Hong Kong consistently has one of the highest rates of mobile penetration globally. While online channels such as Facebook and Instagram are the best way to reach shoppers, choosing an ecommerce solution that can be localized into a branded store for Hong Kong needs can be a challenge. As a Shopify Expert and Shopify partner, Wave Commerce has worked with both local Hong Kong businesses as well as household global brands to develop localized Shopify stores in English and Chinese that meet the unique needs of this city’s shoppers, from O2O shopping flows to local payment solutions and delivery options.
This post will walk merchants through key ecommerce features that can be activated in a Shopify storefront without coding to immediately deliver an exceptional customer experience for shoppers in Hong Kong and globally. The Shopify features we discuss will include social media integration, local payments, local and global delivery options, customer service, as well as loyalty and retention that can be easily implemented to improve sales.
Instagram news feed on Peppertint’s Shopify store
Social proof is one of the best ways to promote your brand to interested customers. If you have already begun online selling, chances are you have already created a free Instagram account to showcase your products. If you have not, now’s the time because that is where your customers will be -- by the end of 2018, there were over 2.66 million Instagram users in Hong Kong, representing 35% of the population.
Shopify has Instagram integrations, which is a quick way for you to let store visitors see how other people have already been using your products. Fashion and jewelry brands such as Hong Kong’s Peppertint have included their Instagram feed seamlessly as a gallery into their home page so that visitors can get inspiration from how others have matched their products with the latest fashion.
Be sure to integrate social media in more ways than one. For example, turn on social share buttons in your Shopify store so customers can quickly recommend your brand and invest in Instagram and Facebook advertising to reach your ideal customers segments.
The Shopify platform comes with flexible custom payment setups and out of the box integrations to popular payment methods that Hong Kong merchants can make use of.
To begin, Shopify has a built in payment gateway called Shopify Payments, which allows merchants to take payments with major credit cards and in 10 major currencies for global customers. In addition, merchants can also activate Paypal, which remains a popular payment method in Hong Kong.
To offer a fully localized customer shopping experience, Hong Kong Shopify merchants such as Imperial Patisserie 皇玥餅藝 have also enabled manual payment methods and O2O store pickup options. Manual payments that Hong Kong merchants may consider include Payme transfers, bank transfers, or cash payments at a store pickup. Orders that use manual payment methods will be processed by the Shopify system and be marked as pending. This means store staff will need to manually mark orders as paid once they have received funds.
Order fulfillment and delivery is often an overlooked opportunity for ecommerce businesses to distinguish themselves through an improved online shopping experience for their customers.
Offer Hong Kong Shoppers Easy Home Delivery + Self-Pickup Options
One of the factors that affects purchase decisions is whether the right delivery options are available, such as locker or convenience store pickups in addition to door-to-door deliveries.
For example, Y’s Recipes chose to use our HK Pickup Options app when they migrated their online store to Shopify because it immediately offered 1000+ pickup locations in English and Chinese for their customers to choose from in addition to door-to-door delivery. Using a single app, they are able to offer updated pickup S.F. Express stores, convenience stores, and locker locations. You can also read more about HK Pickup Options features and learn how to integrate S.F. Express into your Shopify store to improve your business operations.
Rather than just competing for speed, provide local delivery options that fit seamlessly into your shopper’s daily routines. Shopify merchants can choose from an array of order fulfillment apps on the Shopify App Store that offer automatic price comparisons for different types of delivery options.
Automate Transparent Shipping Quotes to Build Trust
As Shopify is designed to help merchants sell globally from day one, Hong Kong-based businesses should also take advantage of the city’s status as a global logistics hub to expand to new markets with little additional cost.
To do this, you can use apps such as Easyship to provide real-time shipping rates to global customers. Providing transparent shipping rates automatically builds trust with customers, as rates can vary significantly for markets without adding administrative overhead for you.
Offer Free Shipping to Encourage Purchases and Upsell
Finally, you can use Shopify’s admin to set up shipping rules that allow you to cover your shipping costs with a minimum order spend. You can set up shipping rules based on price, weight, and also region. This means that you can create automated free shipping offers for local shoppers and global shoppers.
After you have made it through the hurdle of winning over your first customers, don’t miss out on the opportunity to retain them! Customer retention, referrals, and repeat purchases are strong drivers for business growth. The bracelet brand Pura Vida saw 10x the average customer spend for return customers using the Wave Commerce app S Loyalty. Hong Kong’s household brand, Lee Kum Kee (LKK), also chose to use S Loyalty to deliver a truly localized English and Chinese rewards program tailored to Hong Kong customers. In addition to Chinese, S Loyalty has multilanguage support for Japanese, French, Spanish, and German.
To get started on a loyalty program, online stores can offer customers points for purchases. Loyalty program apps on Shopify’s App Store come with many sophisticated features that increase retention, such as automated welcome or birthday bonus points, 2x or 3x point earning rules, or referral bonuses.
The last critical feature for a successful online store is ensuring customer success through well designed customer service. By having open channels of communication to address customers’ concerns, you are able to engage with interested shoppers to convert them into a sale.
Customer service is every aspect of your store and operations that can help customers with Concerns and needs. This includes the following:
In addition to the features built into Shopify’s platform, we encourage merchants to explore the Shopify App Store to see third-party apps for live chat, customer support, and reviews.
Shopify’s ecommerce platform and third-party ecosystem has all the components to help you create a successful online store for Hong Kong, in English and Chinese. By activating available features and integrating them into your storefront, you will be able to remove areas of friction for online purchases.
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