3 confessions of an e-commerce director

Vincent Lau, who heads e-commerce efforts for iconic brands like Ugg, reveals three truths of e-commerce.

1.  Being a digital expert doesn't make you a marketer

"A digital expert may know how to operate an online shop: they may be a T-mall or TaoBao expert, but they don't know how to market their brand."

Lau says e-commerce operations is the "personal service" and "warehouse logistics" that enables the smooth delivery of clients' orders from when they press the "buy now" button to when the products arrive at their doors.

2.  Product mix matters

"Each region still has its crown products: its right product mixes on the front page of the site, for example," he says. "This means the back end also has to work hand-in-hand to ensure that the warehouse has that mix of stock as well."

3.  Bricks and mortar still rule HK

"During my two-odd years at Sa Sa, only 1% of its e-commerce business serves locals: so it just doesn't make sense to just look at this market alone when doing e-commerce," he said, explaining that the city's proximity and convenience makes brick-and-mortar stores the prominent shopping medium.

"Even if you think about it, there are few remaining e-commerce cites that targets locals, for example, YesAsia.com and Strawberry Net.

Vincent Lau, is the regional e-commerce director of Deckers Outdoor Corporation - which houses brands including Ugg, Teva, Sanuk, Mozo, Ahnu and Tsubo. Prior to Deckers he lead e-commerce at cosmetics brand Sa Sa.