Consumers in Asia Pacific are in the midst of a digital transformation. Within the past decade, online penetration in China grew from 8% to 54%, while mobile internet access grew more than sevenfold. Today, the rate of customer evolution is gaining speed, as consumers are increasingly willing to experiment with new products, rely on devices, demand seamless digital experiences, consume large volumes of information, and are committed to seeking out the best experiences for themselves.

Forrester’s Empowered Customer Segmentation measures these key shifts in customer behaviors and attitudes and anticipates how consumers both respond to digital innovation and demand it. An analysis of our Consumer Technographics® data for Asia Pacific shows that the most rapidly evolving customers dominate in metropolitan China and metropolitan India:

These country differences reveal unique challenges and opportunities for companies aiming to win and retain customers in China and India. For instance, the recent stall in Apple sales in China signals changing tastes and rising churn rates among the most empowered customers. However, Amazon’s latest move to launch its Prime program in more than 100 Indian cities illustrates how brands must continually feed empowered customers’ appetite for simplicity, speed, and novelty to strengthen loyalty.

While metropolitan Chinese and Indian customers lead the trend, the demand for innovation varies by level of customer empowerment and by market. In a recent report I wrote with Kyle Steinhouse, we found that customers across countries like South Korea, Australia, and Japan evolve in unique ways and at differing rates. In order for brands to keep pace with – and exceed – their empowered customers’ expectations, business leaders must refine their understanding of customer motivations and track the growth of empowered customer segments.

To learn more about Forrester’s Empowered Customer Segmentation or to see how this research applies to your customers, please contact us at