Getting Ready for Singles’ Day 2015: Dealing with Post-Singles’ Day Challenges

Getting Ready for Singles’ Day 2015: Dealing with Post-Singles’ Day Challenges

Getting Ready for Singles’ Day 2015: Dealing with Post-Singles’ Day Challenges The sheer size of Singles’ Day introduces its own fair share of challenges that can extend well beyond the shopping holiday. From dips in sales to substandard delivery processes, brands and merchants need to be able to address these concerns early on or risk losing the momentum afforded by Singles’ Day. 2015’s Singles’ Day has come and gone, and as many doubtless expected, it has smashed all records. With $3.9 billion USD raked in in the first hour[1] for a final tally of $14.3 billion USD and 467 million delivery orders[2], the event has driven home yet again the power and potential of online shopping. But for retailers, these tremendous figures come with a multitude of challenges. The after-sales experience of your customers is just as important as their pre-sales one. This is especially true during high-traffic seasons such as Singles’ Day. But the sudden spike in sales traffic can lead to a rise in after-sales concerns that need to be addressed quickly and efficiently in order to protect the integrity of your brand. Whether it’s in fulfillment, product returns, or after-sales support, these are the aspects of retail that all contribute towards a positive customer experience. Merchants and retailers can expect a lot of first-time buyers during Singles’ Day, but the challenge lies in making sure that those additional customers ultimately convert into return sales through a healthy, positive relationship with your brand. Create a Positive After-Sales Experience through Streamlined Logistics Logistics takes the lead during the post-transaction process. As soon as sales are processed, online shoppers...
Getting Ready for Singles’ Day 2015: Best Practices for eCommerce Merchants

Getting Ready for Singles’ Day 2015: Best Practices for eCommerce Merchants

Getting Ready for Singles’ Day 2015: Best Practices for eCommerce Merchants The record-breaking success of Singles’ Day underscores the importance of online sales events for Asia-facing retailers. But as more and more merchants aim to make their mark in the world’s most lucrative online shopping holiday, brands should incorporate a number of best practices to help stand out from the crowd. There’s no denying the sheer size and success of Singles’ Day. The Alibaba-invented online shopping event jumped 60% in sales revenue in 2014, bringing in a record-breaking $9.3 billion USD[1] across an estimated 27,000 merchants and 42,000 brands[2]. But as the success and popularity of Singles’ Day continues, the increasingly crowded Asia Pacific marketplace is making it that much more difficult to leverage on simple price cuts. In the previous entry of our Singles’ Day Series, we talked about what learnings we could take away from the successes of 2014. In this article, we’ll be discussing what best practices brands and retailers can implement in order to stand out and make the most of Singles’ Day 2015. Integrate Both Social and Mobile Strategies for Effect Businesses selling online should never discount the potential of either social commerce or mobile commerce, both of which will undoubtedly have a large presence come Singles’ Day. This is especially so for the former in Asia Pacific, the region being home to some of the world’s most social media-savvy markets such as Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia. Read more about APAC social commerce here. mCommerce is also gaining ground among Asia Pacific’s online shoppers. Visa’s 2015 Regional eCommerce Monitor Survey[3] reported a 22% increase...
Getting Ready for Singles’ Day 2015: Learnings from Singles’ Day 2014

Getting Ready for Singles’ Day 2015: Learnings from Singles’ Day 2014

Getting Ready for Singles’ Day 2015: Learnings from Singles’ Day 2014 As online shoppers get ready for another Singles’ Day sale, eCommerce retailers should be taking cues from last year’s successes in order to maximize sales during Singles’ Day 2015. Singles’ Day made history in 2014 by becoming the largest eCommerce retail event in the world, with record breaking sales of $9.3 billion USD[1]. The China-born online retail event dwarfed other popular shopping holidays such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday which both brought in a total of $2.4 billion USD[2]. Singles’ Day is still far from eclipsing its western counterparts when accounting for physical retail numbers. But the success of Singles’ Day has only solidified China’s position as a global eCommerce powerhouse. The Chinese market earned $458 billion USD in online sales during 2014[3]. For eCommerce retailers looking to expand their horizons in Asia Pacific, Singles’ Day is a valuable calendar event. But before brands dive in head-first into Singles’ Day 2015, there is a lot to learn from the successes of last year’s event to help maximize impact and revenue. Focus on Mobile and Omnichannel Mobile has become a key battleground in the Asia Pacific eCommerce market. During Singles’ Day 2014, China’s biggest eCommerce company, Alibaba Group, reported that sales from mobile accounted for 42.6% of its gross merchandise volume (GMV)[4] sales. This is a drastic shift from 2013 when Alibaba’s biggest online marketplaces reported 90% of its transactions were made via traditional desktop PCs[5]. This should prompt brands to not only focus on providing an engaging mobile experience, but adopt an omnichannel approach towards their Singles’...
Parcel Lockers: Unlocking New Ways To Serving Customers

Parcel Lockers: Unlocking New Ways To Serving Customers

By Dr Sascha Hower, Group Chief Operating Officer Singapore Post Group & CEO Quantium Solutions The rapidly expanding eCommerce landscape in Asia Pacific has made the role of logistics providers in the customer’s purchasing experience more important than ever before. The estimated total for Asia Pacific’s business-to-consumer eCommerce sales in 2014 was USD $525.2 billion[1], and this continuously growing figure is having a profound effect on the logistics industry. While the region’s middle class tier of consumers grows[2], alongside rapid urbanization and higher standards of living, urban population growth has not been met with infrastructure improvements at the same pace. Delivery continues to be an arduous task for many logistic providers. To meet these increasing logistic demands and stay relevant to changing customer needs, parcel lockers are increasingly being adopted around the world. One of the first in Asia, Singapore Post (SingPost) operates over 100 parcel lockers, or POPStations, across Singapore at strategic locations like shopping malls, community centres, train stations and post offices. Meeting The E-Consumer’s Delivery Demands   According to a 2014 survey by SingPost[3], in addition to wanting more attractive deals and greater variety of products, online shoppers also desire a better system for delivery and returns: Source: SingPost The survey also highlighted a greater need for more delivery options, flexible courier services and self-collection at the customer’s convenience, complemented with proactive delivery notifications. The modern day consumer has a greater need for flexibility and more control over parcel delivery and returns, so solutions need to focus on delivering more convenience, while being better value for money. And parcel lockers seem to be a perfect fit...
How Social Commerce Drives Your Online Business in Asia Pacific

How Social Commerce Drives Your Online Business in Asia Pacific

Every day, customers are looking for new ways to connect with brands. And as the number of social media users in Asia Pacific grows, brands are faced with a great opportunity to leverage this captive audience in the social space to drive online commerce in the region. This article discusses why Asia Pacific stands out when it comes to social media, key challenges and opportunities for brands looking to build their social presence online and some best practices for social commerce success in the region. Social media has completely changed the way brands engage with customers, so it’s no surprise that the rise in social media usage in Asia Pacific (APAC) has had a significant impact on eCommerce businesses. In 2015 overall social media penetration across the region was significant and growing; Singapore led at 91%, followed by Taiwan (61%), Brunei (66%) and Hong Kong (66%)[1]. In the same year, social media users in Philippines (3.4 hours), Malaysia (2.8 hours), Thailand (2.6 hours) and Indonesia (2.4 hours) are found to spend the most amount of time on social media[2]. Why is APAC So Social?   The APAC region is increasingly connected; internet penetration has grown to 36%, a 14% average increase since 2014[3]. While not homogenous in terms of penetration rates, ever-expanding mobile networks have also brought more people into the online space; the region is home to almost 50% of global mobile users in 2014 and is growing consistently[4]. In 2015, APAC’s average mobile penetration rate hit 92%, or over 3.7 million subscribers[5]. The region’s social network penetration reached 27%[6], a strong indicator of how important social networking...
Fashion Goes Mobile in Asia Pacific

Fashion Goes Mobile in Asia Pacific

  Asia Pacific accounts for 1.7 billion unique mobile subscribers, approximately half of the world’s total mobile subscribers. And this figure is expected to grow by 5.5% annually (CAGR), reaching a staggering 2.4 billion subscribers by 2020[1]. While smartphone adoption rates are not completely homogenous across the region, three market leaders in terms of smartphone adoption are Hong Kong (87%), Singapore (87%) and South Korea (80%)[2]. In fact, more than 55% of phones in Southeast Asia are smartphones[3]. In Q1 2014, smartphone sales hit the 18 million mark, a 43% jump from the same period in 2013[4]. This growth prediction is accompanied with estimates that devices will climb up from 340 million units in 2013 to 700 million units in 2017[5], while the global mobile commerce market will climb from USD $116.1 billion in 2014 to USD $467.3 billion in 2019[6]. These figures strongly indicate the region’s vast mobile commerce potential as more and more consumers gain access to online shopping via their mobile devices. Mobile Commerce – This Season’s Must-Have   This mobile commerce explosion has impacted multiple industries but one particular industry riding on the mobile shopping wave is fashion retail. With clothes shopping traditionally seen as a physical shopping experience occurring in a brick-and-mortar store, buying clothes online almost seems contradictory to the notion of “try before you buy”. But end consumers love the greater convenience that mobile shopping offers. Consumers today are digitally savvy and crave immediacy, with many spending significant amounts of time on their mobile devices. According to SPeCommerce research, one of its key fashion retail clients revealed that from January to December...