Retail in Asia

In Trends

Leaders from Yoox Net-a-Porter, Lacoste, OntheList, and more on key marketing trends

From left: Manica Tiglao, head of publication, Retail in Asia; Natalie Lee, Yoox Net-a-Porter; Jonathan Ly, executive director of Les Lumieres de Paris' Hong Kong chapter; Jacopo Pesavento, Branding Records; Diego Dultzin, OntheList; Kristy Lee, Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong. Source: SMCU

At the City University of Hong Kong’s Sales and Marketing Consulting Unit (SMCU)’s recently concluded Marketing Exchange Forum supported by Retail in Asia, industry leaders gathered to discuss the evolving landscape of marketing and ESG, as well as insights into key trends that are shaping the industry in APAC. 

SEE ALSO: APAC tourism is making a comeback, with travellers prioritising experiential retail

Here, some key takeaways from the Marketing Exchange Forum held at Soho House Hong Kong in May. 

Luxury retail and hospitality’s shifting qualities

APAC marketing trends
Natalie Lee, general manager, APAC and Japan, Yoox Net-a-Porter (right). Source: SMCU

In a panel discussion moderated by Retail in Asia’s head of publication, Manica Tiglao, Natalie Lee, general manager for APAC and Japan at the e-commerce group Yoox Net-a-Porter Group emphasised how consumers, influenced by economic pressures, now prioritise value and experience over traditional notions of luxury. 

The trend, Lee says, reflects a broader awareness of sustainability and quality.

APAC marketing trends
Jacopo Pesavento, founder, Branding Records; Diego Dultzin, co-founder, OntheList; Kristy Lee, director of marketing and sales, Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong. Source: SMCU

Kristy Lee, director of marketing and sales at the Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong, also highlighted the increasing concern for environmental impact from the hotel’s guests, as well as a demand for ‘more immersive and meaningful’ experiences that connect consumers with local culture. 

In a separate discussion focused on ESG, Lacoste’s Stephane Oge shared experiences in meeting social and environmental standards across global supply chains. Maintaining product quality while fulfilling CSR and ESG commitments is of utmost importance, Oge said.

Venisa Chu, regional sustainability director, L’Occitane; Stephane Oge, head of Quality & CSR Performance at Lacoste. Source: SMCU

Localisation remains key

When it comes to engaging with consumers in APAC, localisation can be an effective way to connect with an audience. 

Jonathan Ly, executive director of Les Lumieres de Paris’ Hong Kong chapter, emphasised the effectiveness of engagement and incentives in localised marketing campaigns for French brands. 

From left: Manica Tiglao, head of publication, Retail in Asia; Natalie Lee, Yoox Net-a-Porter; Jonathan Ly, executive director of Les Lumieres de Paris’ Hong Kong chapter; Jacopo Pesavento, Branding Records; Diego Dultzin, OntheList; Kristy Lee, Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong. Source: SMCU

Meaningful interactions that enhance brand loyalty are replacing traditional sales tactics, Ly said. 

SEE ALSO: Retailers bullish on brick-and-mortar expansion in Asia-Pacific

Omni-channel strategies to bridge online and offline interactions

Embracing omni-channel strategies and integrating online and offline experiences are essential for meeting modern consumer expectations, according to the speakers.

Enhancing engagement across multiple touchpoints is crucial for success.

The panelists also agreed that while artificial intelligence (AI) can enhance efficiency and personalise customer experiences, it must be balanced with human interactions.

This is especially crucial in luxury sectors, where a personal touch continues to be vital.