The COVID-19 pandemic has been a challenging, yet clarifying period for the retail industry across Hong Kong and the rest of the Greater Bay Area (GBA). Across the region, retailers have had to adapt to supply chain disruptions and changing consumer patterns. In some cases, manufacturers shifted production to specific goods that were more in-demand during lockdowns. Brands and distributors have had to navigate changing customs regulations and, for certain types of products, a shift towards purchasing locally-produced goods.

While production and supply chain challenges have varied by brand and product type, one trend that is abundantly clear is the accelerated consumer shift to digital retail channels. During the past 18 months since the start of the pandemic, consumers of all ages across the GBA have become more comfortable shopping across an array of e-commerce channels and also paying digitally for purchases. But beyond that, COVID-19 has also changed patterns for the types of goods they are buying online versus offline, prompting retailers to adjust their offerings and rethink the way they target buyers.

This report, our fifth edition study on omnichannel retail trends jointly conducted by KPMG, GS1 Hong Kong and HSBC, surveyed 2,053 consumers and 400 senior retail industry executives in Hong Kong SAR and nine mainland GBA cities and examines digitalisation and technology trends and related corporate strategies in the retail sector. It finds that as consumers embrace an increasingly online-to-offline (O2O)-driven retail ecosystem, companies need to focus on making the online experience user-friendly, engaging and easy to transact on.

Topics covered include:

  • Navigating long-term changes accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Connecting online-to-offline channels to deliver improved customer experience
  • Understanding the ‘generation gap’ in consumer preferences
  • Prioritising authenticity throughout the customer journey
  • Deploying technology to improve experience, speed up fulfilment and drive down costs
  • Addressing the growing demand for talent amid digitalisation
  • Developing effective strategies for the GBA and the rest of Asia

Alice Yip
Head of Consumer and Industrial Markets, Hong Kong
KPMG China

Anson Bailey
Head of Consumer & Retail, ASPAC
KPMG China