Amazon VP: Innovation and customer engagement essential for building global brands
November 4, 2021. Shanghai – Product innovation and a focus on customer feedback play crucial roles for building global brands, according to Amazon Vice President, Head of Asia Global Selling Cindy Tai.
Cindy made the remarks at a CEIBS Executive Forum this evening, during which she shared insights about the future of cross-border e-commerce as well as the role that Chinese brands play on the global stage.
Amazon Global Selling came to China in 2015 and aims to help Chinese businesses of different types and sizes go global by reaching customers around the world and building international brands.
Having worked at Amazon for over 10 years, Cindy has witnessed China’s booming cross-border e-commerce business and said she is amazed by how the industry has grown and evolved each year.
Over the past few years, China’s cross-border e-commerce sector has grown exponentially, leading to both new development opportunities and challenges for Chinese business in global markets, Cindy noted.
As one of the world’s manufacturing superpowers, China boasts competitive advantages in technology, as well as supply chain and manufacturing capabilities.
“Although many manual labour and low-tech products are moving outside of China, high-tech and high innovation product manufacturing is staying in China, and it’s really hard for other lower cost countries to replicate this as of now,” Cindy explained.
That said, China businesses still face traditional manufacturing and export challenges.
“If you compete only on cost, there is a big risk that some of the manufacturing will move to Southeast Asia and lower cost countries,” she continued, adding that a lack of understanding of customers’ needs and insufficient digitalization also need to be addressed.
“Now, the evolution and growth of cross-border e-commerce is completely changing the way the global supply chain is working,” she said.
Under the traditional trade model, consumers are at the end of the value chain, Cindy explained, but digital technologies and e-commerce have now put consumers in the middle, where manufacturers and brand owners are directly accessible to them via real-time data.
Therefore, in light of these changes to the global supply chain, Cindy emphasised the importance of building global brands and the need to upgrade and innovate based on consumers’ demands and feedback.
Chinese businesses need to invest in both brand building and customer engagement, while producing competitive and differentiated products to adapt to consumers’ needs, instead of focusing on driving sales and short-term gains, she said.
“Those who are going to win in this market are those who can quickly react to customer demands and provide the best customer experience,” Cindy continued, adding that policy compliance, and an understanding of regulatory and product requirements in each country and region are also important when it comes to going global.
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