The winding-up of the Ice Fire chain has evoked nostalgia in many netizens. I am also one of its long-time supporters. But even as I cherish its memory, I also pause to think how many times I have visited the shop in recent years. Half a year ago, the stores around the street corner evolved into many unexpected types of businesses. I am no shop expert, so I always can’t imagine how such shops which sell snacks, fruits, and masks – and have a daily footfall of less than a hundred consumers – can afford their rents.
So, you’ve opened an online shop – what next?
The US eCommerce platform, Shopify, announced its last season’s results, where it ranked 2nd only to Amazon – enough to make investors happy! Its online retail performance is even more outstanding than Walmart. Overcoming adversity is not necessarily a certainty if you run a powerful company. Instead, victory or defeat depends on whether you adapt quickly enough to market changes. Hong Kong people are famous for doing things fast, and they want to put goods on the shelves as quickly as possible. What needs to be done has already probably been done last year. Yet, it doesn’t mean you can sit back and wait for the money to roll in after opening your online shop. eCommerce boom netizens are familiar with online consumption, which is a good thing. But to truly establish a series of online stores requires strongly establishing your brand and making a breakthrough!
Opening online stores in times of adversity
There are two case studies in Shopify’s report. One is to be an entrepreneur in times of adversity. This is common in Hong Kong. I believe that many of those who experienced job changes in Hong Kong last year have become part-time or online shop owners. My friends in the aviation industry have been “forced” to sell a craft. I see a lot of potential, but there needs to be greater persistence in developing business strategies.
Making a business breakthrough: A transformation
Another case is the British pizza chain, Pizza Pilgrims, which successfully transformed and strengthened its social media marketing and established a mailing pizza business to survive. The merits of this case study are not only about bringing your business online but to pivot in the face of changes in the environment. In the online retail era, entrepreneurs and marketers will be most familiar with online retail and marketing. The survival of businesses going forward in response to changing consumption habits will depend on how much further businesses can pivot.
The next step is achieved through a team growth mindset
I am fairly optimistic and believe that the retail industry has a bright future – when the market resumes to normal and when restaurants are full and bars are bustling again. Consumption power is always present amid market concerns. Even after one has launched an online presence, it is time to take a step further in planning how to break out of operating within geographical constraints, internationalize, and automate. The most important thing for everyone to put on is a growth mindset to face up the transformations needed in the future for online retail.