Asia-Pacific’s grocery market boasts many unique factors that set it apart from other regions worldwide. Within this distinctive landscape, the region’s grocery retailers should leverage new opportunities to improve customer engagement and retention strategies and drive home more loyalty.
Our recent global consumer loyalty survey, Grocery’s Great Loyalty Opportunity, examined how consumers worldwide and within the APAC region (Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, and Thailand) feel about rewards programmes, what drives their purchasing preferences and what makes them loyal to retailers, including grocers.
Let's explore some of the region-specific findings in our Asia Pacific Grocery Loyalty Snapshot.
How grocery retailers and consumers are embracing a resilient market
Our research revealed a region that has shown remarkable resilience amidst the global cost of living crisis, with a lower inflation rate than the global average. It’s also a region primed for growth in the grocery sector. According to McKinsey, sales are projected to increase by 6-7% through 2025, particularly in Southeast Asia, where $200 billion is spent annually on groceries.
As competition intensifies, it is becoming imperative for retailers to devise strategic approaches and adapt their loyalty programmes to effectively attract and retain customers in this thriving market.
Consumer attitudes, behaviours and perceptions
Shopper attitudes and behaviours in the APAC region provide the direction for that adaptation. Like shoppers in other global areas, consumers here have responded to rising prices by reducing travel expenditures while embracing online shopping and taking greater advantage of discounts and specials. Notably, finding savings online is more prevalent among APAC consumers, with 57% preferring this method compared to 42% of consumers in the UK/Ireland and 39% in North America.
Consumers surveyed in the region also demonstrate a reduced desire to cut back on dining out or ordering takeout to save money, opting instead for alternative methods of cost savings.
This includes actively seeking out items that offer discounts and promotions compared to consumers in other regions. This emphasis on value extends to their perception of loyalty programmes; 58% of APAC consumers stated that they are using existing programmes more frequently to save money, and 37% have joined new loyalty programs with the same objective.
And more than half of the regional consumers surveyed prioritise loyalty programs that provide the most value and highest discounts (54%). These shifting attitudes present a prime opportunity for retailers and grocers to enhance their loyalty programmes, delivering against customers’ needs for value whilst improving the overarching customer experience by better personalising the offering.
Gearing up for gamification
Perhaps the most significant opportunity for grocery retailers in APAC is tapping into shoppers’ appetite for games and challenges. Throughout the region, where gaming is highly culturally relevant, gamifying the shopping experience is a natural and direct way for retailers to enhance their loyalty initiatives.
A significant 74% of APAC consumers are willing to participate in games, contests, or challenges through loyalty programmes or apps. However, only 60% of the loyalty programmes they belong to currently offer such gamification elements. This discrepancy highlights an unrealised potential for retailers to expand their gamification initiatives and bolster engagement within their loyalty programmes.
For retailers, especially grocery retailers, the APAC region presents significant opportunities to activate and engage shoppers through sophisticated loyalty strategies. With unique saving and shopping habits, shifting attitudes, and a readiness to participate in loyalty programmes, APAC consumers are primed for a grocery loyalty experience that offers value, personalisation and interactivity.
By incorporating gamification elements, personalised offers, and real-time promotions, retailers can forge stronger connections with consumers, increase customer retention, and foster brand loyalty.
In fact, some grocers in the region are actively expanding their loyalty programmes to include these capabilities and reap the benefits, like Singapore’s grocery retailer FairPrice and its upcoming improvements to the Linkpoints programme. (You can learn more about our upcoming work with FairPrice in this recent announcement).
Grocery retailers that understand and adapt to the distinct loyalty landscape of APAC will be well-positioned to capitalise on the region's growing market, driving revenue growth and establishing themselves as leaders in customer engagement and satisfaction.
Download our Asia Pacific grocery loyalty snapshot or take a deep dive into the global loyalty landscape in our comprehensive grocery loyalty research report here.