Strategies for Digital Growth in Southeast Asia

With over 350 million digital consumers, Southeast Asia has become the fastest-growing digital economy in Asia-Pacific, 78% of whom are online shoppers, according to Bain & Company and Meta.

With over 350 million digital consumers, Southeast Asia has become the fastest-growing digital economy in Asia-Pacific, 78% of whom are online shoppers, according to Bain & Company and Meta.

However, brands are facing commodity price increases, raw material shortages, and shipping/port capacity chokes that are impacting the top line and margins. Bain’s survey of Asia-Pacific consumer product leaders found that the top three issues in 2022 are supply chain, inflation, and post pandemic consumer roadmaps.

To help brands maximize success and reach the broad market base of Southeast Asia, here are some key strategies:

 

Rewrite your digital-first agenda.

While consumers are set in their online buying and browsing habits, savvy brands are also setting medium-term digital goals. These goals include assessing the digital maturity of diverse digital domains; reviewing and benchmarking efforts and results; evaluating data, applications, and technology architecture upgrades; assessing investments; determining gaps to be able to scale digitalization efforts; and establishing objectives and key results.

 

Rewire your supply chain/business model.

Brands expect inflation and supply chain challenges to continue. They are exploring revenue growth management, price pack architecture, strategic pricing, trade terms, promo optimization, and channel mix, among others. They also solve freight and logistics issues by creating innovative mobility solutions and prioritizing hero SKUs while establishing greater transparency and exploring local contract manufacturing operations by shipping bulk. For the longer term, they are using a “future back” approach and looking at account geopolitics, consumer intimacy, response time, tax regimes, and cost considerations. 

 

Reimagine consumer engagement.

Brands must reevaluate their commercial activities and reorient their marketing and trade spend to mirror a multichannel, multiplatform path to purchase. They must also create brand loyalty and unique, consistent, and engaging experiences across all their channels. Finally, they must establish distinct internal processes between offline channels and e-commerce. 

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