How To Surf The Digital Economy Successfully
Your customers are most likely shopping on their mobiles – and social media. It’s time to optimize your business to match the shopping habits of consumers in Asia and beyond.
With e-commerce, SMEs can showcase their brand and product to customers anywhere. And thanks to social media, they get first-hand, often real-time, feedback on what customers like, meaning they can improve their product fast to meet those needs. How can e-tailers surf the digital economy to target overseas customers? Check out my key takeaways below:
Social commerce is now a must for business success
Of course, it’s no longer enough just to have a website. Businesses need to make the experience simple and compelling for customers shopping on mobile phones and through social networks. Integrating e-commerce, mobile commerce and social commerce means working across multiple platforms to stay connected to customers at all times.
But social commerce is taking things a step further. Depending on the market you’re selling in, the rise of live streaming within social commerce may be driving a special kind of one-click purchase - the impulse buy. The real-time, experiential aspect of live shopping, combined with the likelihood of an online personality fronting the product, is compelling online shoppers to make instant purchases.
Factor in flash sales and the ability to contact the shopping host or channel directly to chat about the purchase and some brands, especially in the fashion, jewelry or beauty space, are onto a huge win. The trend is most sophisticated – and lucrative - in Korea and China, generating huge revenue for sellers and streaming platforms.
Research the audience where you are selling. Live commerce hadn’t taken off everywhere, and you may have greater success focusing on social selling one the platform that really works for you – whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, LINE or TikTok.
APAC consumers are mobile-first
In Asia Pacific, mobile commerce is on the up. 63% of consumers in the region use mobile apps as their primary shopping method. China, especially, is at an all-time high of 86% thanks to the popularity of apps like Taobao, Tmall and XiaoHongShu.
Of course, Asia Pacific is a diverse region of varying technological infrastructure, affluence, youth population, GDP and many other factors. That means usage of mobile commerce does fluctuate. While mobile shoppers are at 88% in Indonesia, in Japan it’s just 49%.
With such low barriers to entry, many small online businesses are springing up across the region, meaning more choice for the consumer. Thanks to short attention spans and shifting social media trends, SMEs have to fight harder than ever to attract customer attention.
The shift from online storefront to marketplace
Given these challenges to convert to purchase decision, it’s crucial that SMEs make the final step – the checkout process – as straightforward as possible. Overseas customers want currency, fees and taxes to be straightforward, and most importantly to have the delivery process fully integrated without a hitch. Consumers, especially when shopping on their mobile or on social media, can be easily distracted, as well as put off by too many steps at the final checkout. SMEs need to remove every possible barrier to purchase completion to avoid cart abandonment.
The final step is seamless delivery. When it comes to connecting businesses with their customers efficiently, the right logistics provider can be the missing link.
Got questions or need help with shipping, or setting up the right e-commerce solution for your business? Our Small Business Center has all of the resources you need in one place to expand your business overseas.
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