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Digital Transformation Technology

South East Asian consumers give a thumbs up to brands' digital transformation efforts


By Shawn Lim, Reporter, Asia Pacific

March 11, 2021 | 3 min read

South East Asian consumers define themselves as “digitally curious” or “digital explorers” and look forward to brands delivering more digital experiences and services.


Financial services and government brands lead other industries when it comes to trust

More consumers in the South East Asia region (78%) label themselves digitally curious than their global counterparts from the US (59%), France (55%), Germany (57%) and the UK (64%), according to the VMware Digital Frontiers 3.0 Study.

Some 69% of consumers in South East Asia reported that the Covid-19 pandemic had forced them to engage with brands digitally and they found the experience to be enjoyable. In contrast, fewer people in US (40%), France (40%), Germany (33%) and UK (33%) found it enjoyable.

Consumers in South East Asia especially enjoy engaging with financial services (63%), retail (60%) and government (42%) brands through digital means.

“South East Asian’s openness to richer digital experiences is a clarion call for organizations to step up their technology pivot to innovate swiftly and more securely, so they can meet the growing expectations from consumers,” said Sanjay K. Deshmukh, the vice president and managing director for South East Asia and Korea at VMware.

“Beyond responding to the initial shift in digital expectations, the key to unlocking greater growth is the delivery of superior digital experiences that delight South East Asian consumers. This means as businesses adapt and accelerate to the digital future, they must be able to develop, deliver and better secure applications and services seamlessly across platforms, devices and locations to digitally-hungry end users.”

Why does this matter?

  • 77% of South East Asian consumers enjoy engaging with brands that delivered superior digital experiences, while 59% stated that they will switch to a competitor if the ongoing digital experience they have does not live up to expectations.
  • The top three critical digital experiences that South East Asian consumers value most are a high level of protection for personal data (58%), ease of access to all platforms and devices (45%) and faster speed of service (40%).
  • In South East Asia, consumers said financial services (57%), retail (56%) and government (38%) brands delivered improved digital experiences now compared to before the pandemic.
  • Financial services and government brands lead other industries when it comes to trust, with consumers stating that financial services (58%) and government (40%) brands provide them with the assurance that their personal data is well protected.
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