Wave Commerce had the absolute pleasure of not only hosting our first in-person event in 3 years, but bringing them back with a BANG! The Shopify Ecommerce Summit was Hong Kong’s biggest Shopify event of the year (full house!), and no holes were barred from bringing together the best and brightest minds in ecommerce.
Setting the stage
130 merchants, retailers, and partners mingled, ate, and experienced innovative new Shopify experiences! Located in the heart of Causeway Bay, Shopify was center stage right from the moment of entering. Armed with their meal pre-order, registered guests were excited to redeem their dinner from the legendary restaurant, Little Bao, helmed by Asia’s top female chef.
The arrival experience showcased an innovative Shopify exclusive O2O - order online, collect offline - solution, OMNI by Wave Commerce. Guests were able to sign up for their meal before the event, and redeem in a second with just a scan of their unique QR code.
Not only was Little Bao a huge hit for stomachs, but showcasing innovative Shopify solutions is just one of the few ways we help to drive customer acquisition and brand awareness for the ever-expanding Shopify ecosystem. To find out more about integrating online and offline order management, inventory, and customer experience on Shopify, visit here.
Meanwhile, one of our OMNI clients and Shopify merchant, the Tea Project, delighted guests with freshly imported (and freshly brewed!) OUHUIS Rooibos tea. A big thank you to the Tea Project for providing such a fun Shopify experience zone, and to their incredibly knowledgeable team that not only helped match guests to their dream tea - but ended up consulting on a wide range of tea-related knowledge from best cups to drink from, and best teas to send you to sleep!
Not only was the Summit showcasing innovative solutions and merchant products, but content was king. First up, was Google.
Act 1: Google - the key trends shaping retail
Adrian and Tiffany from Google were first on the stage, and shared their latest research and insights into the current trends for marketing and ecommerce in Hong Kong. They shared that not only has the way we shopped and buy changed, but the entire ecosystem has had to change with it.
At Wave Commerce we are constantly talking about how the tide is always changing, and new waves of commerce are shaping retail everyday. This was very much evident in Google’s presentation.
They highlighted that there has been 42% year-on-year growth for online shopping in Hong Kong, and in 2022 - more shoppers had positive online experiences than they did in offline stores. This is a key turning point for Hong Kong, which had been slow to turn to online experiences given the immediate convenience and variety of offline shopping in the city. Shop online, buy anywhere is still one of the biggest trends shaping customer experience - with shoppers looking for flexible and seamless experiences that alternate for different situations.
With this in mind - for brands which have not already done so - they must invest in software to have one holistic view of their customer - both online and offline.
Continuing with macro trends, Google noted that the rising cost of living is affecting Hong Kong shoppers - with 50% of people wanting to spend less. BUT, they are willing to spend more for better value/quality products.
Key takeaways from Google:
Cost of customer acquisition has risen 60% in 5 years, and keeps rising
Automation is key to lowering cost while converting more customers
67% of people said YouTube helped them decide what to buy
91% of users take action when discovering a new product or brand on Google
Top action point from Google:
Consider Google’s Performance Max solution for online sales
Daniel Broderick, Managing Director APAC of New Era graced the stage to share about New Era’s 100+ year history. With apparel and accessories lines, the brand is a market leader rooted in sports and an influencer of street and lifestyle culture around the globe. With over 500 licenses in its portfolio, New Era is the brand of choice in the worlds of sport, fashion, music and entertainment.
New Era encourages people to truly express their personal style and individuality through its products - and that’s why they chose Shopify Plus as their Direct-to-Consumer platform. As an icon of American sport, pop, and street style, New Era needed a flexible and customizable platform to localize in the highly unique Hong Kong market. With international operations managed via SAP, and local partners managing offline stores, New Era worked closely with leading Shopify Plus partner and experts, Wave Commerce, to build a competitive DTC architecture and strategy.
Daniel spoke at large about their DTC journey on Shopify Plus, some of the challenges faced, opportunities gained, and his personal advice for enterprises embarking on a similar journey.
To top it off, event guests were offered an extremely generous exclusive discount for purchases on New Era’s new Shopify Plus store. Upon scanning the code, guests would visit the Shopify Ecommerce Summit landing on New Era’s website, and register as a member to unlock the offer. The signup experience was powered with OMNI by Wave Commerce, learn more about building your customer database here.
Are you an international brand looking at leveraging Shopify Plus, or localizing in Hong Kong? Speak to one of our team of experts at Wave Commerce.
Act 3: Shopify - unlocking sales success in Hong Kong
Virginia from Shopify was the third act for the evening, with an extremely insightful presentation on the biggest takeaways and best practices from the 2022 peak sales season, curated exactly for Hong Kong merchants.
Virginia noted that peak sales season offers are moving earlier in the year, picking up from September - and that 40% of annual sales for merchants are now earned between September to December.
She noted that with recession fears and inflation, Buy Now Pay Later is booming with 81% year-on-year growth. Virginia mentioned that brands looking for a localized BNPL solution, can consider Atome.
Other industry insights observed, is that last-minute shoppers can account for 23% of holiday revenue (POS + online). Similar to finding from Google, Shopify has also observed inflation weighing on shopper behavior, with fewer items per cart - and merchants offering smaller discounts.
The most profitable campaigns involved tiered discounting - including free gift or membership. Examples of tiered discounting include 10% for orders over $250, 15% off for orders over $350 etc - or spend $x to receive $y off z collection. Virginia recommended using an economics calculator to discover your best pricing/discount ratio to increase your AOV (average order value). She highlighted OMNI by Wave Commerce for brands considering localized tiered discounts and free gift campaigns in Hong Kong.
With consumers becoming more socially and ethically responsible, Virginia shared about Planet App by Shopify. Planet lets merchants offer carbon-neutral shipping on 100% of orders, and support some of the most promising climate projects on Earth via the Shopify Sustainability Fund. Merchants can also showcase their climate commitment with icons on their store for shoppers to see.
Automate and Integrate - automate customer tagging and segmenting as well as go-lives on sales and theme changes with Shopify Flow and Launchpad
Review + Pause Abandoned Cart Flows - disable 12-24 hrs prior to any sale, and remember to update with campaign details and personalize
Acquire Once, Sell Often. Trim and Repeat - work in acquiring customers and building your database all year, not just in the lead up to sales season. Remember to trim your database of low-quality/wrong leads to improve your performance metrics. Remove unsubscribed contacts from custom audiences. Virginia mentioned for merchants interested in improving their database management and customer data insights, to explore Dotdigital.
Be Support Ready - ensure live chat is installed on your checkout page, and that all support team members are well equipped with knowledge on current sales and offers. Virginia highlighted SleekFlow for merchants interested in social commerce and live support.
Make Checkout Easier - erase friction and optimize your checkout for conversion. Virginia mentioned that merchants looking for a different or targetted checkout experience can consider Airwallex.
Sell Where Your Customers Buy - instead of selling where your customers ARE, focus resources on where your customers are most likely to buy from you. Experiment, dive into the data, and look for new ways to convert. Consider Shopify’s Linkpop for example, to encourage social media followers to buy directly from your social media channels but facilitated via Shopify for a seamless experience and inventory management.
Act 4: Navigating the Shopify Ecosystem
The Shopify Ecosystem is the world’s largest network of partners, solutions, resources, and experts. As a Shopify merchant, sometimes it could be a little daunting evaluating so many options and variety to customize your store or deliver new experiences. There are over 6,000 apps in the Shopify app store after all - with many more not listed.
To help brands navigate the ecosystem, Wave Commerce and Shopify Plus partnered up to create the Shopify Plus APAC Guide - with outstanding contributions from leading and up-and-coming Shopify solutions in the region for brands to consider, alongside exciting success stories, industry benchmarks, and key trends to watch. The guide was launched IRL at the Summit, and available to download right here.
Moreover, Airwallex, Atome, Dotdigital, and SleekFlow were also an exciting part of the Shopify Ecommerce Summit! Each hosting a rapidfire knowledge share and breakout to connect with merchants looking to unlock more growth as the year ends.
Marcus from Airwallex shared how merchants often face challenges in collecting and managing multiple currencies, costs of paying suppliers and subscriptions, and managing international expansion. With an Airwallex Global Account, Shopify merchants can transfer money locally, enjoy $0 transaction costs, with a flight time of 0-1 days in 130+ countries and territories.
Merchants using Atome as their BNPL solution see an average of 30% increase in basket size. On top of that, Atome helps consumers discover new brands - with an average of 25% of new sales directed from Atome.
Matt from Dotdigital shared that at the heart of Dotdigital’s platform, is the program builder, where marketers can orchestrate and automate powerful end-to-end customer journeys. Generate actionable data for decision-making, learn new opportunities, orchestrate user-generated content, back-in-stock notifications, Facebook and google ads, abandoned cart automations, and powerful product recommendations all with Dotdigital. As an all-in-one customer engagement platform, Dotdigital provides merchants with a holistic view of their customers across all touchpoints of the customer journey from marketing to retention.
Jessica from Wave Commerce followed on from Virginia’s point about “sell where your customers buy”. She shared about OMNI by Wave Commerce, which guests had just experienced live throughout the event. OMNI enables brands of all sectors to build their customer database, and nurture them through a branded loyalty program. Completely integrated across offline stores (Shopify POS) and online Shopify stores, OMNI rewards customers for all of their purchases and provides incentives for repeat purchases.
Jack from SleekFlow talked about social commerce, and generating conversions through conversations. He talked in depth about using WhatsApp, the most preferred communication channel in HK, as a customer support and engagement tool. With SleekFlow, merchants can share Shopify product catalogs and take payments via WhatsApp chat, as well as integrate most communication and social media channels into one dashboard for holistic customer support. Jack shared that with SleekFlow, the average campaign read rate is 95%, and sales converted by chat increased 3x.
Following the conclusion of the main sessions, guests enjoyed networking and re-exploring the Shopify experience zones. With a full house of 130 guests, opportunities were galore! Hope you enjoy some of the snaps below.