77% of Asia Pacific (APAC) businesses experienced a surge in new customers through digital channels over the past 18 months, and 76% saw new customer journeys, according to Adobe’s new 2022 Digital Trends: APAC in Focus report. Meanwhile, just 25% of businesses believe they have significant insight into this new wave of digital-first customers.
Contributing to these new online behaviours is the 130 million new APAC mobile subscribers that became first-time internet users in 2021. These new mobile-first users in emerging APAC economies are “leapfrogging” consumers in more mature digital markets, rapidly adopting advanced digital behaviours such as mobile payments usage.
In a bid to meet new customer expectations, the majority of APAC businesses are stepping up investment in customer experience management (59%), edging ahead of North America (57%) and Europe (53%). Most APAC businesses also expect to accelerate investment in customer data technology (60%).
“Understanding and serving a new breed of online consumers, many with mobile-first preferences, has become the new competitive battleground for APAC businesses. While many organisations are responding decisively by fast-tracking investment in improving the digital experience, spend alone is unlikely to set the leaders apart,” said Scott Rigby, chief technology advisor, Adobe Asia Pacific and Japan.
According to the report, 83% of APAC business leaders are worried that their organisation doesn’t have the necessary skills they need, compared to 79% in Europe and 73% in North America. In addition, digital skills rank as the joint top barrier to digital experience delivery together with poor integration between tech systems.
Specifically in India, 33% of Indian practitioners interviewed felt their digital experience lagged customers’ expectations. 63% of Indian practitioners felt that they significantly or slightly outperformed their sector (versus 50% in Australia and New Zealand). 57% of companies were focusing on training and learning to increase productivity while 45% of businesses had clear insights into drivers of purchase versus 33% for customer friction points.