Sia Partners ranks Singapore brands as the best digital performers

13 August 2019 Consultancy.asia

Singapore has the best performing brands in the digital sphere according to a new APAC report from international management consultancy Sia Partners, with e-commerce the highlight in Singapore and those in the regional aviation industry leading the way overall.

Described as the first holistic local benchmark of its kind, global strategy and management consultancy Sia Partners has assessed the digital strength of more than 150 leading brands operating across nine industries in Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan. The analysis has found that Singapore brands are on average the best performing in the digital space, especially those in the ecommerce sector, while brands within the aviation industry lead the region overall.

In compiling the comprehensive Digital Dominance Benchmark 2019 APAC report, which covers brands in the luxury goods, retail banking, insurance, and travel sectors among others, the analysts from Sia took into account more than 50 key performance metrics across five weighted digital categories; branded websites, search engine optimisation (SEO) and keyword usage, social media, online video, and mobile apps.

Digital maturity score in Asia Pacific

The study, which used analytics platforms, scraping tools and bots to collect the data, revealed mixed results across channels, sectors and countries. By country, Singapore had the highest average brand scores – with DBS Bank and ecommerce platforms Carousell and Lazada the equal top performers – while brands in Hong Kong (led by Chanel, Cathay Pacific and HSBC) were widely spread and Japanese brands in a smaller sample lagged behind.

Digging deeper however, the study shows that no single brand of any given country rules across multiple digital categories (although it should be noted that different channels will have varying relevance per industry), with only six brands throughout the region classified as ‘stars’ in scoring above 60 percent overall – each of them falling well short of the 80 percent ‘superstar’ thresh-hold. More than half of the company brands measured in the region scored below 45 percent.

Not one country is leading in every category

A similar spread can be found when breaking down the country data per sector, with for example only one industry ahead in more than one category in Hong Kong, specifically airline brands with respect to websites and apps. Excluding the ecommerce brands assessed in Singapore, which were overall the most digitally dominant as perhaps might be expected of natives, solid performance in both Hong Kong and Singapore helped elevate airlines to the top of the pack.

Airlines, however, had a notably wide dispersal, with some featuring among the bottom performing brands in Hong Kong. Elsewhere, the results were even more varied. Of the brands in the sectors which were measured across countries, retail banking brands were on par with airlines in Singapore as the second best performers, but also fared poorly in Hong Kong – among others falling behind life insurance brands, which in turn scored higher on average than their counterparts in Singapore.

“While the Internet may be the best thing to have happened to humanity since the invention of the steam engine, ensuring that brands can compete and win in this digital age isn’t always as simple as it looks,” concludes Jeremy Fetiveau, Head of Digital Practice at Sia Partners, Asia. “A strong web and mobile presence, proactive social media strategy and emotional engagement with customers are some of the key areas companies must invest in to create digital differentiation.”