore) :

  • On average they spend 6.5 hours online every day and expect brands to create a delightful experience at every turn
  • SEA has 350 million online customers
  • Online purchase of beauty & personal, packaged grocery, pet food is expected to surge in the next few years
  • Connected consumers invest in experiences, spend heavily on travel, events, gaming, and consumer electronics
  • Consumers in APAC choose brands based on loyalty programs, subscriptions, fast website and multiple delivery options
  • APAC customers have an online purchase evolution that starts from small value products like skin care and eventually moves to premium and bulkier products

Within the Connected Customer universe, Millenials constitute a vital demography due to their numbers (50 per cent of the APAC population will fall in this age bracket by 2020) and their impact on global economy. However, engaging this consumer  segment has been a marketing nightmare for brands across the globe.

Maya Hari

Maya Hari (VP, Twitter, APAC) shared her insights on how brands can understand and connect with this mysterious demography in a better way

  • Patience is in short supply with millennials – the average attention span is around 8 seconds
  • 65% of millenials look for deals only at last minute
  • One size fits all approach won’t work with the millenials – be it reward programs or brand communications
  • Asian millennials are tech savvy, driven by purpose and obsessed with travel and fitness
  • Compared to their western counterparts, Asian millenials focus more on quality rather than fancy packages
  • 57% of millenials expect brands to stand for a social issue and they like brands that associate with movement
  • Asian millennials are no longer in a position to afford housing easily, so 63% are not keen on leaving families

To attract, engage and retain the connected consumer, businesses need to look beyond conventional approaches and rely on digital solutions and cutting-edge technology to address changing consumer needs effectively. However, adopting technology alone is insufficient, the most significant change needed is in the mindset of business leaders.

To learn how to lead a digital-first organization, read the next part in our #Ready Insights series – The New Gen Leader

Dominic Machado
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