Leaders Connect 2023
#AsiaeCommerceAwards 2021 spills: Schneider Electric's winning B2B strategy

#AsiaeCommerceAwards 2021 spills: Schneider Electric's winning B2B strategy

share on

Schneider Electric is best known for its energy and automation digital solutions, built for homes, buildings, data centres, infrastructure, and industries. As a digitally-based company, eCommerce had been in the cards for Schneider Electric for a while, with the pandemic having accelerated the need for more efficient digital channels and facilitating seamless points of contact with customers. This pivotal transformation saw Schneider Electric win bronze for Best in eCommerce (Brands) - B2B, as well as Best eCommerce Campaign - B2B, at MARKETING-INTERACTIVE's Asia eCommerce Awards 2021.

In an interview, Romaric Ernst (pictured), VP of business development EAJ, Schneider Electric, shared with MARKETING-INTERACTIVE on the company's digitalisation process, and how in its eCommerce transformation, it developed a more customer-centric approach that would serve customers more efficiently in their purchasing journey. 

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 given the sudden pivot to eCommerce?

Ernst: Our ambition to develop a strong eCommerce channel is not new. But for sure, the pandemic has accelerated the need to transform and leverage digital capabilities to serve our customers efficiently. We have been focusing on enhancing the digital experience of our customers by developing a true omnichannel strategy and building a customer-centric eCommerce organisation.

In Malaysia specifically, we have made considerable progress to strengthen the way we delight our customers throughout their purchasing journey. To support our partners in this transformation, we have designed a tailor-made programme for online customer acquisition (O2O programme). With this approach, we seek to drive our organisation to go above and beyond the limitations of traditional sales channels.

We do not expect to transform and succeed overnight. But we want to move with speed and agility by experimenting with new tools and tactics to learn and eventually be able to provide an end-to-end, positive experience to our partners and customers at every touchpoint of their purchasing journey.

What was one challenge that took you by surprise and how did you pivot?

Ernst: One of the key reasons for Schneider Electric's success is our strong partner network. When we started our eCommerce journey five years ago, an early priority was to embark our entire ecosystem on this transformation. Our initial focus was to support our partners in building their eCommerce websites by giving some suggestions in terms of platform and database. However, in a relatively traditional industry, not every partner was ready to go digital at the same speed or with their own web stores.

We realised that we had to build a more holistic framework of collaboration to drive agility and innovation. Over time, we developed a variety of enablement programmes and eCommerce initiatives to be able to support our ecosystem, regardless of their maturity level and platforms they wished to use. We became more entrepreneurial and agile in order to embrace the ever-changing trends for eCommerce.

With markets opening up, what are some trends you have your eyes on?

Ernst: Although the physical stores and offline businesses are now recovering, we see that the pandemic has pushed customer behaviours towards digitalisation, and this will have a long-lasting effect even after the pandemic ends. We, therefore, want to offer options to customers to serve their needs, leveraging different models to give them choices, convenience, and agility.

Thus, it is also important for us to find ways to integrate eCommerce with our traditional offline business and make the path-to-purchase journey more seamless and connected. With eCommerce, customers can easily access a wealth of information, they can enjoy buying products or services anytime and anywhere, often matched with same-day delivery.

In Malaysia, the government aims to drive digital transformation by giving various incentives to SMEs. This encourages marketplaces to actively recruit sellers. It is an opportunity for businesses to diversify their sales channels, leading to the explosive growth of eCommerce. As the change in customer behaviours correlates to the advances in technology, we have committed to growing our capabilities and collaborating with our partners in adopting omnichannel strategies to both achieve immediate sales results and prepare for the future.

What do you think makes for great marketing these days?

Ernst: We at Schneider Electric respond to the growing customer preference to purchase online by focusing on offering an end-to-end solution with marketing being one of the elements. We believe that great marketing relates to communicating to the right audience in meaningful ways and in the right context. Importantly, the following factors will help us have a greater impact on our ecosystem and bring our business to the next level.

  • Personalised content that reflects a specific customer's needs, and creates unique connections
  • A distinctive Schneider Electric signature to delight our customers in a consistent way
  • Strong data analytics to support campaign design and performance management
  • Process and tools to collect partner and customer feedback
  • Innovation mindset: Try often, fail fast, learn, keep trying and improving

How do you feel about your win?

Ernst: We are extremely honoured to receive this award. It’s the first eCommerce award we have received for this region and I am proud that our efforts to digitise our channel and develop a new avenue for growth were recognised. Without the tremendous contribution from our team in Malaysia, we may not have been able to reach this level of success. I want to thank everyone involved for their hard work and dedication. Moving forward, Schneider Electric will continue to expand its eCommerce business across the region so that we stay relevant to and better serve our customers.

share on

Follow us on our Telegram channel for the latest updates in the marketing and advertising scene.

Free newsletter

Get the daily lowdown on Asia's top marketing stories.

We break down the big and messy topics of the day so you're updated on the most important developments in Asia's marketing development – for free.

subscribe now open in new window