What will digital commerce experiences look like for consumers and businesses next year and beyond?
Digital commerce is expected to be a USD 2T industry in Asia Pacific
by 2025. Visa sees six
key trends leading to that next horizon.
The world as marketplace
Long gone are the days of waiting until the
weekend to go to the mall. Consumers now expect shopping touchpoints that are
embedded in their social lives. For example, live-streaming on social networks
where shoppers can interact with influencers and buy in real-time. As digital
touchpoints continue to expand and blend across all aspects of life, in the
future we imagine that buying will happen independently from a store, and our
entire world will become a marketplace. This means you’ll be able to make
purchases wherever is convenient on the channel you prefer, instead of monitoring
for an item to be in stock or having to wait a long time for delivery.
Downloadable shoes and the new digital
It isn’t just the channels we buy from that
will keep shifting to digital – the very goods we buy may only exist in the
digital world. As shoppers spend more time online, new digital buying
experiences and digital-only goods are emerging. Products increasingly come
with unique digital-only attributes, encouraging new forms of digital immersion
and interaction. We’re seeing this come to life through augmented reality
try-ons for cosmetics and downloadable virtual clothing and shoes. Visa expects
more businesses will experiment with digital-only products to break into new
segments and meet consumers on the channels where they’re already spending
Enter the metaverse
But where will consumers wear their downloadable
shoes? Digital-only goods will be a core part of the metaverse – an immersive,
embedded virtual environment powered entirely digitally. In the
metaverse, you could own NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, for digital assets like
art, collectibles and gaming items, easily selling them to other users on a
blockchain. The metaverse could be the next place businesses look to open a
Businesses: digital from the ground up
While businesses continue to digitise their
operations, there’s still a disconnect between their front and back offices.
Customer-facing touchpoints tend to be the first to receive a digital makeover
as they have the largest perceived impact. However, by not digitising back
office infrastructure, businesses are causing a break in the chain. For
example, in the midst of the pandemic, over 80% of finance staff in Singapore were still going into the workplace to
process paper documents. Now
is the time for businesses to go all the way digital.
Glocalisation of commerce
Snarls in the global supply chain have forced
businesses to find new contingencies, and quickly. It’s clear that supply
chains of the future must be diversified across global and local channels to
withstand breakdowns. Businesses will source partners across different
geographies to grow a diversified network that can easily pivot if disrupted.
New access to credit and working capital
For businesses and consumers alike, access
to credit is evolving thanks to data. In many places, credit underwriting is
still done in an archaic way that excludes large groups whose lives and careers
don’t align with the traditional markets for establishing credit. But there is
now an abundance of data available as a result of more aspects of life and business
being digitised. Information like inventory turnover, net cashflow or purchase
orders, can be data points used by businesses to access new capital.