World Retail Voice Blog Post
Retail Congress Asia Pacific: Transformation of the retail market
Guest blog post from Dr Alan Treagold, Global Retail Advisor and Advisory Board Member, Oxford Institute of Retail Management, The University of Oxford Saïd Business School
The Asia Pacific Retail Congress in Singapore in March was a tremendous event. It’s impossible not be stimulated by a world class venue full of retail and entertainment offers – the hugely impressive Marina Bay Sands development – and spending time with a group of retail business leaders from all across the region who want to talk, share their knowledge and meet their counterparts in other sectors and countries. The big theme in Asia Pac is clearly around the accelerating transformation of retailing and shopper engagement by technology. The extraordinary growth and reach of the online retailers, notably Alibaba and Rakuten, are terrific stories, especially when you hear them from the leaders of those businesses. But hearing also what well established retailers are doing to improve the shopper experience and realise the opportunities of the digitally-enabled shopper was certainly no less impressive. Two among many were Pizza Hut and SPAR. Pizza Hut in Asia is tracking online chatter about its business and using the insights it gains to send targeted messaging to over 17,000 micro-segments of shoppers across its operations in Asia. And SPAR explicitly aims to transfer learnings and best practices across its operations globally, so when it first opened hypermarkets in China it looked to Austria to provide a template for the stores there. There were many super-interesting presentations at the Asia Pacific Retail Congress and the chat outside the sessions was just as friendly and insightful. More please!