Alan Tan, general manager, CLEARgo lead the team last year to make it as a finalist for Best in eCommerce (Brands) – Electronics & Gadgets in MARKETING-INTERACTIVE's eCommerce Awards 2021.
The company, which has been around since 2009, currently has offices in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore and Malaysia. Its expertise lies in delivering end-to-end solutions for clients; from eCommerce strategy to UX design, channel / platform implementation and systems integration to digital marketing services that help build Omni-channel brands.
The agency is also touted as the official partners for Adobe Magento, Shopify Plus, Salesforce and Tmall. It has its own proprietary cloud-based enterprise solution, CLEARomni which helps retailers seamlessly connect their platforms and channels together to enable a holistic omni-channel solution.
Read on to find out how the past two years have been for the team.
This interview is done as part of MARKETING-INTERACTIVE’s winners and finalists’ interview series for Asia eCommerce Awards 2021. To find out more about the awards, click here.
What have the past two years been like for you are given the sudden pivot to eCommerce?
COVID-19 responses speeded up the digital transformation by several years. Consumers from different countries started to adopt online shopping technology and experience. Businesses realise the importance of having an eCommerce site when consumer behavior is increasingly focused on eCommerce. The online audiences will be there even after the pandemic, customers will continue to shop online. There has been an increase in merchants interested in setting up their eCommerce businesses.
On the other hand, this also allows us to upgrade the capabilities of our existing merchants in their eCommerce operations and eCommerce platform in terms of optimisation and performance. Customers are not looking for an online shopping platform but a site that can give them a seamless and frictionless shopping experience. Merchants need a professional and experienced partner that can provide advice and suggestions needed by the individual business to build the eCommerce site.
What was one challenge that took you by surprise and how did you pivot?
The surge in merchants wanting to create an eCommerce platform has put a strain on the team resources. The company has aggressively recruited additional resources to meet the resource crunch, as well as implemented care initiatives to provide more wellness and care for our valuable team resources. Without the team’s continuous effort and selfless contribution, we might not able to serve all the merchants’ needs on time during this hardship. We are glad that we make it together and it is an invaluable experience for the team.
The team is expanding to best serve more businesses in the future.
With markets opening up, what are some trends do you have your eyes on?
Merchants increasingly turn to multichannel solutions. As a result of this pandemic, merchants have learned to expect the unexpected. To survive and thrive, merchants should continuously explore online and offline sales channels. Customers' overall buying experience should be seamless and friction-free from the buying process, customer service, loyalty program to collection and delivery.
Due to the COVID-19 outbreak and lockdown, businesses had to scramble to adapt new technologies under intense pressure to continue their business. When the order increases in the platform, businesses might find that some systems are clunky. They will start to move from reacting to crises to improving and forming a solid and concrete system to be used in the operation. Retail businesses are starting to improve their digital business models.
What do you think makes for great marketing these days?
We live in a constantly evolving world that requires marketers to be able to react fast and spontaneously toward the situation.
A good example is how different businesses react during the COVID-19 pandemic period. Customers are more willing to spend with a business that can fulfill their needs anytime. According to The Australian Retail Report 2022, 55% of consumers believe retailers used technology well to make their products available during the pandemic. Nonetheless, marketers can pay attention to the future trends and indications to better prepare for the needs of tomorrow – technology.
Marketing will progressively need to be personalized, real-time and one-to-one to different groups of specific target audiences. Looking out for the customer advocacy and best interest can drive audiences to your products and services. Marketers need to address the target audience clearly to be able to know their needs and wants. It defines the method of communication suitable for the business.
We often heard people saying that content is king. Good content requires a lot of resources and effort but might not gather sufficient conversion in the end as it takes time. Don’t be afraid to do tests for different types of content so that marketers can understand the kind of content that can reach the targeted audiences better.
Valuable and relevant content gets people engaged on a more personal level with their interests, wants and needs.
How do you feel about your win?
CLEARgo is honored to make it to the finals of the Asia eCommerce Awards despite the fierce competition.
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