Google: Brands need to leverage APAC customers’ expectations for community, commerce, and inclusivity

Customers’ appetites have been evolving. To better understand the latest trends, Google has done research on the changing consumer behaviours in APAC, unveiling three trends which can help brands stay ahead of their changing expectations. 

Conducted by Google APAC’s director of consumer and market insights, Stuart Pike, and founder of Asian Consumer Intelligence, Nicole Fall, the report – “A peek into your consumer’s future 2020” – highlights three trends in APAC this year, as customers’ expectations for community, commerce, and inclusivity, evolve.

The first trend mentioned in the report is that APAC consumers, the same as global viewers, love to watch “with me” videos now. These videos showcase normal people doing normal things such as cooking and cleaning. 

In the first half of 2019 alone, YouTube viewers in South Korea watched more than 500 years’ worth of “with me” videos across various categories such as “draw with me” and “eat with me”. Meanwhile, watch times for “with me” content grew in Indonesia and Pakistan by 180% and 150%, year-over-year, respectively.

Affordable data plans and smartphones now make it easier for people to make and watch videos, while online communities are becoming a bigger part of consumers’ identities as well. For instance, the Food Network branched out from network TV with an app that lets users take live cooking classes with top chefs, and YoRipe launched a live online video series that invited people to virtually cook with MasterChef finalist Sowmiya Venkatesan.

Google suggested that in order to stay ahead of the curve, brands need to create online experiences that invite consumers to take action, speak directly to viewers, and invoke community.

The second trend is that consumers now want genuine inclusivity. Their desire for genuinely inclusive products and services that embrace their unique identities is stronger than before. 

Currently, more companies invest in projects that address the needs of underrepresented and underserved communities. For example, Comma Leung Man-wai’s wallet, which helps the visually impaired identify banknote denominations, and the new detailed voice guidance the Google Maps team launched in Tokyo, show how inclusive designs empower people to confidently complete everyday tasks.

Another example is Indonesia’s Wardah Cosmetics which manufactures halal cosmetics, as APAC consumers are also seeking out brands that align with their cultures, identities, and personal preferences, pushing brands to become more diverse than ever.

The last trend is the rise of shared commerce. Google said more than half of all online Millennials and Gen Z in APAC now believe that pre-owned products have better value than new items. Currently, the prevalence of digital marketplaces makes it easier to re-buy and resell almost everything. Fashion brand Stella McCartney worked with luxury second-hand marketplace The RealReal to offer consumers in-store credit for consigning.

Before launching a new service or product, brands can consider how to empower consumers to participate in a circular economy in a way that’s good for both their wallets and the environment.

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