This blog post has been contributed by Agnes Law, account manager, Schawk.
Brands are facing more complexity than ever with the growing needs of customers and the multiplying number of sales channels. In APAC, e-commerce sales have tripled from USD$0.6 trillion in 2014 to USD$1.8 trillion in 2018. Clearly, online channels are no longer just a nice-to-have — they’re a necessity in our always-on world.
Each consumer has a unique preference. The shift from one size fits all to personalized products creates demand for development of new brands, expanded product portfolios and nuanced marketing activities. As a result, consumers are expecting customized products marketed with relevance via their preferred medium.
Below, we’ve outlined 4 steps brands can take in order to deliver the best shopping experience for the APAC market.
Track the customer journey.
Understanding customer purchase behaviour and creating customer journey maps are vital to track the activities involved in finalizing a product. But, in an ideal world, brands can’t create thousands of shopper journey maps for each customer or invest in disjointed marketing programs across various sales channels.
This is a time when brands turn to develop customer-centric, platform-neutral content to maximize reuse and operational efficiencies across every stage of the content lifecycle.
Create omnichannel experiences.
The rising trend of using omnichannel experience extends sales channels, and an array of media options for marketing activities to be rolled out. Developing influential touchpoints requires a strategic and integrated approach because marketing messages and engagement efforts need to be a cross-functional effort.
For example, in Hong Kong, HKTVMall, a company that once had plans to become a TV station now offers a ‘shoppertainment’ online platform. As HKTV’s online sales increased five-fold during the first half of the year, the company launched its brick-and-mortar store to amplify its reach to its consumers further.
HKTV installed 50 tablets at its offline retail store to encourage customers to continue their omnichannel shopping behaviour. It was also a means to promote inclusivity for those who may not have access to the online shopping experience.
Optimize e-commerce content.
Online retail touchpoints include the creation of digital assets to promote e-commerce sales. While offline touchpoints heavily rely upon brand experience to provide a wholesome retail experience for consumers. Consistency of brand assets and marketing information across both platforms instils confidence over the brand and product.
Developing accurate and informative online content is essential to convert shopping into commercial sales. Digital assets created for targeted repetitive exposure amplifies personalized shopping experiences and encourages customers towards the brick-and-mortar store to enjoy the hands-on experience.
Connect with packaging.
Enhancing offline retail store experiences elevates product desire and connects the brand story with customers. It includes engaging customers through influencer campaigns, building a community or members-only networking events. Such activities create a sense of exclusivity, brand relevance and affirmation that the brands are genuinely hearing their customers feedback.
Complementing the retail experience is the packaging, the key communication tool, that reaches the customers. Younger generations are expecting a much different relationship with brands — a more connected one. If the product sits on a shelf in-store or online, the content should be connected to the packaging, and the packaging to the content.
Developing meaningful content to excite customers at retail stores is paramount to brands as much as creating a space for customers to congregate and share their views with the brands.
Brands need to continue to strive in elevating the retail experience, understand their customer’s needs, geographical preferences and create compelling content to stand out amongst the sea of other retailers and marketplaces.
About Agnes Law: With over 6 years of experience in packaging and design industry, Agnes plays a key account management role in Schawk!. She has managed with global retailers and brand owners, such as Groupe SEB, Dairy Farm, Carrefour and Beka, covering a variety of disciplines and media from customer engagement, brand activation to branded environments.