Retail in Asia

In Telligence

Leverage e-commerce in Hong Kong


With more people using the internet year after year, the spread of mobile and the maturity of the market, so more people are doing their shopping online and Honk Kong is no exception.

Recent surveys from Hootsuite and We Are Social show that 83% of Hongkongers searched online for a product or service and 68% purchased, during Q2 and Q3 2018. The Hong Kong market is growing and when there are people wanting to buy something, you will have other people wanting to sell them something.

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Entrepreneurs and businesses are rushing to get involved in what is a potentially very lucrative market and Hong Kong has lots of advantages for those who want to follow a new path.

Why establishing your business in Hong Kong?
Hong Kong has a fine reputation globally as an excellent place to do business. It is one of our planet’s major international trading hubs and, with investors attracted from far and wide to do business in the region. This includes e-commerce, and people wanting to get established in the online shopping industry will find that Hong Kong is a great place to do so.

Competitive economy
Hong Kong offers many advantages for entrepreneurs and ranks among the most competitive countries according to the World Economic Forum.

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Hong Kong ranks 7th in 2018 and is the third most competitive economy in Asia, after Singapore and Japan. However, Hong Kong has ranks better for different features that are key factors for entrepreneurs, especially those who want to invest in e-commerce:

 Second in terms of infrastructure but first for its sea port infrastructure.
 Second in terms of ICT adoption (Information and communication technology).
 Second in terms of financial system and stability.

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Prime location

One of the greatest benefits of doing business in Hong Kong is its easy access to one of the largest market places on the planet, China, which is a great asset both to source products as well as to target a market that exponentially rise years after years.

In addition to having a lot of people to sell to, e-commerce stores in Hong Kong also have a lot companies to buy from. China is a manufacturing powerhouse and is the world’s largest exporter of manufactured goods.

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Goods purchased are affordable, helping to improve the bottom line of both fledgling and established companies, and China has several specializations that makes it easy for entrepreneurs to find products to sell.

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Incorporation and tax-friendly system
The benefits do not even stop there. While taxes are often enough to stunt the growth of businesses, they are far less restrictive in Hong Kong at only 16.5% and the Hong Kong government makes it easy for entrepreneurs to open a business and a business bank account as the incorporation process will take, in average, less than two weeks.

Building your e-shop
Recent years have seen the development of ‘DIY’ website building platforms and it is now easier than before to start selling online thanks to companies like Shopify. It is now possible for anybody to create their own store without the need for coding skills.

Customise your online store
These platforms are full of features that will help you to manage your business and they offer a large set of extensions that you can use to start getting your first sales.

Themes: Using a pre-built theme means that much of the work is done for you already. Of course, once you have chosen the right one, you can then customise it to make it your own but 90% of the job will be done in a few clicks.
Cart: Delivery date calculator, shipping fee calculator, prevent orders from out-of-stock products, checkout with different currencies… these simple but vital features are integrated in platforms like Shopify.
Accounting: If your business is a success, then keeping up with the finances can become quite a challenge. With the right accounting tools, however, it becomes much easier for you to keep your books in order.

Market your online store
Hong Kong is a competitive market, and as such, your store needs to have the right tools to understand who your visitors are and what they do, so that you can adjust your strategy to fulfil their needs and sell. Platforms like Shopify offer integrated analytics solutions that allow you to track the shopping habits of people on your store as well as marketing features that help you to make yourself as visible as possible.

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While you can use different digital marketing strategies such as organic searches or paid media to develop your visibility in Hong Kong, social media is also an interesting that channel that is now used in Hongkongers’ daily routine.

Shopify includes various useful features that will help you to develop your visibility:

SEO: To surface in Google search results, Shopify proposes optimized stores and you can customize Meta Tags to improve your keyword targeting strategy.
Social Media: Social Media can be great to build a community, develop your customer service strategy and you can easily integrate them to your store.
Email Marketing: Collecting email addresses and sending promotional emails to those who subscribed can also be achieved by adding new apps in your store, which will skyrocket your sales as this is one of the best marketing tool.

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The e-commerce market will continue to grow in Hong Kong, making it a sector that is full of potential. Open your company is Hong Kong is an easy step and while the market is highly competitive, entrepreneur benefit from a positive environment to develop their brand. Hong Kong is one of the main locations in Asia and no doubt that the close location of Mainland China is an asset, both to source products and to develop the sales.