Retail in Asia


RiA Exclusive: Connecting with customers in the digital age

Retail in Asia Shoppers Digital Journey

On Thursday, 15 July 2016, the British Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong hosted a panel event to discuss “The Retail Customer Journey in the Age of Digital.”

Moderated by Paul Redmayne-Mourad, Asia Pacific brand manager for David Morris and chair of the Chamber’s Luxury and Retail Committee, the panel of four shared their thoughts on customer interactions, in-store experiences and social media.


  1. Luke O’Shea, head of marketing and sales (APAC) for Rapha
  2. Guy Parsonage, partner of PwC Experience Centre
  3. Gerard Killeen, head of Global Digital Marketing and CRM for Infiniti
  4. Fergus Clarke, CEO of Lamplight Analytics


On social media disasters

Gerard (Infiniti): The secret to success is how you recover from that situation. You have to have processes in place to pick these things up quickly. A complaint that gets resolved quickly is much better than one that festers. Speed is everything.

Fergus (Lamplight): Have a very authentic tone of voice. Make sure you acknowledge that there is a problem and don’t use PR speak.

Luke (Rapha): Be open. We use that feedback to improve our business and process, whether it’s about returns, delivery or the product itself. Involving [our customers] is a big key, as our business strength is our community.

Going from online to offline

Guy (PWC): It’s trying to get that balance. Create a more human experience that’s more beneficial for the customer and the sales will come.

Retail in Asia British Chamber of Hong Kong Luxury Retail Panel
L to R: Luke O’Shea, Guy Parsonage, Fergus Clarke and Gerard Killeen. (Photo: Erica Fong/Retail in Asia)

Luke (Rapha): Our Sydney store gives away free coffee. It probably costs us a fortune, but it’s an investment we make and we attract a lot of people to the store that way. The conversion rate is very low, but in the long term, these people will eventually turn into customers.

Paul (David Morris): My client in the US [one of Chanel’s VIP clients] walked into the Chanel store in Paris and they shoo’ed her out because she was dressed scruffily. That’s the challenge as well — how could Chanel have known who she was? — especially in the less digitally oriented sphere of high-end luxury.

 On social media roles

Fergus (Lamplight): Social media is not one person’s or one function’s responsibility. It’s something that we are all part of. And we’re able to do that because we’ve got a clear vision and clear tone of voice on what and how we communicate to the outside world. When you’re [a company] with less than 20 people, it can’t just be one person’s responsibility.

Guy (PWC): It’s got to come from the founders and individuals. It’s not someone you can just put on the role who’ll post things on time. It’s about context and what’s happening in the moment, and if you’ve got someone who’s passionate, they’ll do it throughout the day and they can even often handle multiple channels.

Visit the British Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong for more events like this.