Shaping the Future of Asian E-Commerce: Insights from eTail Asia 2023
As the world of e-commerce continues to rapidly evolve, industry professionals and enthusiasts alike eagerly anticipate conferences and events that offer valuable insights and trends. One such event that garnered significant attention this year was eTail Asia 2023.
Held on 6-8 June 2023 at Equarius Hotel, Singapore, this premier gathering brought together thought leaders, entrepreneurs, and innovators from the e-commerce realm to share their expertise and explore the future of digital retail in the Asian market. In this article, we delve into three key sessions from eTail Asia 2023, uncovering the emerging trends, strategies, and technologies that are shaping the future of the e-commerce landscape in the region.
An Overview of eTail Asia 2023
eTail Asia 2023 began with an opening keynote that set the stage for the discussions to come. Over the course of two days, esteemed industry leaders and visionaries took the stage to share their insights on the evolving consumer behaviors and expectations in the digital age. They covered a wide range of topics, including omnichannel strategies, supply chain optimization, customer engagement, and more. In addition to these informative sessions, eTail Asia 2023 featured engaging panel discussions, interactive workshops, and networking opportunities that allowed attendees to connect with like-minded individuals, forge valuable partnerships, and exchange ideas.
#1 Omnichannel – Still A Fairy Tale?
The session on "Omnichannel – Still A Fairy Tale?" featured a keynote panel consisting of esteemed e-commerce experts who addressed the ongoing challenges faced by brands in achieving a seamless online-to-offline (O2O) strategy. Here are the key takeaways from the session:
Creating a Winning Strategy: Combining Brand, Seamless Experience, and Unified Product
First and foremost, the session emphasized the importance of combining brand identity, a seamless customer experience, and a unified product offering to develop a successful omnichannel strategy. By aligning these elements, brands can create a cohesive and consistent experience for customers across different channels, reinforcing their brand image and enhancing customer satisfaction.
Tech Investment in Customer Data and Insights as the Foundation
Next, the panelists highlighted that investing in technology to gather and analyze customer data is essential for building a solid foundation for an effective omnichannel strategy. By leveraging customer data and actionable insights, brands can better understand their customers' preferences, behaviors, and purchasing patterns. This data-driven approach enables personalized experiences, targeted marketing campaigns, and improved decision-making to optimize the overall omnichannel experience.
“I am proud of the work that we have done at H&M by keeping customer(s) at the center of everything we do, from organizational decisions to business decisions to innovative ideas,” said Amishaa Arora, Head of Customer Activation & Marketing, South Asia at H&M.
Commitment to Omnichannel and Resource Allocation
The session also emphasized the need for a strong commitment to omnichannel, including investment in marketing technology (martech) and the allocation of appropriate resources. Brands should ensure they have the right tools, systems, and personnel to execute their omnichannel strategy effectively. Additionally, the importance of updating measures and key performance indicators (KPIs) beyond sales was stressed, as tracking and evaluating the success of omnichannel efforts go beyond revenue generation alone.
Experimentation and Piloting New Tech or Digital Strategies
Last but not least, the speakers encouraged brands to embrace experimentation and continuously pilot new technology and digital strategies within their omnichannel approach. By being open to innovation and staying at the forefront of emerging technologies, brands can identify and adopt new tools, platforms, and tactics that enhance the omnichannel experience. This iterative approach allows for ongoing improvement and adaptation to meet evolving customer expectations and market trends.
#2 Retail Opportunities in the Rise of the Metaverse Economy
During the enlightening session on "Retail Opportunities in the Rise of the Metaverse Economy," Roxanne from Shiseido shared valuable insights on harnessing the power of new platforms like the #Metaverse in marketing. She specifically highlighted successful campaigns executed by the NARS Cosmetics brand on popular virtual platforms such as Roblox and Zepeto. Here's a closer look at the key takeaways from Roxanne's inspiring talk:
Be Where Your Customers Are - Embrace the Metaverse
Roxanne underscored the importance of meeting customers where they are, and in the emerging Metaverse, that means recognizing its potential to reach new segments of consumer audiences who are actively participating in virtual worlds. Tapping into the Metaverse enables brands to connect with their target audience and craft immersive experiences that genuinely resonate with them.
According to a recent survey conducted by Accenture, nearly two-thirds (64%) of consumers have already made virtual purchases or engaged in virtual experiences or services within the past year. The same survey also reveals that this number is projected to increase as 83% of respondents express interest in making purchases through the metaverse. Against this backdrop, embracing the Metaverse as a marketing platform has become essential for retailers seeking to capitalize on the growing consumer demand for virtual experiences and purchases.
Experimentation is Key
The session strongly emphasized the importance of embracing experimentation within the Metaverse. Roxanne encouraged retailers to adopt a mindset of continuous exploration and push the boundaries of what is possible in this new digital frontier. By actively testing innovative approaches and campaigns within the Metaverse, brands can uncover novel marketing strategies and tactics that captivate and engage their audience in unprecedented ways. Embracing experimentation allows retailers to stay agile, adapt to evolving customer preferences, and identify effective methods for leveraging the unique characteristics of the Metaverse.
Metaverse as a Marketing Channel
Roxanne spent a significant portion of her presentation showcasing successful campaigns executed by NARS Cosmetics on platforms like Roblox and Zepeto, serving as compelling examples of the Metaverse's potential as a marketing channel. These campaigns artfully utilized the distinctive features and capabilities of virtual worlds to connect with the target audience, driving brand awareness and fostering meaningful engagement. Roxanne's insightful examples served to inspire and encourage session attendees to perceive the Metaverse as a valuable and untapped opportunity to expand their marketing reach and deliver immersive experiences that resonate with their customers.
#3 Preparing for the Store of Tomorrow
During this particular session, Kevin Davis, a seasoned professional with experience in logistics and e-commerce fulfillment, provided valuable insights on effectively integrating the store estate for e-commerce purposes. The discussion focused on key aspects such as enhancing stock availability, reducing cost-to-serve, mitigating delivery failure rates, and exploring capital-efficient options. Here are the key takeaways from this enlightening discussion:
Integration of Store Estate for E-Commerce Success
Firstly, Kevin touched on the importance of integrating physical stores with e-commerce operations to drive improved performance. By optimizing the store estate, retailers can enhance stock availability, enabling customers to access a wide range of products both online and in-store. This integration also aims to reduce the cost-to-serve by leveraging existing infrastructure and resources, ultimately improving profitability.
Addressing Delivery Challenges
Another critical aspect discussed during the session was mitigating delivery failure rates. Retailers need to implement effective strategies to minimize delivery issues such as missed deliveries, damaged goods, or late arrivals. By optimizing logistics and fulfillment processes, including improving last-mile delivery capabilities, retailers can enhance customer satisfaction and minimize delivery-related challenges.
Optimizing Micro-Fulfillment Stores
According to Kevin, achieving optimal performance does not require excessive reliance on advanced technology. Instead, it is about aligning operational practices within a retail store environment while emphasizing fundamental principles. Kevin emphasized 3 crucial elements: simplifying processes similar to warehouse operations (pick/pack/ship), implementing clear tracking systems for product and process performance, and cultivating an operational mindset.
Furthermore, Kevin stressed the significance of clear metrics to measure the performance and impact of store sales and e-commerce activities. He also emphasized the need to establish a balanced approach in the order system, considering factors such as customer location, product availability, and store capacity. Regular adjustments to strike the right balance are necessary for optimizing performance and ensuring efficient and effective operations.
About eTail Connect Australia 2023
eTail Connect Australia is the invite only in person summit for Australia’s most senior-level leaders In ecommerce & digital marketing. At eTail Connect Australia you’ll experience a mix of high-level strategic case studies and interactive discussions focused on your biggest priorities allowing you to benchmark your eCommerce and digital marketing strategies with your peers and stay ahead of the curve. Plus, meet with handpicked solution providers to efficiently determine who is best placed to support your current eCommerce and digital marketing priorities. You’ll benefit from all of this over 2 interactive days at eTail Connect Australia with 100 leading Australian retailers, ensuring you get the best ROI on your valuable time.
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