The pull of a platform
In Singapore, homegrown homeware retailer myCK is looking to add one more location: an online shop. “Setting up our online shop is key because the trend will only keep growing. It is sensible to transform ourselves and tap into the growing e-commerce market,” said C.S. Sim, Deputy Director of myCK.
C.S. also shared the challenge in seizing the new opportunities presented by e-commerce: “When you talk about digital transformation, the difficult part is getting out of your comfort zone and settling into a totally new environment. But the bigger challenge is the uncertainty of everything, we do not know what is going to happen next or whether our customers are going to respond as we anticipate.”
For myCK, the company saw an added value in understanding how to augment their online selling experience, by integrating videos in the sales journey and enabling robust customer engagement and feedback. Finding solutions for these areas would be the competitive edge for myCK.
According to C.S., e-commerce adds another dimension to the retail experience that is absent in physical shops. By leveraging this, he can add value to his customers’ online shopping experiences, making them more enjoyable and informative.
“In a shop you may see the basic model, you don’t see the demos on how to use the products, or what the products can do. But online you can have videos, you can have walk-throughs, things like that. By providing this two-dimensional marketing approach, our customers can understand that when they buy a certain product, it might come straight to them, but at least they know how to set it up and use it. They know what to expect when they unbox the product, so these are things that I would want to delight my customers with,” he said.
ASEAN is poised to experience one of the fastest urbanisation rates globally, with accelerating incomes, expansion and wealth accumulation, and SMEs cannot afford to be left behind in this race. By embracing new online channels, SMEs can stay competitive in a world that is transforming rapidly.
C.S. asserts that failure is inevitable when trying something for the first time, but the key is to stay focused on innovation.
“Everything is trial and error but most importantly it’s in the mindset. We must always continue with an innovative mindset,” he said.