By KAREN REDDINGTON
Connectivity is changing the face of business in Asia Pacific and the world. We’re able to see how the globe is more connected than ever before with advanced technology that was unfathomable just a decade ago. It will inevitably continue to play its part in all aspects of our daily lives even if we’re unaware of its existence.
Just think about the sensors that monitor urban conditions such as traffic, air quality, and noise. The technology is almost invisible but brings us critical information that helps in improving sustainability, efficiency, and quality of life. The speed of which technology is advancing is indeed a powerful trend set to impact individuals and businesses of all kinds.
While it is difficult to predict what exactly will happen next, here are four key trends you might find interesting as they are important in the business world, especially in Asia.
1. Small businesses will flourish in the online marketplace
E-commerce has revolutionised how the world conducts businesses. Asia Pacific in particular is leading the charge as it is home to four of the world’s top 10 e-commerce markets.
Traditionally, small businesses have fewer resources and budgets. However these days a business idea can be realised with as little as a mobile device, allowing business to form just about anywhere. New start-ups all the way to long-established medium-sized businesses, can now ride on opportunities provided by our hyper-connected world and be part of international e-commerce.
2. The digital and physical world must co-exist
While the digital economy is experiencing high growth in Asia, its growth cannot be standalone. Strong physical support is required for all e-commerce activities to truly flourish. A good example would be the global transportation network – a fundamental ingredient in the magical formula that brings together our digital and physical worlds.
With a strong global transportation network that makes trade easier, more affordable, and faster, companies of all sizes now have access to global markets that were once unreachable. This is a key factor contributing to a global trade market worth over US$15 trillion.
3. Global supply chains: the match point of business success
Digitalisation has lowered the barriers for small businesses to enter global markets, but this also means that the competition is becoming more intense. To achieve long-term business success, a global supply chain that runs smoothly and meets growing customer needs is crucial.
These days especially, customers expect businesses to be accountable for the entire customer journey, even the parts they are not directly responsible for. If a business can ensure that the end-to-end experience from order to return is accomplished well, it can be one step ahead of the game in encouraging customer loyalty and driving repeat business.
This ecosystem must encompass the power to reach millions of consumers globally, as well as secure payment, fulfillment, tracking, returns, and even shopping cart management. It must also have the necessary intelligence to expand choice, flexibility, and to customise the overall service experience.
4. The influx of high-tech businesses and high-value added goods
In Asia, one of the most prominent challenges faced by many is the aging population. As such, demand for high-tech and high-value added goods for the healthcare industry is on a rise, fueling remarkable growth across the region.
With the proliferation of Internet of Things, high-tech and high-value added goods can now be transported almost with real-time visibility in a way that you couldn’t before, ensuring the goods remain viable and safe, such as implementing temperature-control during transit where necessary.
Connectivity is certainty impacting businesses of all kinds, and it’s truly the rise of small businesses that are fundamentally reshaping the business landscape we have today. The above trends are just the beginning to a hyper-connected world and we can expect businesses in Asia to continue to grow and evolve as the contents of our planes and vehicles keep changing.
Karen Reddington is the Regional President of FedEx Express, Asia Pacific. To connect with her you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.