With the rate of growth slowing down in their traditional markets, multinational retail giants
are turning their attention to Southeast Asia, heating up the competition in the region.
Southeast Asian retail companies now find themselves contesting not only against their
domestic rivals, but also foreign entrants, such as Amazon and Alibaba, who are looking to
gain a foothold in emerging markets. 
As customers are provided with more options and brands than ever to choose from, businesses
must offer unique experiences to capture attention and encourage spending, or they risk being
forgotten by their targeted clientele. Retail companies need to engage customers in new ways
because a purchase now goes beyond a simple transaction.
Modern consumers have already grown used to getting what they want exactly when they
want it, thanks to technology and digitalization. In fact, 100 million consumers from across
Southeast Asia, including those based in major cities in the Philippines, have made purchases
on digital platforms, with 24% of clothing and footwear purchases in the region carried out
online. [1, 2]
As such, retailers in the area cannot afford for their brand to be seen as irrelevant – they
must initiate the process of digital transformation in their business and take advantage
of technology to set themselves apart from competitors. Success will depend on their
understanding of modern consumers’ rapidly-shifting behaviour and how they utilise that as a
basis for their digital transformation vision.
Filipino favourite Shakey’s taps on tech to deliver
quality guest experience
Emphasising their core value of putting their “Guest First”, leading Philippines pizza chain Shakey’s was discerning enough to embark on their digital transformation journey recently, to eventually enhance all aspects of their customers’ dine-in and delivery experience. 
With the bulk of their operations backbone running on Microsoft Dynamics AX, an enterprise planning solution, and working off the Microsoft Azure cloud infrastructure, Shakey’s management are continuously provided with full oversight in areas such as accounting, procurement, inventory, and store operations. This supports them in making informed decisions where it matters and avoiding unnecessary wastage from product expiry or overstocking. Additionally, Dynamics and Azure’s reliable analytics and data management infrastructure helps the company ensure that their resources are always able to match up with surges in customer demands across peak periods and holidays.
As it stands, Shakey’s envisions seamless integration via technology on all customer-related interactions by the end of the year, encompassing areas such as ordering in a restaurant to table and kitchen management, as well as ensuring timely pizza deliveries for their customers.
Dynamics and Azure’s reliable analytics
60% of digital shoppers in
DFPC builds quality e-commerce offering with
The ability to keep up with their clientele’s needs was also foremost on Duty Free Philippines Corporation’s (DFPC) minds when they migrated from local servers to Microsoft Azure. 
Working off Azure, DFPC are able to access and update all their websites and apps at a much faster rate, supporting them in the speedier deployment of their go-to market plans. With all of their teams now working off the same cloud platform, it also removes backlog and disconnect between departments or markets.
Beyond this, Azure’s Infrastructure-as-a-Service model allows DFPC to scale up during intensive periods or cut down to a more costeffective usage rate when it comes to lull periods. As DFPC works toward becoming a true end-to-end e-commerce platform, the company intends to integrate other Microsoft solutions, like Skype for Business and Microsoft Dynamics, in the near future as well.
With 60% of digital shoppers in Southeast Asia citing brand or store experience as a bigger motivator within their purchase journey, as compared to price, it is clear that prioritising a customer’s experience must take precedence in any retailer’s digital transformation plans.
 More often than not, regional businesses will also find themselves in a position to offer experiences that are better tailored to their domestic customers’ needs, outdoing global competitors in this regard.
As retail businesses in the Philippines continue to face increasing competition from both their domestic and international rivals, as well as possibly even from manufacturers and start-ups pushing a direct-to-consumer sales model, they must work steadily toward improving a customer’s purchase journey with the support of technology. Find out more about out digital transformation trends impacting the worldwide retail and consumer goods industry here.
2 – https://www.imda.gov.sg/-/media/imda/files/industry-development/small-and-medium-enterprises/smes-go-digital/retail-industry-digital-guide-for-smes.pdf?la=en
3 – https://customers.microsoft.com/en-us/story/shakeys-pizza-dynamics365-operations-azure-philippines
4 – https://customers.microsoft.com/en-us/story/duty-free-philippines-retail-azure-cloud-services-philippines