Held every two years, APRCE has become Asia's biggest and longest running retail convention and exhibition since it was first held in 1983 in Tokyo, Japan. After 22 years, the Philippines once again successfully hosted this major project of the Federation of Asia-Pacific Retailers Associations (FAPRA).
Just in case you're wondering why I am writing about what I've learn at the recent 17th APRCE Manila 2015 event, here's a little trivia --- My first formal job in 2009 was with exclusive distributor of Havaianas in South Luzon where I handled marketing, special events and business development. I didn't have any background in Retail industry that time but I managed to learn from experience and sharing by co-workers. I got a lot of practical lessons during that stint which I applied in my passion projects even until now. I'm into e-Commerce lately as part of my professional development and attending this event is like coming full circle to retail. I was fortunate enough that I was able to cover this event as a preparation for my upcoming new blog passion project related to shopping.
5 Key Insights from APRCE Manila 2015
2. Omni-Channel Shopping is becoming the norm in many categories and we need to catch-up early especially in digital retail. Online shops are starting to implement pop-up stores to reach to offline market while traditional stores are now partnering with e-commerce sites to offer their products to online consumers. We can expect for collaborations between online and offline stores to give better choices and offers to consumers as satisfy the market’s need both in Real and Digital world.
3. Shift of focus from eCommerce to heavy mCommerce - While most companies in Asia are still adapting to eCommerce, some countries like South Korea and Japan are already into Mobile Commerce where smartphones serves as the main source of product information and it also serves a gateway for many transactions.
According to eCommerce advocate Ms.Janette Toral, it is very important to consider different market segments, their media usage and preference. She even relate it to the AlDub phenomenon and what retailers can learn from it to benefit their businesses.
Now, travellers choose their airlines based on airport that’s why we’ve seen a lot of improvement in most terminals worldwide to attract travellers who purchase on impulse and even locals who loves to shop.
Airport nowadays is more than just a place to arrive and depart, it’s now a place for a great shopping experience, offering wide variety of choices comparable to boutique and supermalls. This reminds me of Changi Airport in Singapore where my Singaporean friends and I frequently visited in the past just to shop, dine and hang-out.
5. New Ways of Marketing - Retailers must reevalute their business model to see how they can improve it and come up innovative ways of marketing in order to stay relevant to their market. As they come-up with their new model of retail, they must remember thattechnology is not the answer to everything. While there are proliferation of digital screens, robotic advices and virtual reality, “Excitement beyond Technology” is very important. One can go for gamification of promos, personalisation, mood recognition but great customer service will still be the top consideration. Retailers must be able to build trust and transparency. This can be achieved by supporting and engaging local communities.
Almost all speakers agree that the biggest challenge for every retailer now is to set new standards for tomorrow to deliver ultimate retail experience.
Let’s be one of the the leaders of retail revolution and let’s move Asia fast forward!