“Somehow similar, yet somehow different.” These are the five words Damien Haas, eCommerce and CRM Director at Crocs chose to describe eCommerce in the Asia Pacific region. “I spend half my time explaining to my country teams why we are somehow similar, and half my time explaining to head office how our markets are somehow different,” which received both laughs and fervent nods from the audience.
The fast-paced yet fragmented nature of the Asia-Pacific region and the adoption of technological trends to address this were the focus at the recent lunch thrown with our partners, Salesforce Commerce Cloud, Translations.com and RCI Global Services.
We called it “Rewriting the Rules of Commerce in 2017”, and we were joined by over 40 retailers -ranging from international household names to Asian pureplay online innovators - over scrumptious three-course lunches overlooking Hong Kong Bay at the Park Lane Hotel, and in the heart of Singapore at the Raffles City Convention Centre.
Our discussions took on lives of their own, but all seemed to centre around four key points - evolution of Asia Pacific retail commerce, omni-channel retail, seamless customer experience and cross-border trade for retailers as well as for shoppers:
- Asia Pacific is a very tech-minded region (80% of all purchases made on China Singles’ Day – $19.3b – were completed on mobile), and most high-street brands in Asia are in the same growth stage. But there is no denying that eCommerce is growing in the region, with discovery to purchase on mobile leading this. For retailers, the foray to online usually starts with the need to strengthen brand engagement with their customers by having their own content-focused websites. Direct to consumer eCommerce is a fairly new phenomenon.
- Omni-channel is at the forefront of retailer’s minds. But omni-channel needs to be more than just multichannel marketing, front end and payment integration; retailers need to make sure their OMS, ERP, back office systems, warehousing, logistics and returns are properly integrated before going to market with a true omni-channel proposition.
- More than ever, cross-border trade is fuelling growth not just within the region but globally. The US is the most popular eCommerce shopping destination for the Chinese (53.9%), with Japan, South Korea, Germany and Australia following suit.
- Think global, sell local was also a recurring theme: from making sure that localization goes beyond just translating the language on a site to end to end user engagement including social engagement, SEO / SEM and content optimization, to making sure customers in each market can pay in their preferred payment method.
With discussions lasting well after the event’s close, it was clear we’d struck a chord with our Asia-Pacific retailers, who were keen to both share and learn. This event was a great way to not only offer retailers the chance to discuss challenges and solutions with one another, but to also get closer to our partners at Salesforce, RCI and Translations.com.
"It was great to be part of the Reinventing Rules for Commerce events in Hong Kong and Singapore. It was an interesting and diverse group of partners, customers and prospects assembled,” said Alan Bunce, Global VP of Product Marketing at Salesforce Commerce Cloud, who flew in all the way from the east coast of the United States to talk about retail trends they’re seeing at Salesforce globally.
We were lucky to have Joseph Yuen, Chairman of the Hong Kong eCommerce Federation who discussed how Hong Kong is a gateway to China, the world’s largest retail eCommerce market, and how this unique placement allows retailers there a special opportunity to flourish. Samsonite’s Manlee Chan, VP of eCommerce for Samsonite Asia joined Damien to share their respective eCommerce journeys, and how they are using technology available through Salesforce Commerce Cloud and its partner ecosystem to augment their regional expansion and enhance shopper experience.
Interested in chatting with us at an upcoming event or in working closer with us as a partner?