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Why brands need to embrace omni-channel commerce

The Asia-Pacific region is growing faster than any other at a rate year-on-year when it comes to e-commerce revenue, this rapid growth has definitely affected all businesses within this sector. In particular, China’s online retail sales continue to show strong momentum, growing 48.7 per cent during the first half of this year, with Alibaba’s Tmall continuing to dominate China’s online B2C market, with 57.7 per cent of the market.

Peer pressure from competitors and the general retail trend has lead brands to jump on the bandwagon in creating e-commerce sites regardless of their expertise and preparation. However, the more prominent trend that has surfaced beyond ecommerce would be omni-channel commerce – which is why Alibaba has just recently invested over 4 billion dollars into brick and mortar electronics retailer, Suning.

Businesses need to keep up with the changing technology landscape with innovative approach to handling customers – but one of the most basic requirements regardless of technology would be simply the ability to standardise the experience on websites and mobile apps, where brands need to ensure and provide seamless hand-off business processes across all channels.

What we know now is that having a purely online strategy will no longer work. With this in mind, we have targeted and built our solutions to help brands implement the perfect O2O journey for their customers. Starting the journey online will not only help brands better anticipate demand, provide better recommendations based on data, creating better opportunities for staff to upsell to customers that have already been profiled before they step through the door at brick and mortar store – ultimately resulting in higher conversion rates for brands.

The above reasons are why we focus on is contextual marketing: How do we teach technology to understand customers? Through behavioural data, clickstream data and transactional data, all of which is information that can be useful to personalise accounts and cater to customer needs and wants – and with this, we can allow brands and customers to fully embrace omni-channel commerce.

Leon Huang is Industry Principal of APJ and GCN‎ at SAP hybris.
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