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3 key strategies for Hong Kong retailers to amplify sales in 2024

Implementing one of these strategies has shown conversion rates between 50%-70%.

Hong Kong's retail industry will still tread on thin ice at the beginning of 2024, and to navigate this, the global smart commerce platform SHOPLINE suggested three strategies.

With 2024 being the "Year of Gen AI," SHOPLINE suggested that retailers introduce the use of technology.

"According to the latest research from Google Cloud over 80% of decision-makers in the US retail market feel a sense of urgency to adopt Gen AI into their operations," SHOPLINE said.

"Recently, consumers in Hong Kong have increasingly preferred using instant messaging applications to communicate with merchants. The introduction of Gen AI can eliminate long waiting times and avoid generic responses," SHOPLINE added.

SHOPLINE utilises AI through its Message Cente, which handles and consolidates messages from all social platforms, including WhatsApp, Facebook, and Instagram. 

SHOPLINE also allows merchants to upload store-specific information,  such as return policies and business hours, to its AI Database. The AI assistant will then provide suggested replies, accelerating productivity and improving conversion rates.

SHOPLINE said 77% of customers place orders successfully after receiving sales-related messages through chat.

Livestream selling

Another way to amplify sales in 2024 is through livestream selling.

SHOPLINE underscored that, on average, consumers in Hong Kong spend nearly two hours daily using social media platforms.

Hopping on the livestream selling trend, SHOPLINE began supporting YouTube Shopping, enabling merchants to use the YouTube platform for marketing, which showed favourable results, driving merchants’ GMV and website traffic.

"Since its introduction to SHOPLINE, YouTube Shopping has proven its value in supporting business success. In one case, live streaming has contributed to over 30% of a merchant’s GMV and has been responsible for driving 23% of their website traffic," SHOPLINE shared.

According to SHOPLINE’s analysis, livestream sales in Hong Kong were most significant during the year-end shopping peak season, with conversion rates ranging from 50% to 70%.

In 2024, the 15-day period leading up to Chinese New Year is a peak shopping period. 

Year-on-year comparisons of the week preceding Chinese New Year have shown that merchants who sell Chinese New Year products experienced a 15% annual increase in GMV.

Many customers also utilised livestream shopping to purchase some of the top 10 New Year goods for 2024, which include radish cake, red date cake, and taro cake.

In addition, merchants who sell seafood products and Chinese New Year goods achieved seven-figure revenue through livestreaming alone.

Cross-border and OMO omnichannel sales strategy

According to SHOPLINE, many Hong Kong residents flocked to membership warehouse clubs and mega malls in Shenzhen, such as Sam's Club and Costco, in search of slashed prices and bulk-buy deals.

SHOPLINE also observed that its merchants have started offering personal shopping services for Sam's Club products, with electronic appliances being particularly popular amongst Hong Kong consumers.

"Between December 25th 2023 and January 28th 2024, the average year-on-year GMV growth of merchants providing Sam’s Club purchasing services increased by 25%. Among them, some merchants recorded a year-on-year GMV growth of nearly 40%, whilst some others have been able to achieve six-digit revenues," the platform reported.

To take advantage of this trend, SHOPLINE merchants implemented an OMO (Online Merge Offline) strategy, integrating digital storefronts with physical stores which bolstered their average YoY sales growth to 1.7 times.

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