E-Commerce and Physical Stores: The Best of Both Worlds in a New Era of Retailing
As the pandemic worsened, the public reduced outings and drove up the stay-at-home economy, even middle-aged and senior citizens have started shopping online. While the pandemic is slowing down, the new click-and-brick retail model has already taken hold. How do enterprises take advantage of the digital era and keep this new customer group of mature shoppers to maintain the profit margin?
According to the Department of Statistics of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, compared with the same period a year ago, June’s revenue for the retail and restaurant sectors decreased by 13.3% and 39.9%, respectively (see figure below). The main reason is the Level 3 Epidemic Alert implemented in June. As the public followed the alert guidance, their consumption habits moved online, causing online shopping to increase. The industries impacted by this shift accelerated digitalization to survive, and those with greater adaptability had a better chance for success.
◆ Cheese Ad Partners with Cyberbiz to Help Enterprises Succeed in Digitalization
Cheese Ad and its clients (tourism bureaus of various countries, airlines, cruise lines, and travel agencies) have been dealt a heavy blow with the COVID-19 breakout. As the tourism industry is unlikely to fully recover soon, Cheese Ad has been actively transforming its business model. In addition to keeping existing clients, it has also ventured out for new business opportunities. It now uses its specialty—creative content, digital operation, and media buying—to serve new clients in a wide range of industries.
Recently, Cheese Ad has joined effort with Cyberbiz, an integrated e-commerce platform. The goal is to combine their strengths and work with their clients via a single communication gateway so that the clients would not need to enlist multiple vendors, thereby using the most simplified and effective method to help the clients succeed in digitalization.
Charles Chen, Head of Marketing at Cyberbiz, states that the company has the technologies, business-launching consultants, and marketing teams necessary for the clients to quickly build an official website for their brand and connect to smart warehouses and online-merge-offline (OMO) storefronts. The company provides a comprehensive set of online, offline, and logistics supporting services that enable brands to maximize profit with limited investment.
To meet the needs of different businesses, Cyberbiz offers a variety of plans and marketing tool modules that can be used to connect multiple cash flow and logistics companies. The clients can thus collect data from the registered users as soon as they set up the official websites for their brands, followed by filtering and analyzing the data to facilitate labeling and segmentation for precision remarketing.
Cyberbiz also offers a slew of functionalities. For example, “Fully Customized Look” is an open HTML/CSS editing tool that allows the clients to customize every detail of their websites’ look and feel and create the brands’ styles. With the “Product Subscription” function, consumers do not need to repeat the checkout procedures when reordering. This is especially useful for businesses that sell household items and health-related products. The “Revenue Share” function uses the revenue share mechanism to partner with third parties that already have a certain level of traffic. It attracts the users to register and promotes purchasing. The revenue share codes and links can effectively trace all successful purchases. The most highly recommended service is the new fast home delivery service—"Cyberbiz Now!” Utilizing foodpanda’s delivery crew, the service enables the orders to be delivered to the customers’ homes within 30 minutes, helping to increase the profit.
To date, over 20,000 international and domestic brands (e.g., FILA, Canon, OPPO, Philips, I-Mei, King Car, I Jy Sheng, and Chimei) have chosen to open their stores with Cyberbiz and have had outstanding performances.
◆Hieron’s Online Marketing for European and US Baby Products
All parents want to give their children the best, and that includes Little Pinko’s Mom. As a previous European and US brand agent, she came to know about baby products only after becoming a mother. Since she often buys products from online and physical stores in the US, the idea of sharing quality baby product brands with Taiwanese parents came to her naturally. Thus, Hieron Co., Ltd. was established. All products are chosen personally by Little Pinko’s Mom and tested by her child before being imported to Taiwan.
In its early stage, Hieron chose to conduct all business online. Without the costs of rent, staff, and utilities, the risks were lower than running a brick-and-mortar store. Little Pinko’s Mom first built a website for Hieron, then set up group purchasing, enlisted online influencers for marketing, and subsequently put the products on Yahoo! Auctions and other online shopping platforms such as the company’s e-store—Pinkoi.
Little Pinko’s Mom believes that consumers who already know the brand will search directly for its official website, so the website plays the role of a flagship store. The other platforms have their own advantages. For example, Yahoo has a loyal customer base, and Pinkoi is popular among hipsters. Therefore, running multiple platforms simultaneously would make Hieron more recognizable for more customer groups.
However, Little Pinko’s Mom soon discovered that Yahoo, Shopee, Momo, and other third-party platforms host many similar products, thereby prompting a comparison effect. This does not play to the advantage of Hieron, a quality-driven brand. Consequently, she decided to work with Cyberbiz, an integrated e-commerce platform, to build an official website for Bixbee backpacks, for which Hieron is an agent. Other products were added subsequently, such as BABYjoe swaddles and Bixbee sleeping bags. For products with specific purchase timeframes such as backpacks and swaddles, she uses Cyberbiz’s “one-page store” for the marketing campaigns. This allows parents who are interested in the products to fully understand the unique product features and develop brand loyalty.
Cyberbiz offers many functionalities and services, and the fact that these are free from the restrictions of templates is highly attractive. Little Pinko’s Mom asked Cheese Ad to create the best style for the brand and bring the brand to the targeted customer base through advertising. Because the business was purely online from the start, the impact it has received from the pandemic since last year has been much less than what a physical store would experience. On the contrary, it has been amassing registered users and positive word-of-mouth.