Shanghai, Sep. 2018 – ESSCA Shanghai participated to the annual 2-day conference CHina CHat dedicated to WeChat and online/digital marketing in China. Every year the conference brings together top industry speakers and experts from across China.
ESSCA’s MSc in Digital Marketing & Business was supporting CHina CHat with a panel on ‘Digital Transformation & Artificial Intelligence in Omni-Channel Retailing’. More than 150 people attended the audiance showed a strong interest in innovative retailing. Maximilian Rech, Director at ESSCA’s MSc in Digital Marketing & Business, was the moderator for the panel with four speakers from different fields of the industry:
Digital transformation is rapidly changing the way consumers interact with brands. Online no longer drives offline or the other way around. Consumers expect an integrated and artificial intelligence-based (AI) customer experience.
Regarding the consumers’ experience, Renata emphasized that there is a large potential for improvement. She is the director at Alibaba TMall Partner Web2Asia and regards offline as an indispensable part. “People do not buy because they cannot see, touch and feel the product,” she said. According to her, the main challenges in the Chinese market are language, logistics and local team.
An innovative solution for better customer experience is provided by SPLIO, which focuses on the Chinese market and provides brands 360 degrees solution. It is a French-based company, which “aims to create a completely connected customer journey both online and offline,” Eliza said. She thinks that especially AI will affect customer relationship management (CRM), especially because the Chinese consumer is quite different from other groups and the youth in China is not afraid of new technology.
What technology solutions provide customers with an integrated, augmented and connected experience? Right now Yan’s company, Shoplitics is working on that topic. Shoplitics uses connected objects (IoT) to provide in-store retail analytics. The solution use sensors on anything that is trackable in the supermarket to understand customer’s preferences. For example, a heat map gives a warning if the main aisle is too crowded. The prototype is in process and the product will be available soon.
Ted showed his passion for omnichannel retail on the panel. Walmart started to go online since 2016, with the partner JD.com. “We swopped from Yihaodian to JD.com. We have flagship stores Sam Club and we also develop ‘scan and go’, which is the largest and fastest growing WeChat mini-program integrate the online and offline experience in-store digital engagement suite.” He is expressed interest in the technology solution provided by Shoplitics and SPILO’s CRM innovative management system.
All in all, the CHina CHat panel of ESSCA provided interesting insights in the dynamics of digital marketing in China. Especially the topics of Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things are important, for both dynamic Start-Ups and established retail players such as Walmart.