By Edu Lopez
Half of Asian business leaders expect that e-commerce would represent at least 30 percent of their organizations? growth in the next five years and 32% think e-commerce would capture more than 20% of the total sales.
In its latest report, Nielsen?s ?Asia 2020 ? Progressing, Prepared or Pessimistic? revealed that online and e-commerce ranked as the most significant factors influencing the changing retail environment over the next five years.
Regan Leggett, Nielsen executive director for Southeast Asia, North Asia, and the Pacific, stressed that ?technology is changing the retail footprint before our eyes.
?E-commerce is no longer the sole domain of travel, book and music sales. In Korea, e-commerce is now the largest retail channel and in Indonesia online retail sales are growing at a pace of around 50% per annum,? said Leggett.
?While still in its infancy in Southeast Asia, one thing is certain, e-commerce is set to grow exponentially and will change the retail and consumer landscape as we know it.?
Leggett explained that the rate of growth forecast for e-commerce in Asia Pacific signals a fundamental step change in the way organizations will operate in the future.
?Having the ability to set up shop in a market is one thing, but understanding how to play in that market is totally different. The diversity of the Asean community represents both opportunity and challenge,? he said.
He noted that companies who get ahead of the curve and build out their knowledge of market and consumer trends will be best placed to tap into nascent demand. ?Conversely, companies that are unable to adapt are likely to be left behind.?
The Asia Pacific?s retail environment has evolved in the last five years and this evolution is anticipated to continue, the report said.
Half of senior leaders believe retailers will have a ?positive? impact on their industry and marketplace in the next five years.
The report also found that more than 76 percent of Asia Pacific business leaders expect their business model in five years will differ significantly, while 48 percent believed their organizations are prepared for the future.
Forty-three percent of the business leaders are confident they have the systems and processes in place to be able to spot early indicators of change, while 59 percent believed it would be difficult or extremely difficult to navigate their organizations forward through the next five years.
Changing consumer preferences, legislative or political changes, regulation and taxation, economic development and new competitors are among the list of change events most commonly anticipated by business leaders.
?The pace of change is accelerating, and nowhere is that pace more exponential than in Asia Pacific,? said Leggett.
?Some changes such as population growth, demographic movements and changes in legislation or taxation are gradual, while others are swifter and more focused such as changing consumer preferences or disruptive technologies which have the potential to create a big impact on how businesses operate,? Leggett added.