A new report jointly released by the two companies, based on a survey conducted by YouGov, found that new payment methods and the growing popularity of various online shopping platforms are driving increases in online spending across the Greater Bay Area.
Nearly all (96%) respondents from mainland China indicated that they plan to spend more online than off in 2019.
But the results also indicate that retail companies in the region are failing to fully capitalize on their increased demand.
Some 27% of CEOs surveyed in the region said they only sell products or services from their own website and platform, and one in five indicated that e-commerce platforms are not applicable to their business.
According to KPMG and GS1 Hong Kong, this indicates that potential opportunities exist for businesses that can offer goods and services on a wider variety of platforms.
Among the preferred growth strategies identified by CEOs in the region, 46% highlighted “developing and applying innovative technologies to increase competitive edge”. This was followed by “developing more integrated O2O strategies” (28%), developing social media platforms (31%) and developing more mobile first strategies (20%).
“As we continue to see customer needs changing and digital platforms emerging, CEOs need to better understand the consumers across the GBA since they are more tech savvy than ever before and are looking for a better and more streamlined customer experience,” KPMG China head of consumer and retail for APAC Anson Bailey said.
But CEOs in the region also report facing challenges implementing or enhancing omni-channel retail strategies. The majority (57%) named lack of talent as a main challenge, with other common challenges including integration of data (47%) and difficulties identifying the technologies that will give the latest returns.
GS1 Hong Kong chief executive Anna Lin said technologies such as the IoT are key to solving these challenges.
“Everything in the physical world has a digital twin. Technology like IoT bridges the gap between ‘online’ and ‘offline’, yet a common language is needed for different devices and systems to be able to communicate in an automated way and to understand data in the same way,” she said.
“Leveraging global standards, even ‘dumb’ products can be tracked by their unique identifiers, and it allows businesses to develop an integrated O2O strategy to engage consumers.”