On May 10, 2019, Chain of Demand’s CEO and Founder AJ Mak had the wonderful privilege to be a panelist for the Ernst & Young’s Asia Retail Arena – 2nd Edition: What’s Next for Retail?
Spanning for roughly five hours, this year’s Asia Retail Arena covered a range of topics in retail, with the following four panels:
- Panel 1: Hong Kong & Macao Market Trends and Connections to China – With the retail landscape undoubtedly changing, from rising trends like streetwear penetrating the high-end luxury market, panelists from the luxury industry shared their insights into the new retail ecosystem.
- Panel 2: What “affluential” men want? – Unlike previously before, the new generation is interested in experiences rather than simply goods, with studies showing that men specifically prefer trading their tangible goods over female counterparts. Thus, the panelists of experts in men’s products, from fashion to cosmetics, discussed the upcoming trends of changing demands.
- Panel 3: Passions & Experiences – Extending off of the topic of the panel above, consumers are searching for brands that fit their lifestyle, more than just seeking just goods. The group of panelists of hospitality and brands’ representatives addressed the new needs of the modern consumer.
- Panel 4: Retail & Digital World – In reference to Jack Ma’s vision of the future of ‘new retail,’ where consumers would have a seamless experience that brought together the online and offline world, the final panel took a look at retail in the digital world. From CRM, AI, to changing communication channels, experts of the retail industry discussed the evolution of this “new retail”, speaking on the technologies that are transforming businesses today.
Moderated by Gianluca Cinquepalmi (Associate Chair for the School of Communication Arts & UX, SCAD) on Panel 4, when asked about the importance of data in retail digitalization, and the matters of privacy, Mak emphasized his thoughts as follows:
The whole customer journey from start to finish can be understood through data. It is identifiable at every level of the value chain. There is so much insight to be gained if companies make it a priority to learn from these data points and this is ultimately where Chain of Demand comes in, as we harness the power of data to make better predictions.
On the matter of data privacy, it all comes down to where you are and what you are willing to give up for greater convenience and customization. For example, in China, data security is less of a concern compared to Europe, where they have taken a stringent different approach. Mak believes that the middle ground – the balance between convenience and security – is to leverage non-identifiable anonymous data. Like a group of people in a room, you can track and gain a lot of insight from what is being said in the room, as long as you cannot identify who said exactly what. If this level of privacy is respected, harmony can be met, with both sides winning.
Along with Mak, the other panelists of this topic of retail and the digital world included:
- Stefano Daelli – Partner, FUTUREBERRY
- Antonio Colaci Vintani – Head of Digital Technology, Value Partners
- Jacopo Pesavento – Founder & CEO, Branding Records
- Kai Tang – VP Sales & Business Development, Adyen
Serving as a platform for where “major players and disruptors” in the retail industry can share their perspective and insights, Asia Retail Arena helps audiences understand what to expect in from the latest trends in technology relevant to the industry, and goes deep into discussing the evolving retail landscape of the modern, digital world.asia retail arenachain of demandernst and young