The internet may soak up some of the blame for the failure and struggles of retailers, but it is also providing new avenues with greater rewards for those who are up for the challenge. With the emergence of e-commerce, footfall and sales have been one of the major struggles for those trying to drive their brand through traditional brick-and-mortar setups.
The challenge remains for retailers – whether to blaze the trail with their own unique approach, or follow a tried-and-true method where competition is abundant.
Some Malaysian shoe retailers have taken their own approach to digital marketing – and having been quite successful, are proving that retail is about adapting to circumstances. Read on to see how these 5 shoe brands leveraged digital marketing to benefit their businesses!
Barely 2 months after meeting, ShoeMo co-founders, Jack Wong and Ginny To decided start-up a home-based shoe-cleaning business. Realizing the potential for a shoe-cleaning business, they started operations merely through the word of mouth of friends and family.
Today, the brand has expanded into Singapore, Brunei and Indonesia, where Ginny To highlights how different markets require a different approach. Singaporeans, for example, have a higher purchasing power, where they are willing to pay for quality services. The shoes in the Indonesian market are of the lower-end range, making it a volume driven game.
Their business model consists of an online-to-offline model, with the bulk of their marketing being done online to drive footfall to their outlets. By utilizing social media and SEO, ShoeMo has been able to grow from a Malaysian niche business into an international one.
2. Pazzion [restrict]
Carrying a wide range of women’s shoes, Pazzion, founded by Tom Ng in 2002, caters to the modern, sophisticated trend-setter with their uncompromising standards for taste and quality. The brand is franchised across the world in countries such as Mauritius, South Korea, Japan and Russia. Thailand alone has 18 Pazzion stores.
Despite their success through traditional mediums, Tom Ng has stated that Pazzion is looking to keep the ball rolling by adjusting to the digital climate in today’s retail market.
Besides Pazzion’s own online stores, they have also expanded onto Chinese e-commerce platforms like TMall and Xiao Hong Shu to capture international markets. Together with their new customer relationship management (CRM) solutions, Tom Ng states his hopes in continuing the success of their branding through digital marketing and e-commerce platforms.
Mention Bata and there’s hardly a person in both Singapore and Malaysia who wouldn’t know the name. If you’re from either country, chances are you spent your childhood attending school with a pair of their shoes.
For years, Bata had mainly used their Facebook pages to drive promotions, discounts and footfall into their stores. Realizing that the landscape was changing, and they had no unified strategy across their numerous pages, the marketing team at Bata sought to consolidate their digital marketing strategies.
Today, majority of their social media content is done locally, but with adherence to global standards and guidelines. About 30% of their content is unified, allowing them to provide consistent branding across their channels. Bata has also cut back on traditional mediums to cater to the digital world.
4. Christy Ng Shoes
A true rags-to-riches tale ensues when we talk about Christy Ng Shoes. This Malaysian entrepreneur is known for turning her flea market business into a major player in e-commerce footwear.
Perhaps what is most striking about the brand’s approach is their take on product personalization, showing us how retailers can leverage digital marketing to supply customized products to consumers.
By creating and implementing the 3D Shoe Engine, Christy Ng Shoes is able to cater to specific and specialized requests from clients. It provides a unique experience for customers to take control of their own shoe designs like never before!
GENA is another startup footwear company that offers product personalization for their consumers. Specializing in stylish high-heels, their unique selling proposition allows for women to adjust their heels to suit their comfort needs. These can be adjusted at any time, flicking from high to low can be done in a matter of seconds.
Cherre Hermogena Eng, founder of Gena, opted for crowd-funding instead of selling independently. In an interview, Cherre said that “we are a small company with ambitions to mass produce our unique product. Kickstarter is perfect for us.”
The choice to debut the product on Kickstarter in 2017 was massive success, with 227 Kickstarter backers pledging S$41,166.
Although there are multiple platforms for retailers to take advantage of, the space remains competitive and many are unable to sustain their businesses without innovative solutions.
In China alone, retail sales are expected to reach $5.64 trillion, showing us just how massive the Asian market is. Retailers from all across the Southeast Asian region are flocking to get on relevant digital platforms to capture their share of the market.
While cost will always be a significant stumbling block in any new digital initiative, traditional retail players must work on digital solutions consistently in order to keep customers coming back to the stores.!
Moving forward, technology will continue to be a boon-and-bane for retailers everywhere. If you’re looking to create a lasting-impact with your business, then the shift towards a digital landscape requires an innovative solution. Odds can be overcome with the right dedication
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