Focus on customer loyalty holds the key for businesses as super apps swarm market

Focus on customer loyalty holds the key for businesses as super apps swarm market

Retail businesses must focus on seeking customer insights and tap into the integrated digital channel via payment amid intense competition by super apps, says retail expert

Retail businesses must pivot to seeking customer insights and loyalty, preparing for ageing users and tapping into the integrated digital channel via payment to stay afloat amid intense competition by super apps, according to a retail pundit.

Digital transformation is driving the future retail sector, capturing customer needs as they change, said Nattida Sanguansin, managing director of Buzzebees Co, a Bangkok-based digital engagement solution firm.

Businesses of any size need to have customer insight and manage customer relationships to keep buyers loyal.

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) still lack customer data even though they are aligned with super apps, such as food delivery platforms and e-commerce giants, she said.

Marketing campaigns are mainly carried out by large brands, meaning SMEs are unlikely to attract consumer attention, said Ms Nattida.

Some 10-30% of food business revenue comes from online orders.

She said super apps can feel threatening to SMEs as food delivery apps usher in low fees and more promotions.

Businesses need to know and engage with their customers through omni-channel or offline-online mixed channels, as well as carry out promotion campaigns, Ms Nattida said.

They also need to prepare to tap into the older market as Gen X users age, she said. Brands need to rely on e-sport influencers to reach out to Gen Y and Z, as they have an impact on these groups.

Ms Nattida said speed is everything for these businesses. For example, if food delivery cannot be done within 30 minutes, customers are likely to drop the orders.

New point of sales (POS) requires the integration of food ordering, delivery services, universal digital payment and customer loyalty programmes.

To help SMES survive, Buzzebees offers POS solutions that support customer loyalty functions, e-coupons/vouchers, universal digital payment and marketing automation, she said.

Buranin Rattanasombat, senior executive vice-president of PTT Oil and Retail Business, said a customer-centric approach is key to business survival and modern customers are very dynamic.

Businesses need an integration of physical shops, data flows and digital payment, he said.

Large businesses need to adapt faster to ensure better time and risk management, said Mr Buranin.

It is important to gain customer insight to find ways to maintain loyalty, as this is more crucial than drawing new customers.

Large firms need partners for their ecosystems to connect and strengthen together, as well as expansion to international markets rather than focus only on domestic markets, said Mr Buranin.

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