A Hong Kong-focused Comprehensive Report on e-Commerce from CEO and Consumer Perspectives Identifies the “Missing Piece” in Deploying Omni-business.
A recent survey revealed that despite the fact that social media is a huge part of our lives, most Hong Kong CEOs do not unleash the potential of social platforms. Only about a quarter of CEOs used social media for consumer engagement, and only one-tenth used social media and messaging platforms as a sales channel for their omni-channel strategies. In the coming 12 months, the survey predicted that slightly more than ten percent plan to develop structural social media platforms for consumers to search for product opinions and feedback.
The 2016 CEO Pulse Survey, jointly initiated by GS1 Hong Kong and KPMG China, provides an outlook for e-commerce development in Hong Kong. The two companies commissioned YouGov to conduct both the quantitative survey and qualitative analysis on 225 CEOs’ views on their business and e-commerce strategies, as well as a consumer survey collecting feedback from 1,000 respondents, half-and-half Hong Kong and China citizens. The surveys were conducted during the third quarter of 2016. It is a Hong Kong-focused comprehensive report on e-commerce from both the CEO and consumer perspectives.
Anna Lin, Chief Executive of GS1 Hong Kong, said, “In the age of digital disruption, building omni-channel platforms is a key business driver for today’s companies. However, only a very few CEOs use social platforms as a sales channel, either because they are unaware of the potential or they do not have the tools to capitalise on these platforms to give their sales a boost.”
“GS1 Hong Kong’s standards are helping industry meet the challenges of omni-channel commerce. With our standard barcode, companies can realise the sales potential of social platforms by facilitating better searches, providing consistent product information, and optimising consumer fulfillment,” Lin added.
The beauty of the GS1 standard barcode (also known as Global Trade Item Number, GTIN) is that it allows item level authentication and helps companies to deliver trusted products. With emerging social media technology, consumers can scan the barcode to uniquely identify the products and then share, compare, search and buy. GS1 standards also enable supply chain visibility, which means the right product will be delivered to the right place, at the right time.
Anson Bailey, Head of Consumer Markets at KPMG in Hong Kong said, “Today’s consumer industry is undergoing profound disruption and we are seeing technology advances, the power of analytics and demographic shifts reshaping our markets and the competitive landscape faster than many companies can respond. To be in the forefront, retailers, FMCG companies and their supply chain partners need to take steps to transform their companies into digital-first, customer centric and fully integrated omni businesses. However, our survey shows that Hong Kong and mainland China online shoppers have significant concerns around trust and consistency which companies must address going forward.”
Trust and consistency issues are among the top challenges of consumers of online shopping; about half of respondents (Hong Kong: 47% / mainland China: 56%) expressed concerns about potential discrepancy of size and colour, about one-third (Hong Kong: 35% / mainland China: 30) said insufficient product information is a challenge, and about one-fifth (HK: 20%, mainland China: 31%) said inconsistent search results for information about products is a concern.
GS1’s global standards allow products to be accurately identified, listed by standard categories, described by trusted information, and accessed by any device and channels. With the barcode, retailers and brands can move products smoothly and quickly throughout the supply chain via more interoperable, efficient data handling processes.
Piotr JJ Szymanski, Regional Director of YouGov Asia Pacific, said “While technology and connectivity both play increasingly important roles in many aspects of consumers’ lives, including online shopping, businesses must focus on their entire purchase journey – delivering trouble-free experience from start to end. Understanding the play between functional and emotional consumer needs will help businesses navigate the increasingly complex omni-channel ecosystem, and stay ahead of the commoditisation curve.”
Consumer insights as uncovered in this survey report further confirm the rise of e-commerce and omni-channel as the key business drivers in the coming years. Sixty-one percent of shoppers said that they intend to make more online purchase and research for brands and products via the internet. The survey also investigated the prospects of 10 product categories, from which Hong Kong consumers plan to increasingly use e-commerce and mobile apps across all categories over the next year, combining with the steadily holding strong intention to buy from physical stores, resulting in an overall rise of omni-channel commerce.
The consumer survey also sheds lights to particular industries in terms of consumer purchasing landscape. Travel was the only category in which more Hong Kong consumers intend to spend more in the coming two years (71%) than in the previous 12 months (63%). Other favourite items in Hongkongers’ shopping cart for the next two years include fashion (65%), food & beverage (64%), and lifestyle products (61%), though drops in purchase intention are seen compared to the past 12 months. Comparing Hong Kong shoppers and their mainland Chinese counterparts, the number of mainland Chinese shoppers planning to spend is on the rise in almost every category.
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Founded by the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce in 1989, GS1 Hong Kong is the local chapter of GS1®, a not-for-profit, standards organisation that develops and drives adoption of easy-to-implement global standards for business to uniquely identify, accurately capture and automatically share vital information about products, locations and assets. Headquartered in Brussels, Belgium, GS1 has over 110 national chapters in 150 countries.
GS1 Hong Kong’s mission is to enable Hong Kong enterprises to improve the efficiency, safety, and visibility of supply chains across multiple sectors and facilitates commerce connectivity through the provision of global standards and a full spectrum of standards-based solutions and services. GS1 Hong Kong engages with communities of trading partners, industry organisations, government, and technology providers to understand and respond to their business needs through the adoption and implementation of global standards.
Currently, GS1 Hong Kong has over 7,000 corporate members covering close to 20 industries including retail consumer goods, food and food services, healthcare, apparel, logistics as well as information and technology. GS1 Hong Kong continually enhances and rolls out new services and solutions to help our corporate members to embrace new realities, new challenges, and new opportunities. For more information about GS1 Hong Kong, please visit www.gs1hk.org
KPMG China operates in 16 cities across China, with around 10,000 partners and staff in Beijing, Beijing Zhongguancun, Chengdu, Chongqing, Foshan, Fuzhou, Guangzhou, Hanzhou, Nanjing, Qingdao, Shanghai, Shenyang, Shenzhen, Tianjin, Xiaman, Hong Kong SAR and Macau SAR. With a single management structure across all these offices, KPMG China can deploy experienced professionals efficiently, wherever our client is located.
KPMG is a global network of professional services firms providing Audit, Tax and Advisory services. We operate in 155 countries and regions, and have 174,000 people working in member firms around the world. The independent member firms of the KPMG network are affiliated with KPMG international Cooperative (“KPMG International”), a Swiss entity. Each KPMG firm is a legally distinct and separate entity and describes itself as such.
In 1992, KPMG became the first international accounting network to be granted a joint venture licence in mainland China. KPMG China was also the first among the Big Four in mainland China to convert from a joint venture to a special general partnership, as of 1 August 2012. Additionally, the Hong Kong office can trace its origins to 1945. This early commitment to the China market, together with an unwavering focus on quality, has been the foundation for accumulated industry experience, and is reflected in the Chinese member firm’s appointment by some of China’s most prestigious companies.
YouGov is an independent, publicly listed global consumer insight company. We are one of the most recognised and quoted names in research across the UK, Europe and North America – and we are expanding quickly throughout Asia Pacific. We help businesses grow by providing a real-time picture of consumer perception and behaviour, enabling our clients to make rapid, informed decisions.
YouGov provides a range of timely and cost-effective consumer market research tools. Our signature products include BrandIndex – the daily brand perception tracker; Profiles – our segmentation and media planning platform; and Omnibus – the fastest and most cost effective way to obtain trusted consumer opinion from a representative consumer sample. Visit our website for more details: https://hk.yougov.vom
GS1 Hong Kong
Senior Manager, Corporate Communications
Tel: +852 2863 9787
Director, External Communications, KPMG China
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