On 21 April, 2015, the Hong Kong Retail Management Association (HKRMA) held a seminar on achieving enhanced business intelligence with market trends. Mr Kelvin Koo, business development manager of ClusterTech, was invited to give his thoughts about how Hong Kong retailers can leverage on big data to develop O2O strategies, and how the “micro-era” provides a pathway into the China market.
Increasing competition in the retail industry means that aspiring retailers need to do more to stand out. One way to achieve this is to leverage information technology to enhance organizational efficiency and most importantly, better understand customers. This leads to better marketing strategies and more business opportunities.
At the core of O2O (Online-to-Offline) are the following issues – how to improve customer experience, reduce service costs, streamline communication, and ultimately create value. Essentially, O2O is finding customers online and bringing them into physical stores. In Hong Kong, while offline retailing has been well developed, online retailing is a new concept. How can one use O2O to gain from a huge market like China? We can look into the “micro-era” in China, and what has facilitated this phenomenon – WeChat and Weibo.
WeChat, the world’s second-largest instant messaging app, has more than six hundred million users. According to a recent study, 83% of mainland tourists use WeChat when travelling in Hong Kong. ClusterTech’s, a WeChat marketing solution, can help Hong Kong retailers quickly set up micro-channels to attract travelling mainlanders who tend to search for free WiFi spots. A special chicFi router was developed for retailers to rapidly grow their customer base. Travelling mainlanders can enjoy free WiFi by simply becoming a follower of the retailer’s fan page.
An official WeChat account is a free advertising platform, and managing it was simple using chicFi. chicFi also provides built-in templates, allowing account owners to easily set up messages, mini-webpage and various activities such as sweepstakes, lucky draws etc. chicFi can help retailers attract quality followers in Hong Kong, tap into China, and turn online followers into real-life customers.
Another source of valuable data is Weibo which has over 500 million registered users, and 46 million daily active users. Whether you have an official Weibo account for your business or not, ClusterTech’s WeChat Analysis Solution can create market value. The solution utilizes unique data mining engines to collect, sort, filter and analyze data from a massive volume of posts on Weibo, giving you insights into your target customers:
1. Choose a group of users based on your criteria, and see what they say about your brands or what they say in general
2. Get access to data about their followers and whom they follow
3. Text-mine users’ activities on Weibo, whether they are original messages, forwarded messages, comments or likes
4. Monitor what’s trending among your target audience