SE Asians most receptive to automated interactions with brands

Photo by Mimi Thian

Consumers in Southeast Asia (SEA) are among those most likely to be delighted by completely automated interactions with a company, according to the Adobe Experience Index.

The survey shows that more than two-thirds (68%) of people in SEA agreed that if done well, completely automated interactions with a company can delight them. Markets like the United States (63 percent); United Kingdom, France (both 58 percent), and Australia (57 percent) were less receptive in comparison.

In terms of preference for interaction with computers, SEA (45%) and Japan (23%) had the lowest percentage of respondents indicating a preference to interact with a human — which is the prevailing attitude in other regions — versus a computer.

This was the first time the index surveyed the SEA market, with 1,003 adult consumers from this region participating.

“With a high mobile penetration across the region, the rate of digital adoption and transformation here is now unmatched,” said Scott Rigby, head of digital transformation at Adobe.

“What we’re witnessing here is a unique opportunity for brands to experiment — as Southeast Asian consumers leapfrog through technology adoption stages, to become early adopters of technology advancements when it comes to brand experiences,” Rigby said.

Consumers rated potential customer experiences on a continuum from neutral (I would expect this) to strongly positive (this would delight me) and those scores were converted to a scale from 0-100.

Southeast Asians are most impressed by futuristic innovations that would help them save time. They are most likely to be delighted by features such as government interactions that automatically update one’s address across departments (49); synced vehicle touch screens at drive-throughs (49); and smart stores with no check-out lines (48).

They are also most impressed with experiences that help to save hassle. Examples include the ability to have food delivered exactly where they are at a stadium or concert (53); using mobile apps to bring museum objects to life (51), and also as hotel keys and for check-ins (50).

“We see immense potential for what brands can do to delight their customers through technology – whether putting autonomy in the hands of consumers to access self-directed interactions or enhancing brand experiences with technology,” Rigby said.

“However, with the high expectations, organisations need to ensure that their innovation experiences are well-executed,” he added. “They also need to prioritise the things that matter most to consumers in this region, such as saving them time.”