We Ask the Expert: What’s Next?

Natasha Sholl By Natasha Sholl | 22 Jul 2019

Ahead of Online Retailer, the Founder of G&M Cosmetics explains why globalisation is the future, how to prepare for disruption and the rise of KOLs.

Ahead of Online Retailer Conference & Expo, we speak to Zvonko Jordanov, Founder of G&M Cosmetics, about what’s next for e-commerce and how to plan for future disruptors:

What are the three top things that retailers should be implementing now to plan for the future?

  • Consumers are looking for new products all the time. To keep up with demand retailers should be looking for new brands that have a loyal or even ‘cult’ following which can help bring in new shoppers to the stores
  • Improve the customer experience of the shoppers and integrating a strong offline and online retail presence.
  • Support Australian Made brands and products

 What are the current major disruptors that brands and retailers need to be aware of? Can you plan for future disruption?

The rise of the KOL – Key Opinion Leaders or Influencers is an emerging disruptor to both brands and retailers. As society changes its way of receiving information via KOL or influencers, this will play a key role in reaching out to decision makers and consumers. There is no secure way of planning for disruption in the market, it’s how best you are equipped to keep up with any changes that come in to play and be ready to evolve and keep up with change.

There is so much to get on top of when it comes to remaining competitive in the current (and future) landscape. How can / should brands and retailers block out the noise and focus on what is really important to them?

Stay in touch with the consumer — listen carefully and respond quickly. Customer feedback and customer service is vitally important. Heading towards 2020, the average consumer is savvy, well-informed and always online. They are glued to their phone and always searching for the latest online discount from their favourite shopping platform. As part of the self-directed buying process, Millennials will typically shop around a bit and read reviews before making a purchase decision. To be successful, brand owners and sellers need to monitor comments and listen to what shoppers say about their products and customer service.

Brand owners need to understand and constantly communicate with their potential customers. They also need to keep a close eye on the activities of their competitors.

Successful emerging brands are grabbing attention through their consumer focus and inclusive mindset, which they’re pushing through different digital, social media and e-commerce platforms. Future success depends on being interactive– connecting online and effectively communicating with the modern consumer, and being proactive – recognising emerging beauty trends then quickly adapting and developing products that cater to changing consumer needs. 

Get on board early and lead the way or wait to see how everything plays out and learn from others? What’s your strategy when it comes to early adoption of new technology or trends?

As an Australian manufacturer with global ambitions we need to be smarter, faster and more flexible in our approach to changing consumer demands. G&M Cosmetics’ strategy centres around: get on board early or get left behind.

Given the changing industry regulations and consumer attitudes towards wellbeing means the natural and organic beauty sector – known for its integrity and transparency – is continuing to flourish in the mainstream. Beauty Consumers in general are extensively demanding more innovative, premium and multifunctional beauty products. G&M strives to cater to this demand by boosting investment in research and product development to expand our product portfolio, by specifically moving towards cleaner, greener options with a distinctive range of organic offerings.

Increasing consumer awareness about the health benefits of using organic products and growing concerns about the dangers of synthetic chemical compounds in traditional cosmetics have contributed to and significantly driven this industry growth.

Combining the best practices of skincare manufacturing, and in keeping with its philosophy of innovation and continuous improvements, G&M Cosmetics has most recently launched a Native Australian Rangefeaturing Australian indigenous ingredients like Kakadu Plum, Native Finger Limes and Native Quangdong fruits. These natural indigenous ingredients have long been used by local Aboriginal groups for their perceived health benefits for thousands of years.

E-commerce: What’s next?            

  • Globalisation IS the future of trade.

Whilst G&M and our unique products are proudly 100 percent Australian, we also realise our future lies in global expansion. We are taking G&M to the next level, transforming our products from local commodities and creating various internationally recognised and desired brands.

With over 600 million online shoppers, China is the largest e-commerce marketplace in the world and it holds a lot of opportunity for western retailers looking to sell their products to a whole new market. Over 50 percent of the world’s e-transactions currently take place in China, up from only 1 percent about a decade ago. Local Chinese tech champions such as Alibaba Group, Tencent and JD dominate a rapidly growing e-commerce ecosystem, mostly within China.

One of the greatest indicators of the role e-commerce plays in driving globalisation is the amount of cross-border e-commerce between China and the rest of the world. In 2016 the market size of cross border retail e-commerce sales in China was $78.5 billion; this figure is expected to exceed $140 billion by 2021.

  • The rise of KOLs.

Modern consumers are turning to key opinion leaders (also known as digital influencers) to learn about the latest products and trends. Consumers increasingly look to social media for all relevant information — from daily news to product advice.

  • The rise of O2O – ONLINE TO OFFLINE – a new generation of digitally-connected retail that has already arrived in China.

Smart online platforms are now transforming the standard consumer experience by integrating online with a modern offline sales opportunity.

Alibaba and JD are rapidly opening retail outlets across the country, called HEMA and 7Fresh respectively. Both brands offer a wide range of digitally-connected experiential shopping. For example, customers can use their phone to scan the barcode of any item in the store to learn about the product’s source, nutritional information and price. Delivery is available at both stores in as little as 30 minutes after consumers have made their purchases.

See Zvonko Jordanov present at Online Retailer on the G&M Cosmetics Case Study and how it became Australia’s #1 most trusted brand in China. To see the full agenda for Online Retailer Conference & Expo (to be held 24-25 July at the ICC Sydney) or to buy tickets, click here.

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