Rethinking Retail’s Value Chain: From Transaction to Interaction

By Clara Liu

The Hoffman Agency, Hong Kong

Keeping up with the latest technology trends helps The Hoffman Agency effectively tell its clients’ stories. One of our “special interests” just happens to be mobile, particularly the way in which smartphones and tablets enhance consumers’ lives. Whether we’re talking about seamless mobile payments or trendy new apps, we love to gain insights on this fast-evolving sector.

On this note, Hoffman Account Manager Terence Nip, recently contributed a column to Capital Weekly – one of Hong Kong’s leading business magazines – entitled “Rethinking Retail’s Value Chain: From Transaction to Interaction.” In it, he discusses how technology is transforming the retail market (just as much as it has transformed our everyday lives) by blurring the boundaries between online, mobile and in-store experiences.

Terence highlights data released by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority which shows that 85 per cent of Hong Kong’s total transactions are now made through “digital currency,” which is pretty amazing. While we always knew that Hong Kongers were mobile lovers, we were surprised to learn that smartphones now account for a whopping 90 per cent of Hong Kong’s total new phone shipments. This unparalleled increase in smartphone penetration is having a positive knock-on effect across the ecosystem, promoting higher app downloads, growth in m-commerce and increasing uptake of newer technologies such as QR codes.

As more and more Hong Kongers use mobile phones to pay, seek out store locations (or admittedly, play Candy Crush), smart companies are using mobile marketing to drive customers to shops where face-to-face conversation – and conversion – can take place.

Mobile devices have also become an extension of the in-store cash register. Technologies like NFC or QR codes are enabling users to interact with their surroundings without a complex registration or download process.

As more consumers get in touch with brands via their smartphones, it is crucial that brands allocate additional resources to interact with the public on mobile, digital and social media platforms. The beauty for brands is that mobile offers a two-way conversation: consumers can provide feedback to a brand through their smartphones on the go, in-real time. After years of top-down communications, now’s the time to shift to a two-way dialogue, and start sharing stories, powered by mobile.

Terence’s full byline is below:

Byline on mobile usage and digital PR

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