Insights for Ecommerce Growth for Hong Kong from Loveramics, ReferralCandy, Easyship and Oberlo

Hong Kong businesses are in the nexus of the fastest growing ecommerce region in the world. Ecommerce in Asia is projected to have a revenue of US$970 billion in 2019, with a 13.3% year on year growth according to Statistica. But how can established brands and entrepreneurs use the latest ecommerce tools to quickly test and tap into online markets? Wave Commerce organizes quarterly Shopify Meetups in Hong Kong to connect the merchant community and ecommerce solutions providers to answer essential questions from ecommerce order fulfillment to dropshipping. The Spring 2019 meetup included Shopify headquarter updates, a global Shopify merchant, Loveramics, and solutions providers ReferralCandy, Wave Commerce, EasyShip, and Oberlo. Below are our presenters’ insights and highlights for readers who may have wanted to attend.

Shopify Updates

Frankie Ng from Shopify is based in Hong Kong to support local merchants succeed in ecommerce.

Frankie Ng from Shopify gave updates from the recent Shopify Summit in Canada. Frankie shared the resources that Shopify has for the merchant community, including:

  • Shopify Academy: courses such as SEO Training for Beginners and Dropshipping 101
  • Shopify Podcasts: Shopify Masters, TGIM, Vanguard
  • Shopify Workshops: hosted by Frankie with 30 people maximum to teach people how to set up a store in one session
  • Shopify Studios: a YouTube channel that features entrepreneurs on their ecommerce journeys

Finally, Frankie invited professionals, app developers, and agencies to join the Shopify Partners program to grow Hong Kong’s ecommerce ecosystem.

Loveramics: Transforming Traditional Business with Cloud Ecommerce Technologies

William Lee from Loveramics presents his company journey into ecommerce.

Our Shopify Meetup usually features a Shopify merchant from the community. This time, William Lee, founder of Loveramics shared how online retailing and cloud technologies helped his family business transform from a manufacturer into an award-winning, global ceramics brand.

William discussed possible points of friction for companies that may be transforming from traditional to online business models. He shared his personal journey in transforming his company’s manufacturing tradition into a new brand, balancing a predictable production structure versus innovating new products, and recognizing the difference between building a fun business experiment and an enterprise with longevity. A memorable insight that William shared was how Loveramics’ physical stores were used as cornerstones for building brand presence prior to doing business online. When they opened their Shopify store inn 2016, Loveramics already had a Hong Kong consumer base, as well as global recognition through awards such as the Red Dot Design Award.

After presenting, William also had a fireside chat with Frankie and responded to questions from the audience. Participants in retail asked William about topics such as ERP and warehousing, and decision-making strategies for multicurrency stores. William highlighted the need to understand the unique preferences for different markets and that the company has now established warehouses to provide fulfillment to different regions. William also emphasized that online stores need to be staffed as physical stores do, but with people who develop content rather than sales staff.

William Lee answers questions from Frankie and the audience in a fireside chat.

William remained until the end of the event to chat individually with merchants during the networking session.

ReferralCandy: Growing Sales with Word of Mouth Marketing

Raúl Galera flew in from the US to share ReferralCandy's word of mouth marketing tips in our Shopify Meetup.

Some businesses need growth strategies that are not discount-driven. Raúl Galera from ReferralCandy shared how two merchants harnessed word of mouth to grow their ecommerce businesses.

Two female entrepreneurs used word of mouth marketing to harness their customers’ enthusiasm and expand their brand exposure to like-minded customers. He shared how Emma from Riff Raff & Co used referral marketing to encourage mothers who bought their toys to recommend them to other mothers. Similarly, Raúl shared how Ren, founder of Matter Prints, harnessed the voices of passionate community members by creating social hashtags such as #matter and #mattertribe, which created a referral system to reach their target customer demographic. Raúl showed how Emma was able to use referral gifts to meaningfully give back to mothers, while Ren used a small referral discount as a welcome gift for new members of the Matter tribe.

Raúl also expanded how word of mouth marketing could include simple referral discount links or as well as sophisticated integrations. For this reason, ReferralCandy has integrations with many popular ecommerce apps, such as Wave Commerce’s S Loyalty app.

Ecommerce Solutions Marketplace

Vivian Tong from Wave Commerce encourages merchants to exchange experiences at meetups.

As many attendees for our Shopify Meetups are ecommerce merchants, the last presentation segment features solutions providers who introduce their areas of ecommerce expertise for attendees to follow up with during networking. This time, our marketplace presenters included Wave Commerce for store building and social campaigns, Easyship for order fulfillment, and Oberlo for dropshipping and product marketing testing.

Easyship

Rick Ngan from Easyship shares the opportunities in fulfillment for optimising online business.

Rick Ngan from Easyship shared how order fulfillment solutions can now be simplified to help merchants provide options for shoppers. Easyship provides over 250+ shipping options, shows transparent tax and duty costs, helps merchants print tracking stickers, and sends notifications to customers. Automating order fulfillment and customer updates cannot only save merchants time, but dramatically improve customer shopping experiences.

Oberlo

Melainie introduces Oberlo as a tool for entrepreneurs to test new products without needing to keep inventory.

Finally, Melainie Chen from Oberlo shared how entrepreneurs looking to try ecommerce or test customer interests can do so without inventory risk with dropshipping. With access to China’s manufacturing and product suppliers in Asia, Hong Kong merchants are in a good position to source and sell unique items on a new online store. With Oberlo, merchants can quickly adjust product descriptions, set margins, and automate order processing.

William from Loveramics stays behind to network and share insights in conversations with attendees.

As Shopify Meetups are intended to bring together the ecommerce community in Hong Kong, presentations are always followed by networking. Guest presenters will stay behind to connect with partners and merchants, as well as exchange local and regional market insights.

Jenny Kwok from OUT OF STOCK exchanges experiences with other attendees.

Welcoming Egle from SAU LEE became a fashion brand stocked by Nordstrom and Bloomingdales.

We were thrilled to welcome many of our former clients, such as Jenny Kwok from OUT OF STOCK, as well as past presenters Susanne Wilfinger Leung from Mayarya and Egle Jakstaite from SAU LEE, who came to connect with Shopify community merchants and service providers.

Attendees ask Frankie for further ecommerce tips after the presentations.

Finally, we would like to thank WeWork for hosting our meetup at their new event space in Causeway Bay!

Wave Commerce is always looking to learn and collect feedback from local merchants and global brands. Please reach out to us at any time!

Disclaimer: Wave Commerce is an official Shopify Partner and Easyship Partner. Wave Commerce has also developed an integration with ReferralCandy for our flagship app, S Loyalty.