Interview with Erica Ng, Business and Retail Editor APAC, WGSN
How would you define the current momentum of the retail sector in Asia?
Technology innovation has been driving the most exciting retail development in Asia in the past few years. But what we're seeing now is a shift in perspective from the technical side to really asking ourselves how technology could work with our current offering and add actual value to customers. This year it'd be about exploring how to leverage technology to. On the one hand to perfect the basic values of quality retail such as services, convenience in both online and physical retail. On the other hand, to create new engagement and loyalty - be it via entertainment, interaction or new shopping experiences.
Where are the growth areas for the retail sector in Asia?
Geographically China still holds massive potential and the different tiers are evolving very quickly. Southeast Asia is worth keeping track for luxury and of course South Korea for creative technology use.
What are the challenges and issues?
The retail sector as a whole has been going through an evolution and in some aspects retailers are ahead, in others consumers are. Technically speaking the possibilities for new retail formats are endless. The challenge now is to figure out what your target customer expects - and that in itself is constantly changing, Decide on your areas of expertise that's relatable and valuable for your customers (e-commerce, social shopping, mobile) and be really good at it. The challenge is no longer what to do, but how to do it well.
Erica is a Hong Kong-based journalist with six years of experience analysing and reporting marketing, media and e-commerce. She focuses on strategic analysis of the retail technology and marketing landscape in Asia Pacific and has spoken at regional events including World Retail Congress and Asia Fashion Summit. Since joining WGSN, Erica has been in charge of analysing and forecasting business trends with in-depth reports and interactive webinars. Before that, she was editor for trade journal Marketing Magazine where she managed all print and digital content as well as social media and online video channels. Erica has a master degree in journalism from University of Hong Kong.