Exploring the Future of Retail Digital Signage in Southeast Asia

by Scala Team

Exploring the Future of Retail Digital Signage in Southeast Asia

by Scala Team

As shopping habits continue to evolve with technology, retail digital signage has emerged as a pivotal player in the marketing strategies of retailers. In Southeast Asian countries including Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore and the Philippines, an increasingly tech-savvy population coexists with a diverse retail landscape, and the potential of digital signage for retail is vast and exciting.
Future of Retail Signage in Southeast Asia

The evolving retail landscape in Southeast Asia

The retail sector in Southeast Asia’s vibrant cities and burgeoning economies is increasingly evolving towards digitalisation, reflecting the region’s swift digital transformation. With this transformation comes the need for retailers to adapt to an omnichannel approach to marketing. In a recent interview with Techwire Asia, Bharati Balakrishnan, the Regional Director for SEA & India at Shopify said ‘…for many retailers, the path towards success lies in leveraging new digital technologies to meet the evolving needs of consumers.’

There is no doubt that consumers in Southeast Asia are changing, both in their expectations and their shopping habits. These changes are propelled by growing internet access, widespread smartphone use, and a population that is becoming ever more digitally adept. Data shows that 78% of consumers in the region now interact with brands across different channels, and a seamless omnichannel approach to retail can boost purchase frequency by 250%.

With this in mind, retail brands are increasingly turning to in-store digital technology such as retail digital signage to bridge the gap between online and offline retail. Here, we explore the driving forces behind adoption of digital signage for retail in Southeast Asia, and the trends we are likely to see as the transformation unfolds.

Catalysts for growth in the retail digital signage market

There are two major driving forces behind the escalating adoption of retail digital signage in retail in Southeast Asia. Firstly, the consumer market is growing rapidly. With rising disposable incomes, a fast-growing middle class, and changing lifestyles fuelling spending, the region is fast becoming one of the world’s largest collective consumer markets. Retailers of all kinds are responding by investing in better customer experiences, especially in-store, and bridging the gap between online and offline retail with a variety of retail technologies including digital signage.

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Secondly, Southeast Asian consumers are still enthusiastically embracing brick-and-mortar stores. According to Business Reporter, despite the rise of e-commerce, consumers in the region continue to seek in-store experiences as part of their shopping journey, particularly when it comes to groceries, apparel and footwear. Alongside the upsurge in online shopping, retailers with physical shopfronts are in many cases opening even more storefronts, but also leveraging in-store technology such as retail digital signage to incorporate digital elements into the physical store.

The future of retail digital signage: predicted trends for Southeast Asia

Interactive and personalised retail experiences

According to Adobe, 49% of consumers in Southeast Asia prefer shopping with brands that personalise experiences. Interactive and personalised shopping experiences are redefining customer engagement in many Southeast Asian countries, propelled by technology such as interactive digital signage which provides shoppers with customised information and offers, making the shopping experience more engaging and relevant. Moreover, the concept of personalisation has been elevated to new heights, with retailers leveraging data analytics to understand customer preferences and tailor their services accordingly. This is bridging the gap between online convenience and the tactile benefits of brick-and-mortar stores.

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Artificial Intelligence meets digital signage

In line with global trends, AI will be increasingly integrated into the retail experience, including retail digital signage, throughout Southeast Asia as brands seek to create more personalised one-on-one customer journeys and improve operations. According to Retail Asia, AI in the retail segment is projected to become a $31B market by 2028.

EY Asean Consumer Products and Retail Leader Olivier Gergele says:
“AI-driven personalisation and recommendations can boost sales and consumer loyalty, and with heightening consumer expectations for tailored experiences … (missed) opportunities may eventually erode the companies’ competitive advantage and potentially, market share.”

The rise of Digital Out-Of-Home

Digital Out-Of-Home (DOOH) signage is increasingly becoming a cornerstone of both urban landscapes and retail strategies in Southeast Asia. Singapore in particular has a high concentration of billboards, while Indonesia and Philippines are seeing digital billboards become much more widespread. This transformative leap in how public spaces are used and commercial messages are communicated is linked to the broader vision of smart city initiatives sweeping through the region. Cities are evolving into hubs of digital innovation, where technology seamlessly integrates with urban infrastructure to improve the quality of life, economic efficiency, and sustainability. For retailers, this digital signage revolution represents an unprecedented opportunity to captivate a more connected and mobile audience. With screens that are dynamic, interactive, and capable of delivering targeted messages in real-time, DOOH places brands directly in the pulse of city life.

About the Author:

Scala digital signage experts share their experience and thoughts in our blog to provide practical tips and advice for real-world applications. Our team aims to offer interesting content through a variety of formats including long form articles, video logs, interviews and infographics.

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