Three insights you should know from 2020 Digital Trends in Asia Pacific (APAC).

The** 2020 Digital Trends in Asia Pacific** report compares the pace of digital transformation in China, India, Korea, SE Asia, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. Our insights from 2020 show that customer experience is a top priority. APAC countries are investing heavily in technologies such as IoT and AI to catch up with the rest of the world.

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A region that is on the rise.

Published in collaboration with Econsultancy, our 2020 Digital Trends in Asia Pacific (APAC) report reveals the most exciting tech developments happening in China and India at the moment - a region that could be leaders in IoT by 2025. This year, we’re also seeing businesses in Australia and New Zealand going all-in on CX to catch up with other countries. #_autoplay

1. Customer Experience

Customer experience is the focus for 2020.

One in five (19%) organisations in the Asia Pacific region said that CX is the most exciting opportunity for 2020. Although CX is on the rise, this figure is still lower than the rest of the world. However, many APAC companies are increasing their efforts and focusing on customer experience as a way to stand out from competitors and improve marketing performance. But when it comes to the roll-out of CX, there are differences between the key countries. For instance, Australia and New Zealand rank highest for prioritising customer journey management. Businesses here are excelling at delivering better products and services across multiple touchpoints. India is similar, except they are also connecting the off-line and online experience. Meanwhile, China is taking a very different approach. Here, businesses are attempting to stand out through better design. Only 8% said that CX is a top priority. This could be down to a lack of trust in the quality of goods, which is leading to a ‘branding game’ between businesses. To sum up, there’s a clear split between Australia/New Zealand, who are prioritising the customer journey; and India/China, who are catering to a large population and relatively poor fixed-line broadband service with a focus on mobile and video.

2. CX Maturity

APAC organisations are playing catch-up.

Customer experience is high on the list for companies in the Asia Pacific region. Nevertheless, businesses based in countries such as China, India, Australia and New Zealand are still lagging behind the rest of the world when it comes to their advancement in CX. Only 7% of businesses in the APAC region said that they consider themselves ‘mature’ in customer experience, compared to 12% in North America and 11% globally. It’s also important to note the difference between ‘maturity’ in CX and the ‘appetite’ in this area. For instance, 35% of businesses in Australia and New Zealand recognised CX as a major opportunity, which is almost twice as many compared with the rest of APAC. However, 12% of businesses in China rate themselves as being ‘very advanced’ in CX (compared with only 3% in Australia and New Zealand). Even though China is not as focused on customer journey management, they are more likely to have the technology and resources to support CX improvements. Businesses in the APAC region - specifically Australia and New Zealand - should consider developing dedicated teams for CX. Aligning their marketing and customer experience tools will also help to close the CX gap between these countries and the rest of the world.

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3. Investment for 2020

Investment plans for the decade ahead.

Investment in CX is sweeping across the APAC region. We have seen businesses in the area step up their budgets for CX-related technology in an attempt to overtake countries in other parts of the world. All of the evidence points to a strong return on investment for companies willing to commit. 57% of organisations in the region said that they are likely to increase investment for 2020, compared to 47% for the rest of the world. In fact, hardly any marketers anywhere said that they planned to make cutbacks in this area. The most popular areas for future investment are ML and AI technologies. In India, 46% of businesses planned to invest in ML and AI in 2020. This figure is even more impressive because that’s on top of the 30% of organisations already using it. China and India are using technology to pull ahead with their CX capabilities. This success is fuelled by huge financial backing from central governments. For example, China plans to build a $30bn fund to make sure they are a world leader in AI by 2030. At the same time, India is making headway with mobile wallets and Progressive Web Applications to streamline in-app experiences (especially for places with slow mobile broadband). Banks are currently using these technologies to secure the estimated 191m ‘bankless’ consumers without access to bank accounts. In 2020, organisations in Australia and New Zealand are underinvesting by 11% compared with other APAC countries. To keep up with this furious pace of innovation, they need to increase CX investment for the decade ahead.

The main talking points.

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Customer Experience
In 2020, one in five (19%) of APAC organisations said that CX was their most exciting opportunity.

Connected dots

CX Maturity
Only 7% of APAC organisations consider themselves mature in delivering CX compared to 11% for the rest of the world.


Investment for 2020
57% of APAC companies are planning to invest more in CX-enabling technology in 2020, compared to 51% in EMEA and 41% in North America.

Find out where trends are heading. Download the report.