We collated survey responses from industry professionals across our readership on topics such as market conditions, investment and employment, trading relationships, industry initiatives, and regional snapshots, including South East Asia, India, Japan, China, Australia and New Zealand.
Our respondents, drawn from manufacturing, supply, research, regulatory affairs and marketing, were clear that e-commerce was providing a boom to business, and that it was only going to get bigger.
Our survey discovered that almost 70% of people believed that online retail channels could ultimately become as important as brick-and-mortar stores. It was noted that many established companies had seen export sales soar by embracing e-commerce, while others said it was the fastest and most effective retail channel for start-ups to secure success.
When we drilled down to a national level, 60% of respondents in Australia, New Zealand and China believed that online retail was becoming more important to their business. This likely reflects the already well-established e-commerce sectors. Our respondents also suggested that while the major manufacturers may be reaping the rewards of e-commerce, their suppliers have understandably not seen such a dramatic shift.
In South East Asia, that number increased slightly to 62.5%, while in India it was 68.5%, arguably reflecting the wider retail landscape where many brands, international and national, have bypassed brick-and-mortar stores altogether and focused purely on e-commerce, on the back of soaring smartphone use.
The increasing digital focus also appears to influence how manufacturers advertise to consumers, and how suppliers navigate the B2B marketing space.
The exponential rise of smartphone use across all markets in Asia-Pacific is heralding a new dawn for marketing and communications. Just over 70% of people told us that online marketing and social media initiatives would be more important than traditional marketing to their business. Many of our respondents said the importance of these channels was “growing by the day”.
At a B2B level, one can only hope that the rise in online marketing — with easy access to data and results — will help the industry better measure the success of its promotional and trade spending. At present, only 44% of people agreed that their company was getting a good return on its investments in this area.