Survey: Hong Kong CEOs aren’t social media savvy

Despite the fact that social media is a huge part of our lives, most Hong Kong CEOs do not unleash the potential of social platforms.

According to the 2016 CEO Pulse Survey, only a 1/4 of CEOs used social media for consumer engagement, and only 1/10 used social media and messaging platforms as a sales channel for their omni-channel strategies.

In the coming 12 months, the survey predicted that slightly more than 10% plan to develop structural social media platforms for consumers to search for product opinions and feedback.

The survey, jointly initiated by GS1 Hong Kong and KPMG China, aims to provide an outlook for e-commerce development in Hong Kong.

YouGov was commissioned to conduct an analysis on 225 CEOs’ views on their business and e-commerce strategies, as well as a consumer survey collecting feedback from 1,000 respondents, half-and-half Hong Kong and China citizens.

Anna Lin, chief executive of GS1 Hong Kong said, “In the age of digital disruption, building omni-channel platforms is a key business driver for today’s companies,”

“However, only a very few CEOs use social platforms as a sales channel, either because they are unaware of the potential or they do not have the tools to capitalise on these platforms to give their sales a boost.”

The study also finds out trust and consistency issues are among the top challenges of consumers of online shopping.

About half of respondents (Hong Kong 47%, mainland China 56%) expressed concerns about potential discrepancy of size and colour, about one-third (Hong Kong 35%, mainland China 30%) said insufficient product information is a challenge, and about one-fifth (Hong Kong 20%, mainland China 31%) said inconsistent search results for information about products is a concern.

When it comes to consumer purchasing behaviour, the survey shows travel was the only category in which more Hong Kong consumers intend to spend more in the coming two years (71%) than in the previous 12 months (63%).

Other favourite items in Hongkongers’ shopping cart for the next two years include fashion (65%), food & beverage (64%), and lifestyle products (61%), though drops in purchase intention are seen compared to the past 12 months.

Comparing Hong Kong shoppers and their mainland Chinese counterparts, the number of Chinese shoppers planning to spend is on the rise in almost every category.

Anson Bailey, head of consumer markets at KPMG in Hong Kong said, “Retailers, FMCG companies and their supply chain partners need to take steps to transform their companies into digital-first, customer centric and fully integrated omni businesses. However, our survey shows that Hong Kong and mainland China online shoppers have significant concerns around trust and consistency which companies must address going forward.”

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