ECommerce With SHOPLINE Hong Kong General Manager Nick Chiu
Hong Kong/ Venture/ Careers

Elevator Pitch: SHOPLINE’s Nick Chiu Chats eCommerce

Elevator Pitch SHOPLINEs Nick Chiu Chats e Commerce 1

In today's world, the initial touchpoint between a customer and a business often occurs online, especially if the business has an active social media presence.

According to an early-2023 report made by Forbes, 20.8% of retail purchases are expected to have taken place online, with a forecast for a jump to 24% by 2026. eCommerce is the natural progression from online visibility to point of sales, opening up businesses to an international consumer base and allowing them to grab a foothold on gathering consumer information.

With the advent of online shopping, eCommerce platforms such as SHOPLINE allow merchants to smoothly transition their brick-n-mortar businesses to the digital space. The global smart commerce platform was founded in 2013 and continues to be Asia’s largest and fastest growing commerce SaaS (software-as-a-service).

Providing a rich ecosystem of technologies for e-commerce, social commerce, and point-of-sales – SHOPLINE’s international platform hosts well-known brands such as Lucy’s, Bee Cheng Hiang, Smith & Hsu, and more.

The Beat Asia spoke to SHOPLINE’s Hong Kong Deputy General Manager, Nick Chiu – on his personal career journey with SHOPLINE, lessons he’s learned along the way, and how the brand plans to shake things up in the coming year.

Elevator Pitch: SHOPLINE’s Nick Chiu Chats eCommerce  2

What's your 'backstory'? What led you to contribute to a platform around eCommerce and merchandise sales?  

Personally, I have been working and immersed myself in the commercial industry for around 10 years, managing commercial operations for various companies across the APAC region.

I started to notice the rapid growth of the e-commerce field led by the multiple retail giants from China while corporate leaders were gradually investing in omnichannel retail and diversifying their e-commerce platforms. This was when I recognised the growing potential of the era of e-commerce in Hong Kong.

I joined SHOPLINE in 2021 - an unforgettable time during the outbreak of COVID-19, however, it was also the tipping point for companies in Hong Kong, big or small, to officially transform and integrate their businesses into the online world.

Elevator Pitch: SHOPLINE’s Nick Chiu Chats eCommerce  3

What pain point is SHOPLINE out to solve in the eCommerce industry? 

SHOPLINE is the single platform with regional presence, where we help merchants to do multi-market business and help them expand across the region. This also makes us a great partner for MNCs as we can provide regional support. Merchants leverage SHOPLINE’s omnichannel solutions for e-commerce, social commerce and point-of-sales to sell their products and services around the world.

For e-commerce, we offer a variety of solutions that cater to different business needs.

For social commerce, we support live streaming on Facebook and Instagram. SHOPLINE merchants can extend their sales channels to the YouTube platform, enabling 24-hour, around-the-clock sales and unleashing the full potential of business operations.

We are also empowering merchants through a suite of AI technologies to save cost, increase efficiency and accelerate business and provide insights to catch the latest market trends.

Elevator Pitch: SHOPLINE’s Nick Chiu Chats eCommerce  4

Can you share a story about a mistake you made during your time at SHOPLINE? What lessons did you take away from this? 

It happened during SHOPLINE’s rapid expansion during the pandemic, where we faced the challenge of filling numerous new positions in a short amount of time. Recognizing the importance of seizing marketing opportunities, we definitely felt the time pressure to hire quickly and thought we couldn't afford to be too selective in the hiring process.

We managed to fill the positions within a short timeframe, however, we soon realised that the new hires weren’t able to deliver expected outcomes and some of the skill sets were mismatched. The lesson I learned from this experience is that when it comes to talent acquisition, finding the right fit should always be our top priority.

To solve this problem, we had to allocate additional resources and time to provide further training as well as assess employees’ strengths and skill sets to restructure the team and optimise talent.

Elevator Pitch: SHOPLINE’s Nick Chiu Chats eCommerce  5

Who have been some of your biggest inspirations or mentors? Can you share a time when they made an impact by helping you with the direction of SHOPLINE Hong Kong? 

I honed my skills in sales roles within the commercial industry, where my primary focus was generating revenue and driving business growth to enhance productivity. However, SHOPLINE has been grounded in its mission statement from its inception, which is to empower merchants to succeed. This mission provides us with a clear vision and guiding principle for every business decision we make.

Elevator Pitch: SHOPLINE’s Nick Chiu Chats eCommerce  6

Can you share three best pieces of advice that you've collected throughout your career and why they matter to you?

Throughout my career, the three best pieces of advice I’ve received are: Set a long-term goal and stick to it to avoid distractions and temptation. Maintain a work-life balance and pursue your passions outside of work. Seek out a good mentor or leader who can provide valuable insights and guidance.

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How is SHOPLINE planning to shake things up next?

Currently, SHOPLINE ranks first in market share in Hong Kong and Taiwan. We have assisted more than 500,000 brands around the world to open stores and have more than 2,000 employees worldwide. We grew from a team of three to a company with global presence and we are delighted to share that we have recently opened new offices in Sydney, Australia, and London, United Kingdom (UK). 

We will continue to fortify our presence in the world of omnichannel commerce with strategic expansions, building upon our success in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region. We are targeting to enter the Japanese and US markets by 2024 to serve even more merchants worldwide with our omni-channel capabilities.

On the technology front, we look forward to continuing leveraging more advanced technology like Gen AI to unleash a world of possibilities to empower our employees, merchants and customers to enjoy the omni-channels experiences. 

Enjoyed this article? Check out our previous Elevator Pitch profiles here.

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