Economic Optimism is Driving Asia’s Consumers Back to Stores

Brands will need to move fast to keep up with the ever-changing consumers across the region says new trends report.

Economic Optimism is Driving Asia’s Consumers Back to Stores

Brands will need to move fast to keep up with the ever-changing consumers across the region says new trends report.

According to new findings from WGSN, consumers in Asia will drive a physical comeback in stores, with people craving IRL, sensory, and engaging experiences.

The report, “Asia Shopper Forecast 2023”, an annual report highlighting consumer preferences and profiles in Asia that will impact consumer decision-making, additionally says that “savvier decision-makers will also emerge with more conscious buying decisions.”

All of this translates to brands being prepared to meet increased consumer expectations and tastes.


“As we enter 2023, the effects of a global economic crisis will manifest and always-rising consumer expectations will force businesses in the region to find new drivers of growth,” said Jess Tang, Senior Consultant of APAC, WGSN.

“With a focus on the return of physical retail and the pursuit to retain a sense of desired lifestyles despite a global economic crisis, consumers are pursuing moments of indulgence while demanding more inclusivity and diversity – businesses will need to move fast to keep up with these ever-changing consumers. “

“Just as mobility in Asia-Pacific (APAC) returns to pre-pandemic levels, Asian shoppers will continue to prioritise travel and look to heading out In-Real-Life (IRL), while retailers will need to offer powerful counterpoints to digital fatigue.”

Tang adds that brands should focus on providing a seamless experience for consumers.


“The uptake of digital technologies that commenced during the pandemic, will continue to enable consumers to move seamlessly between online and offline channels,” said Tang.  We will also begin to see a growing desire among Asian consumers to make the most out of the present by finding respite in a variety of experiences despite the global economic slowdown.”

Key Asia shopper trends for 2023

  • Sensory adventurers – IRL experiences are now a key motivator for APAC consumers to head out and shop. After increased time spent online, sensory adventurers are getting out and about in 2023, seeking in-person experiences that foster creativity, excitement and tactile moments.
  • Phygital connectors – During the pandemic, retailers looked to shift online to connect with many first-time digital shoppers. Now as consumers are gradually venturing out, phygital connectors are still looking to the convenience of technology, and want the best of both online and offline shopping.
  • Thrifty indulgers – While APAC consumers feel uncertain and anxious about their future and the economy, thrifty indulgers will spend effort on hunting for products and services that create micro-moments of indulgence and bring them joy on a limited budget.
  • Present hedonists – The shocks of Covid-19 and global political and economic uncertainty have given way to the emergence of ‘live for now’ values. This cohort of present hedonists is now prioritising their present wants to enjoy life to its fullest post-pandemic.
  • The conversationalists – Evolving from last year’s Social explorers, the social-driven conversationalists are now deepening their relationships with brands by forging hyper-personal connections and building conversations and trust via private messaging.
  • Inclusivity advocates – The social justice movement that gathered momentum in 2020 has had a meaningful impact on consumer values. Moving ahead, the inclusivity advocates will spend more based on their social values, supporting minority-owned brands and investing in underrepresented communities.
  • Mindful re-assessors – A growing cohort of younger shoppers in Asia are reassessing what post-pandemic living means and accepting there will be no return to ‘normal’. The pandemic has impacted their perspective on what is considered important in life, and mindful re-assessors are looking to change the way they live and work.

A copy of the sample report can be found here.

Featured image courtesy of WGSN.


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