Charles & Keith outlet in NEX shopping mall, Singapore.Ask any Singaporean to name a local brand, and Charles & Keith will definitely come to mind. Founded in 1996 by brothers Charles and Keith Wong, the brand has expanded its global reach to over 40 countries, including China, France, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, and many Southeast Asian countries. Last year, Charles & Keith garnered further publicity when Game of Thrones actress Maisie Williams carried its bags throughout the Emmy weekend. In China, Charles & Keith is known as 小CK, and has already garnered a loyal following. It has its own WeChat Official Account in China, allowing WeChat users to browse through their products and purchase them directly through the mobile app.
Charles & Keith's WeChat Official AccountIn the midst of Singapore’s subdued retail climate, more local retailers are turning to other sources of sales, especially from mainland Chinese tourists. China is the number one market for arrivals to Singapore, with over 2.6 million visitors from China from January to November in 2016, according to an article from The Straits Times. The growing number of incoming Chinese tourists presents a huge potential for retailers in Singapore. Learning from the success of their China counterpart, Charles & Keith Singapore is using WeChat Pay as a start to infiltrate the Chinese market. WeChat Pay is a mobile-payment service available for WeChat users, allowing Chinese tourists to pay using Renminbi, while Charles & Keith Singapore will receive the money using local currency.
A display sign on the cashier counter informs customers that Charles and Keith accepts Alipay and WeChat Pay.FOMO Pay assisted the Charles & Keith Singapore team by helping them reach and connect with more Chinese consumers using social media, and conducted extensive internal training prior to the launch of WeChat Pay in-store. “After integrating with FOMO Pay, the result is immediate! We saw our transaction volume growth in a very short period of time,” said Arun, Senior Information Technology Manager, Charles & Keith Singapore.
Image Source: Brand Channel
On November 11 every year, China celebrates Singles Day (光棍节). It was invented in the 90’s by a group of college students at Nanjing University as a day where single young people could celebrate together.
Today, it is now one of the most anticipated events for online retailers around the world thanks to Jack Ma, founder of the Alibaba Group, who transformed it into a nationwide retail phenomenon with the first Singles Day online sale in 2009. In a span of 24 hours, e-retailers offer steep discounts and low shipping rates to boost sales.
China’s Singles Day is a far larger event than Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the U.S., according to Fortune. In 2015, sales from Singles Day (91.2 billion yuan) surpassed the total sales from Black Friday and Thanksgiving in the same year. This may not come as a surprise, given China’s large population size, rising disposable income and booming e-commerce market.
Last year, Alibaba experienced more than 32% growth in sales, establishing a new sales record with 102 billion yuan sales at 8pm (4 hours before the event ended).
Singles Day is becoming more international and is expected to become a global event over the years. Alibaba’s Singles Day countdown gala last year featured appearances from international stars such as David and Victoria Beckham, Kobe Bryant and One Republic.
In addition, several international brands have joined in the Singles Day hype to reach out to Chinese consumers, including Apple, Nike, Burberry and Zara. In fact, 27% of purchases in 2016 were made from international brands or merchants, according to Forbes. Singles Day sales are also becoming more international – customers from Singles Day last year hailed from 235 different countries.
This presents a huge opportunity for e-retailers in Singapore who can also tap in on the shopping frenzy this coming Singles Day. Some companies, such as Lazada, Zalora and Shangri-La Hotels, have already jumped onto the bandwagon by offering discounts during this period.
About FOMO Pay Pte. Ltd
FOMO Pay is the first authorized WeChat Pay & Baidu Wallet partner in Southeast Asia, and was selected as one of the TOP 100 Asian Companies by E27, TOP 100 Startups by Red Herring Asia, and Top 8 by DBS’ FinTech Accelerator Program.
FOMO Pay provides a one-stop solution for overseas merchants by facilitating payment collection from the China market, including Chinese tourists. This comprises of online/offline Chinese payment modes, such as WeChat Pay, Alipay and Union Pay.
FOMO Pay’s business solution serves clients from a wide range of industries, including the telecom, publishing, tourism and hospitality, F&B, education and retail industries.