With the pandemic fundamentally changing consumer behavior, businesses have also adapted to an evolved landscape by going digital. From eCommerce and doorstep deliveries to focusing on online customer experience and going direct-to-consumer, a majority of businesses that continued to grow over the past two years have implemented structures for this evolved future.
However, there is a bigger opportunity that businesses can and should tap on.
With the accessibility provided by already-established online sales channels and commerce infrastructures, businesses in Hong Kong can now start looking at expanding overseas and reaching the wider and growing consumer base of the Asia-Pacific region.
But what exactly can businesses do? Let’s dive in.
Apart from localising content such as languages, product information and creatives, a business should also be on channels where local consumers are on - there’s no one-size-fits-all strategy here. One of these online channels is e-commerce marketplaces, where usage and popularity differ by regions.
Let’s take Southeast Asia for example. Apart from regional marketplaces such as Amazon, Shopee and Lazada, businesses should not ignore local marketplaces such as Tokopedia, Bukalapak and Blibli in Indonesia and Tiki in Vietnam.
This is also where the concept of “Headless Commerce” becomes important, where the backend (which includes data such as master inventory) can be integrated into various frontends (e-commerce marketplaces and other online stores), providing a centralised system to manage, update, edit or change products across all frontend platforms.
We haven't even talked about areas such as social commerce and conversational commerce - the possibilities still continue to grow!
What businesses use to manage their online sales channels
Once sales channels are sorted, businesses will then need to segment, reach and convert their ideal consumer profiles into customers.
Here, digital marketing and influencer marketing have proven effective. With the long-heralded deprecation of third-party cookies, marketers and tech vendors have found ways to circumvent any impending disruption to how they’ve identified relevant users. The thing is, businesses have a multitude of ways to reach their ideal customer profiles - desktop and mobile web, in-app, and social media marketing, and in recent years, influencer marketing too.
Influencer marketing is an interesting one - when it first gained traction in this part of the world, influencer marketing was used mainly to generate awareness or build branding, but that has now changed.
Tech advancements mean that influencer marketing can now be used for lower funnel marketing activities, including conversions and purchases - and this can all be tracked and attributed with the right influencer marketing platforms. This also fits well into the needs for businesses with online sales channels, where performance influencer marketing can take prominence.
With all that said, the market diversity in Asia means that businesses also need to develop strategies that are designed and localized for each market. What works well in Thailand might not have the same impact as Vietnam - with varied market nuances and consumer behaviors. It is here where working with a regional partner can have multifold benefits.
Opportunities for businesses to tap on digital marketing and influencer marketing
Delivering purchased products to customers
One of the perceived barriers to cross-border businesses is in delivering purchases to the customer’s doorstep. However, one of the emergent from the pandemic is the rise in third-party logistics (3PL) providers and consumers’ familiarity with such logistics and delivery services.
Businesses can choose from a range of local, regional and international 3PL vendors, and manage vendors, deliveries and returns through logistics management platforms - providing even greater flexibility to expand their business across borders.
In fact, logistics is often the only physical touchpoint for online businesses today, which means that packaging and timely customer communication increases in importance too.
Putting it all together
Businesses in Hong Kong can, in fact, look to tap on a much wider region and consumer base, ultimately bringing in new avenues of growth. The above outlines key considerations and actions a business can take - no matter how big or small the business is. Channels, marketing and logistics become key pillars when a business is looking to expand overseas, and a business that can get these right are primed for overseas expansion.
Now imagine doing all this through a single platform.
Keen to discover ways that your business can expand? Click here .