Change is forever and we all have to embrace it to be relevant -Mr. Alan O’Neill, Managing Director of Kara (Ireland)
The way people do business nowadays is really changing. Many people now have access to the internet and are using their mobile to purchase online. That is why traditional businesses are now embracing technology and plunging in eCommerce.
Last Oct. 28 – 30, 2015, I had the chance to attend the 17th APRCE (Asia Pacific Retailers Convention and Exhibition) Manila 2015. This is an event held every two years and is Asia’s biggest and longest running retail convention and exhibition since it was first held in 1983 in Tokyo, Japan. The Philippines last played host to the APRCE in 1993.
The APRCE event has two main objectives: (1) to discover new approaches to the latest issues facing the region’s retailers and highlight innovative solutions that can help retailers differentiate themselves from competitors,(2) to deliver greater value to consumers in Asia and Pacific region.
There are many speakers from different countries who imparted their knowledge and I would like to share the things that I have learned from them.
1. User experience is very important. There are lots of information available online and most people search the product first before buying. 74% of those people browsing your website are using mobile and 65% are using desktop computers. Make sure that your website is responsive and will load easily in any device because users will leave if it doesn’t load immediately.
2. Every business idea can be easily copied by a competitor. What they can’t copy is the company culture. Companies should define their culture from the very beginning because it can serve as a guide when facing a difficult decision. They can always check the situation if it is in accordance to their culture or not.
3. Business should do competitive positioning because this strategy is the foundation of the entire business – it’s the first thing you should pin down if you’re launching a new company or product. You should profile your market, segment your market, define how you deliver value and identify the areas where your competition is vulnerable so that you can make a decision on how to position what your company is offering.
4. Franchising is good because they already have the studied formula to be successful in the business, but if you will just franchise, you will lose the possibility of going global.
5. There is no SOP in making business if you would go global. Every market segment is different. You should study each segment especially the culture of the place where you will put your business. If you want to attract the attention of global-local consumers, you must first understand the market where they are in.
6. Products displayed in stores should be placed in harmony. Our brains love visual harmony and physical chemistry. If the store display is in visual chaos, customers will more perplex and will tend to postpone their purchase.
7. Older generations are the buyer and younger generations are the user. Make a product that could surprise the younger generations because they are the one using the product and they have the tendency to affect the buying decision of the older generation.
8. Advertising is a great way to disseminate the information about your company or product to your target market. If you will work with reputable bloggers, you don’t have to spend so much money to advertise your brand because those bloggers already have their own influence to their followers.
9. People nowadays don’t go to the mall or stores just to shop. They go there for experience: to experience the brand, to be entertained, to mingle with each other and many more. Companies should provide the customers the experience that they are looking for to be relevant and to be successful in the future market.
10. Every purchasing decision is an emotional decision. Make an emotional connection to your customer. One way of doing this is through storytelling.
Ms. Janette Toral, e-commerce advocate and site owner of DigitalFilipino.com is one of the moderators of APRCE event. She moderated the segment “Omni channel retailing” Disrupting the world of retail” and mentioned the #ALDub phenomenon happening on twitter. (If you don’t know ALDub yet, they are the love team in the Kalye Serye segment of Eat Bulaga. ALdub came from the names of Alden Richard and Yaya Dub (Maine Mendoza)). ALDub got the attention of the marketing world and also the attention of people from twitter and other countries because of their trending hashtags. Their fans are so organized that they have twitter accounts for each chapter. Companies can learn from this phenomenon and see the marketing lessons that they can use to help their brands.
By the way, President Benigno Aquino was also present in the APRCE event and gave the opening talk.
El Gamma Penumbra, 2015 Asia’s Got Talent grand winner was also there and entertained the audience by their great shadow play dance.
I also had the chance to visit the booths of participated brands.
Saw also the Binibining Pilipinas winners in the Ayala booth and I took the opportunity to have their photo.
Overall, the event was great and learned many things from it.