Retailers should tap into this goldmine as the consumer preference of Hong Kongers increasingly turns digital.
As Hong Kong’s battered retail sector gradually recovers from its protracted three-year slump, retailers must aspire towards an omnichannel model to stay relevant and provide customers with a unique shopping experience that will trace the path of the sector’s long-term growth trajectory, according to Colliers Q4 sector outlook.
Retailers should take advantage of the booming e-commerce trend as consumer preference increasingly turns digital with Hong Kongers snagging the second spot in cross-border transaction for Alibaba’s wildly popular e-commerce festival Double 11 or Singles Day.
“With the digital revolution expanding its footprint in retail, success of individual brands will depend on the retailer’s capability and speed of adaptation. A revamped online presence alone doesn't do the trick as customers increasingly expect a seamless shopping experience with the same services in every sales channel,” reports Colliers analyst Melanie Kotschenreuther.
A frictionless omnichannel strategy that integrates the necessary mobile, online and offline channels will allow customers to start the shopping journey on one channel and finish it in another medium all the while having access to promotion material across all channels.
Colliers notes that mobile payment apps are amongst the various technological applications that can facilitate such retail strategy as was illustrated during Alibaba’s online festival last year when Alipay e-wallet users conducted eight times more in-store transactions overseas than in 2016.
Stored-value electronic card Octopus has also debuted a QR code payment trial which is likely to spur e-commerce activity among its wide userbase should the company decide to roll-out the feature permanently.
Furthermore, other IoT retail applications include Smart Screens which Tmall displayed in its pop-up store during Double 11. Tmall enabled customers to pick up and purchase products with ease as a screen automatically displayed product information.
Abercrombie & Fitch is similarly enabling customers to place and pick-up online orders and to return items purchased online in its new Harbour City store.
Mobile payment would also play a critical role in unmanned stores as Chinese company BingoBox was quoted saying that it plans to roll out its unmanned convenience stores in Hong Kong.
“Looking forward, we foresee an increasing number of brands using different in-store digitisation tools to deliver improved consumer experiences through sales channel integration,” Kotschenreuther added.
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