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We have extensive experience with ecommerce platforms such as Magento, BigCommerce, and WooCommerce.Not only do we follow platform best practices, but we also select the appropriate platform and infrastructure for your business.

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markets and businesses
Interactions between market and business
The business is a very diminutive part of a market; on the contrary, the market is a vast forest, including all transactions and many customers, respectively. During the operation process, the good-supply by the seller, combined with the buyer’s good-consumption, will create the circulation of goods and the business’s development. However, interactions between market and business are the main driving force for all factors to develop in orbit and increasingly innovate according to the times’ improvement and transformation.

1. How does the market contribute to business growth?

The market is the foundation for creating a business’s original values, deciding essential requirements and conditions a business needs to achieve to enter the stage of market presence. From then, customers with specific demands will choose to buy the items they want. The ultimate goal of a market is to meet the needs of commodity exchanges precisely. This process continuously compels businesses to maintain and update their business operations, immediately adapting to customer requirements and not falling behind other competitors in the same market.

business growth
A market contributes to creating the environment of its businesses inside, which can be requirements and conditions for a company to approach the target customer with itself products or services

The market helps businesses approach customer behaviors more deeply, which is very important in resource management. That also presents in data sources such as the number of selling goods, rising goods consumption, or figures showing a sharp drop in merchandise sales due to the disease’s impact. These factors will contribute to the next analysis steps from collected data, approach the operation process more accurately, simultaneously regulate the level of goods production to meet just enough customer needs, avoid goods-excess or -shortage.

A market will reflect the competitiveness, scale, and position of all businesses within the market-share concept. Determining market share will point out precisely the revenue dimension compared to other competitors, also contribute to research and development activities, clearly identify competitors, customers, strengths, weaknesses, and at the same time, aim for following strategies to improve or increase sales.

2. What a business can do for its market?

Under the control and dominance of a market, businesses also contribute their values ​​to the general development custom, creating different development orientations and characteristics for each market type.

The competition among businesses promotes a much more vibrant market. It is also the driving force for enterprises to change and perfect day-to-day operating systems, update the trend not to fall behind other similar competitors, and finally optimize the customer experience.

vibrant market
Business is the driving force for the whole market to change and perfect itself every single day

Business growth expands the market dimension and stability. A speedily growing business will supply more substantial quantities of goods, focusing on research and improving goods quality. This approach will attract more potential customers; also new companies. The full penetration of market factors (sellers and buyers) concurrently affects the market size compared to a general economic picture.

3. Interactions between market and business in the digital transformation

Over 50% of companies are aware of the impact of the Industrial Revolution 4.0 and feel it is taking place day by day. However, more than 70% of businesses do not fully understand their technology systems’ status and have yet to ascertain where and when to start deploying digital transformation.

While many other companies have quickly grasped and implemented digital transformation strategies for a long time and achieved specific success in the market, most of the remaining companies struggled with financial and technological problems. That contrary also affects the market, makes it move slowly and miss technology updates. Therefore, to successfully digital-transform, the interactions between market and business should not be overlooked.

interactions between market and businesses
The digital era has had the opportunity to witness firmer and tighter interactions between markets and businesses

First, market and business must satisfy the fundamentals of digital transformation, including connectivity and a stable internet platform. Connectivity refers to connection size and speed. Connection needs will increase continuously in the future, allowing businesses and markets to ignore their customer networks’ connections.

Next, the connection speed needs to be improved to help data transmission and processing take place faster. Since ecommerce sites have become more and more popular, customers have more options when shopping, and there is no reason to waste time waiting for a too slow-speed website. That is why the Internet platform is a vital imperative requirement to promptly meet the needs of markets, businesses, and users in the digital age. The Internet has become an essential part of daily life and a cornerstone facilitating the digital transformation process, promoting innovation, creativity, and new technology applications to the existing civilization.

Besides, focusing attention on improving digital skills for human resources is also a way to tighten the interactions between market and business. Digital transformation tends to impact old business models to upgrade and improve them into leaner and much more modern models. That prediction significantly affects human resources when some jobs have been automated and operated by artificial intelligence without humans. However, these automation jobs can produce more brand-new alternative jobs, namely quality management, market research and development, and product development.

Nevertheless, at the same time, it also raises the requirement to improve the capacity and digital skills of all existing human resources. Information technology skills have gradually become an essential condition for each individual to fully meet the labour market’s basic needs, especially when ecommerce becomes a trend worldwide. However, the ecommerce market also needs to improve data security issues, logistics, and payment security to gain the highest trust from customers and further development in the future.

The interactions between market and business are often subject to significant impacts from common development tendencies, technological advancements, and other digital transformation issues that make sense to be continuously updated and changed procedures to suffice customer needs and experience. Within those interactions, businesses will perform digital transformation responsibilities from the market requirements and vice versa; the market is the environment showing the exact business outcomes. When having reached the capacity and position, businesses can create a different market themselves with a stable and sustainable customer source.

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data digitization process
The thorough process of data digitization
In the context that the 4.0 era opens up an essential evolution for human society, data has become a priceless treasure of enterprises in researching objectives to implement business strategies comprehensively. It is also about time for businesses to admit a complete data digitization formula to optimize this process’s benefits. Therefore, digitizing data becomes a mandatory transformation requirement that companies need to complete to adhere to modern market trends and the inevitable development era. Data digitization will be the core foundation for more extensive digital transformation layers in a more prolonged vision.

1. Complete preparation for the data digitization process

Data digitization is a data-transforming process from traditional paperwork to digital format databases. After digitization comes to completion, the database will be stored and managed by software or technology platforms, enhancing this data system’s security and accessibility. This enhancement is an obligatory transformation requirement for traditional business models as most businesses face operational and management problems. At the same time, start-ups already can access new technologies and have a more modern changing mindset.

First things first, there are many difficulties in storing and preserving paper-printed documents. They are often bound to form in book-types with large sizes. Secondly, paperwork makes searching, synthesizing, and analyzing unnecessary time-consuming. Meanwhile, digital data sources can streamline the bulk of previous paperwork while still having enough digital space to store in the data systems. Those systems especially have many advantages about security and flexibility in supporting data analysis and research for business development strategies.

An essential data digitization process goes through 3 main stages: data classification, format conversion, storage, and management.

Data classification

To fully prepare for a digital data plan, businesses can start by sorting and sifting through document types according to digitalization objectives and strategies. Specifically, retailers can prioritize the data of products, inventory, customer information, or ordering reports. Besides, operating-oriented businesses may consider using internal data sources for in-house working and managing processes such as accounting data, factory data, operating records, and other related types.

data classification
Data classification helps to select and categorize the high-volume of information resource in a business

Format conversion for data digitization preparation

In the next conversion step, paper documents will be scanned and converted to image sources such as JPG, TIFF, GIF, PNG, RAW… With a much more improved budget, an organization can take advantage of more breakthrough technologies, namely AI, Machine Learning, Big Data… to digitize paper-printed data into editable formats. The data will then become streamlined and stored in data systems for the later exploiting and editing objectives.

Data storage and management

The benefits of digital data management systems are the minimization of storing space and cost, access time, operation, and management costs, simultaneously providing the optimization of security and data mining performance. These systems operate under two main requirements: the first is to store, the second is to support data access flexibly and quickly.

store and manage data
Almost digital data management systems allow users to store huge-range data and access them flexibly

One of the essential tasks is to use the right technology at a particular milestone to optimize the process’s quality and time. When matching both the above requirements, businesses no longer need to worry about the budget-exceeds anymore.

2. The role of digital data management systems

Solutions for data digitization processes will be much more comprehensive by using digital data management systems tailored to the data storage and access needs. Businesses also easily use data for business research and development objectives, improve products, service quality, or produce brand-new products and services to meet customer demands. Essentially, digital data management systems can:

  • Ensure data integrity. Digital data systems are a complete alternative to physical document storage spaces (paperwork, shelves, archives, etc.). This solution will reduce the previous cumbersome data-types while restricting the loss, fragmentation, or data damage.
  • Make information more proactive. Data migration to digital systems keeps it available for mining and fast retrieval of analytical, research, and statistical reports. Data will no longer be limited, but on the contrary, businesses can access it anytime, anywhere.
  • Minimize seeking-time. Modern and innovative management systems also allow multiple users to access information simultaneously, ensuring the smoothness and seamlessness of business processes.

One of the most popular digital data management platforms is ERP systems. ERP contributes to being an entire enterprise management system capable of using data as a business operation resource.

ERP system
ERP systems can be a seamless connection for all the business workload

In particular, ERP creates a high-logical storage arrangement for all business departments to develop the ability to seamlessly and quickly access, usage, and exploit information. However, ERP is a comprehensive transformation that requires businesses to accept innovation significantly and reform the traditional operating model.

3. Typical case studies of data digitization

Data digitization can also be effectively applied in national public services, forming e-government to transform the traditional administrative environment’s working process. E-government creation brings a massive advantage for both the government and the citizens when managerial procedures become faster and more flexible.

Also, information and data sources in the electronic management environment are more secure, safe, and transparent. A typical example of this strength is the blockchain application in managing the e-tax system of an enterprise. Blockchain possesses a significant advantage in data security, and value-added tax transactions are also real-time done quickly, minimizing fraud and tax evasion.

E-government
The e-governments now effectively apply data digitization to transform the traditional working process

Another data digitization case study is the accelerated development of retail technology applications by Saigon Co.op. With the most astounding purpose of optimizing the customer experience, this retailer aims to partner with leading technology businesses to create a digital shopping space.

As a result, the cooperation with Momo wallet has got implementation, and the brand has become the principal e-payment method in supermarkets. The combination with the Grab delivery system is also an essential breakthrough, promising GrabExpress freight forwarding services and food delivery GrabFood applied to the entire structure of Co.opmart, Co.opXtra in Ho Chi Minh City.

However, these successful case studies in typical pioneers’ digitization process do not mean that formula will bring absolute success for almost all businesses. Data digitization strategies mostly depend on external factors. They are even contingent on business demands. That is the reason why companies need to tailor standard processes and systems before conducting data digitization.

Digital transformation is an essential process of multiple scales, in which digitization is only a small layer. However, this layer is a critical core value of the whole digital transformation process.

Data digitization gives businesses many significant advantages to meet the digital transformation process’s basic requirements, converting the format of data platforms. Forms of storing and managing data are also quite diverse, and businesses can choose the right way to manage their digital data sources. However, technology is not the main factor for success, so is multiple platforms usage. Considering the correct strategies, data systems based on appropriate technology platforms will lead businesses closer to expected results.

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digital transformation layers
The 3 digital transformation layers
The Fourth Industrial Revolution has created constant changes in modern life, applying digital technology innovations’ core values. In particular, digital transformation (DT) has also gradually attracted more attention from businesses and individuals, although it has crept into the business operational processes since computers became popular in the 1990s. However, DT has marked a spectacular breakthrough when it matures a hot topic globally. This term shows itself a tremendous impact on the future of business. DT’s critical elements – data digitization, process, and model digitalization have fully demonstrated the improvement tasks for companies to overtake future opportunities. They are also essential pillars in multilayer DT systems, forming data, technology, and people’s seamlessness.

1. Terminology speaking of digital transformation and related perspectives

Digital transformation is a necessary process for traditional business models to keep pace with technologies and times. Implementing DT that is suitable for each of the businesses will increase its competitiveness in the market, thereby increasing revenue while optimizing the operation process, creating values for corporate culture and human resources. A complete DT model is a three-layered design: data, process, and business model.

The data layer is necessary to digitize data sources by using technologies for easy-management. A business will implement transformative strategies for operational processes based on transformed data in the process and model layer. Companies can change their models to suit the prolonged orientation and develop corporate culture more extensively. They can also conduct step-by-step or simultaneously implement all the layers if there is a suitable option with the business requirements and specific transformation strategies in both the short and long-term.

Data digitization

Data digitization is transforming from paper-works to digital formats and then storing the digital database in computerized data management systems. Those systems are made up of the technology-implementation to store data intelligently, making data retrieval more manageable and faster. Therefore, data becomes more proactive and brings substantial value-in-use to the business.

Data digitization will create a more seamless working process while ensuring strictly systematic and complete data sources, building a comprehensive digital infrastructure for businesses. It simultaneously is the digital transformation process’s kernel, forming the foundation for all the remaining layers. Up to now, data digitization is an optimal solution ensuring the integrity and security of data systems in the long run, which significantly reduces operating costs.

Additionally, database management systems are the most critical archives that can maximize data access and exploitation efficiency. MySQL is an excellent example among the most popular DMS today, owning multiple useful features based on open source code while ensuring data speed and safety, even large-capacity data systems in the ecommerce field. Accompanying other DMS such as SQL Server, Oracle, PostgreSQL, MySQL can meet most of the data-usage requirements of storage performance, security, and data-safety standards.

These outstanding advantages help MySQL get more appreciation from technological experts by implementing them in many highly-complex technology industries.

Process and business model digitalization (PMD)

Based on the digital data’s core, the process and business model digitalization form a more widespread layer covering the core inside. This classification is highly complex and embraces various forms depending on the operations’ ways and objectives. PMD refers to the transformation relying on technology infrastructures and digital data frameworks to form a digital platform.

To complete the digitalization is to analyze issues in operating processes and business models. From an in-depth analysis, they can provide the right direction and strategy for transformation decisions. This transformation layer has supported businesses to meet the DT requirements, which fully are:

  • Customer connection in the business process;
  • Maintenance, development of the appropriate technological initiatives;
  • And over-the-time human resources optimization.

At the same time, a business needs to combine digital solutions to create customer values and build operating models.

Currently, businesses have successfully applied CRM platforms or ERP systems to optimize operational processes in terms of time and resources. It is well-known management platforms such as Zoho CRM, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, or Salesforce CRM that almost all businesses implement for stable development. Those names are tremendous supporting tools to create the business departments’ continuity of processes and operational processes.

Both CRM or ERP systems effectively help businesses achieve targeted sales and effectively disentangle complex manual processes or issues related to data controllability and preservation.

3 layers of digital transformation
3 layers of digital transformation process

Digital transformation (DT) is the largest category, the complete model to bring businesses closer to the 4.0 digital economy. DT represents the whole process of digitizing data and digitalizing operating processes, business models. DT’s ultimate goal is people-orientation, and at the same time, combining the corporate culture with the customer-centric foundation. DT sets macro-objectives of people’s direction in building strategies, corporate culture, digital technologies, and adapting to these digital transformations.

Generally, most companies carrying out DT encounter significant barriers. They frequently ignore a complete data digitization plan while only focusing on refining more macro-plans in the process and model digitalization layer, which does not bring the high-volume transformation effect due to the initial preparing step not been done thoroughly.

Also, preliminary estimates of time and the limited budget will present a significant challenge for DT tasks in specific periods. Multiples of businesses are unable to catch the expected results. However, despite the existing challenges that they have confronted recently (the COVID-19 crisis), digital transformation will provide comprehensive support on data systems and digital platforms, exclude all social distances, and connect the world easily anytime.

2. The finishing-point of digital transformation – ecommerce?

The digital transformation process has made both efficiency and sales for numerous B2C and B2B businesses. In detail, ecommerce is the most typical manifestation, having recorded impressive growth since 2017. B2C companies have also strengthened the development of a more powerful ecommerce channel than ever.

Meanwhile, B2B models pay much more attention to transforming chains/systems/processes such as production or goods distribution processes by gradually turning into online methods to adapt to the flexibility and rapidity of the 4.0 supply chain.

ecommerce in digital transformation
The digital age witnesses traditional commerce becoming e-commerce with fully-transformation

Up to now, ecommerce can be considered as the complete performance of the digital transformation process. Ecommerce channels can update information quickly and continuously while also ensuring UI/UX optimization to provide perfect user experience, excellent customer experience, and as a result, increase sales. These are also the requirements to digitalize the markets and perfect the business’ operating system. Depending on the DT objectives, the company will stop at the stage that best suits its business model. Some of the businesses only need to digitize data for more effortless operation.

However, from a much more general perspective, almost all companies convert to an ecommerce system to control their business independently and connect directly with customers, partners and come closer to the DT outcomes. Those objectives are also the straightforward development orientation of most retailers today. They focus abundant resources on developing the ecommerce channel to expand the business scale.

For instance, The Coffee House is a case study of the F&B industry’s impressive DT outcomes in Vietnam. The brand has achieved their ordering application for more intensive data resource management and operation. This application was initially built on a requirement to increase the loyalty program’s ease and improve customer care service quality.

However, until now, this sales channel has grown more than that and has become a mainstream business channel that seamlessly integrates with the brand’s existing offline stores.

The story of The Coffee House brand
The Coffee House has implemented impressive digital transformation outcomes in Vietnam’s F&B industry

The TCH app aims to connect and interact directly with customers based on the D2C model, allowing app-users to create membership accounts to earn points and order quickly. These features allow brands to access customer data and shopping habits easily. In-depth data analysis will contribute to new product strategies or menu amendments to better suit the customer’s taste.

Digital transformation is a long-term journey that needs to be done with a detailed and complete strategy while meeting the time and budget, matching the current business’s capabilities. Digitization/digitalization layers also need to fully play their role in digital platforms, transforming entirely and efficiently. A complete ecommerce system considerations are also required for supply chains currently in the marketplace. Ecommerce will be the most agile driver of digital transformation; however, make sure that you can implement a strategy with the right priority in the current situation to give the best effect.

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ecommerce experience
How AI transforms the ecommerce experience?
Do you think one day you can command Siri to do an online order in minutes or buy a shirt with just a picture taken by accident while driving on the road? Those are some examples that artificial intelligence (or AI) can bring to the ecommerce future. Since AI has been leveraged for optimizing and enriching the ecommerce experience, the user community has become more proactive when purchasing a product on the internet. Customers gradually have greater confidence in the quality of products and ecommerce services as they can interact much more easily and quickly thanks to the AI applications in every selected product.

1. How customers experience products in traditional shopping

Traditional shopping refers to the way customers directly buy products at stores, markets, or supermarkets. Since that trading model has emerged, the ecommerce experience about products has often originated from direct product-observation and -interaction. A consumer can hold and touch the item directly, feeling its characteristics, such as hardness, softness, size, or even color. They can quickly try one dress and exchange another one for a suitable size. This model has several benefits for shoppers:

  • Guarantee of product quality: Customers have the opportunity to interact and observe the product directly before buying. At that time, customers can choose a product with complete packaging, favorite colors, or delicious fresh food, or a skirt of a suitable length.
  • Time-saving in return and exchange policy: The traditional purchase is rooted in the amicable sale principle. Of course, the buyers will be partly responsible for goods quality due to the opportunity to touch and inspect them before buying.
  • High-satisfaction level: Customers tend to be more enthusiastic and get more exciting feelings when using products. They will not put too much doubt on the reliability of the product.
traditional shopping before transforming to ecommerce experience
This face-to-face buying assists shoppers to check the goods mostly

The benefits of experiencing products with traditional models will have many changes in online shopping models. Although customers will enjoy the convenience of freely choosing a suitable item in a wide range of goods at more bargained prices and also experience regular promotions, the limited interaction with the product pre-buying has reduced the convenience as the traditional model did before.

2. AI invention penetrating process to optimize the ecommerce experience

With the rapid development of the digital age, customer demand is a critical factor that is a priority in every development strategy and orientation. In particular, businesses also invest more in modern technologies to optimize consumer-product interaction, and AI applications are a useful option for ecommerce experience optimization process.

AI technology
AI is a great supporter for users to experience the product fully

Within the Ecommerce field, AI aims to the product experience, contributing to the efficiency of the business’s customer-centric orientation. The AI application has been integrated into search engine systems to support the creative and effective searching process with features such as “search by image” associating with material, shape, size, or brand. The display technology also invests in improving product interaction, shortening the distance between online and offline models.

Moreover, AI supports the ecommerce industry as a knowledgeable online assistant. This technology can bring two-way benefits when supporting both user experience and data analysis about user behavior trends.

Those are the two factors motivating brands to invest in developing more modern and efficient AI platforms towards a smarter, automated model for perfect customer experience.

3. AI trends for smarter ecommerce experiences in the digital age

Since applying to the ecommerce industry, various AI technology types have contributed to significantly changing consumer habits and purchasing decision-making processes, ultimately optimizing the convenience that customers received from online shopping. However, AI tools are continually developing and improving every day to enhance the user experience, and they also regularly stay updated with many popular trends.

Product 3D view

The 3D formats have been practical to enhance more excited customer-product interactions. Customers can observe different product aspects or even try placing a small decoration item at any house location to check the product’s suitability. This invisibility generally creates exciting experiences to increase interaction making customers more interested in the product.

3D-view product
3D technology in real estate and interior enhances the effectiveness of multi-dimensional sense of space which was limited before

Some interior brands have been using 3D scanning technology to perfectly experience interior space and architecture. Based on a provided video, customers can enjoy AR via remotely 3D virtual reality technology.

Mobile virtual reality fitting room

That AI ability can be a perfect solution when a store has too many customers visiting at the same time while the fitting room is overloaded. Customers can scan product images and try them out on a mobile phone screen. This technology is already available on Lacoste’s app, supporting customers to try their favorite shoes freely via their smartphone.

AR technology
Lacoste’s shoe trying app uses IR and AR technology, supporting the new-arrival models from the brand

The development of 3D and virtual reality technology has proved that nothing is impossible in the digital age. AI development is also a considerable solution for ecommerce barriers, mainly interacting with products when buying online to optimize ecommerce experience.

In the future, as many expert predictions, AI can be a modern and popular trend to optimize the ecommerce experience correctly. However, businesses also need to consider the needs of target customers to have appropriate applications and increase the number of potential customers and loyal customers in the long run.

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The concepts of a brand
Concepts of a brand – How much do you understand?
A brand needs more than just a campaign, which involves many aspects starting from the structuring identity process to brand development and maintenance activities. The concepts of a brand also include many different categories, both horizontally and vertically. However, many ideas or terms have scores of similar meanings that often confuse in a bunch of writing contexts. So, distinguishing almost identical words, spotting the essential elements in a branding model, and pointing out the most critical factors will be the first primary for a new brand.

1. Brand identity and brand awareness – what is the difference between the two concepts of a brand?

The first two common concepts of a brand are the confusion between brand awareness and brand identity when it comes to brands. The biggest problem here is, most people use them, assuming that they have the same meaning and have complementary relationships. However, the simple truth is scopes of these two concepts are entirely different, including how they create awareness and identification values.

Brand identity – a basis term of all concepts of a brand

Brand identity is a way to identify a brand in the public’s mind, using materials such as logo, slogan, company profile, design style, name card, brochure, and even colors across their designs. Brand identity usually starts from the brand’s values to create the first impressions and memories in the customers’ mindset. Among the concepts of a brand, brand identity can do more than as a brand face; it makes the brand memorable, creates a position for the brand in the market, and creates a particular attraction when the brand publishes an advertisement.

brand identity is one of the concepts of a brand

In Vietnam, Coca-Cola often appears on holidays, important occasions with two primary red-white colors and unique handwritten fonts. This brand always communicates to the public the values of reunion, family affection, inspiring people not to forget where they belong. Another example is the Apple logo’s story performing the image of “an apple with a bite” has a strong desire to reach perfect, rebellious, and unique values.

All the elements that appear, more or less, convey a specific aspect of brand value, vision, and mission. They also contribute to creating the unique memories that customers experience with the brand and stimulating closer connections.

Brand awareness – the highly-confused in concepts of brand

Brand awareness is the result of creating a set of values to make a brand different and essential. Awareness implies the mindset, perspectives of the brand’s role to customers and other market competitors.

To build a brand awareness process is to focus on connections and interactions mostly. However, it is first necessary to create an information platform that helps the audience get the whole picture of a brand. In particular, the crucial factors that can make this process done are content platform, product/service platform, and human factors.

brand awareness
Brand awareness remarks about the long-term connections and interactions of brand-and-customer

Content has a great ability to create a brand’s tone and voice while also shaping its style. This ability allows brands to set perspective and the appropriate direction usefully, similar to how Redbull conveys the messages from the “Give you wings” campaign with the desire to become the dream-maker.

On the other hand, product quality also dramatically affects the brand. Product quality is the launchpad for the next PR or marketing campaigns, but an inferior-quality product will make the brand fail no matter how good those campaigns are.

Starbucks has gone beyond the limits of a coffee shop with increasingly appreciated values. However, when it comes to Starbucks, everyone is pleased with almost all the drinks here. The excellent taste of the beverage menu has attracted and kept more customers.

Coca-Cola gets a very high level of brand awareness when almost 90% of the world population knows what Coca-Cola is. Like many other long-standing brands, Coca-Cola has created a cohesive consumer habit that can retain generation-to-generation and refreshed itself by creative advertising campaigns that add more imprints to customers’ mindsets. Did you remember the Coke bottle had your name printed? Have you ever taken a selfie with it? Yes, these name-bottles are part of the “Share A Coke” campaign – a campaign to help Coca Cola to surpass Samsung, to win the Gold Award – Brand Awareness category at The Smarties Vietnam 2015 (organized by Mobile Marketing Association in Vietnam to honor the best brands and agencies).

In another context, to maintain the identity values of perfection, rebellion, and uniqueness, Apple built its own extremely discriminating cognitive system. The brand does not narrow itself to any target market but towards a design that is everyone-friendly. It forms a unified brand culture from the inside out, including creativity and simplicity. Apple ignores the trends and competitions; it contrarily produces themed devices, generating new patterns for other brands in the technology market.

In general, brand identity emphasizes feelings of “love at first sight”. This concept tailors the brand’s face, helping customers classify the brand’s identity, functions, roles, and products. On the other hand, brand awareness conveys long-term values, internal values, and different values remaining in customers after using a brand’s products or services.

Those two concepts of a brand are not synonymous and equivalent, and brand identity is a part of a brand awareness strategy.

2. Essential elements of a comprehensive brand positioning model

Among the concepts of a brand, brand positioning models have been diverse, from the Minimal Viable Brand model provided by Eric Ries to much more complex models, namely the Brand Key (by Unilever) or Brand Pyramid (provided by Keller). There is a common-sense between these positioning models, which is the forming and maintaining values, from the root strength to the brand essence, which can eventually be long-lasting in the community’s mindset from generation to generation.

Usually, we are aware of the elements of visible benefits and measurable values. However, brands that leave an in-depth impression in the customer’s mindset create subjective and sensory values. Therefore, the positioning process worth considering includes discrimination and customer experience as well. Also, emotional and personal factors often require a high level of two-way interaction between both brands and customers, in general.

brand positioning model
A standard brand positioning model needs to adapt two-way interaction between brand and customer

Discriminations refer to values ​​making a brand different from its competitors. You can use product strengths, brand stories, or media messages to emphasize how you are different from dozens, hundreds of brands in the same field. A coffee shop with a mountain-view will be more attractive than another with small tables in 4 tight walls. Of course, the very first goal of people coming to a coffee shop is to drink coffee; however, gradually, people need more than a coffee cup when coming to the shop, such as to talk and discuss together, to work, to have group meetings, to take photos, or even dating.

People tend to be more interested in which coffee shop is suitable for taking pictures, which are tranquil enough for working. A tasty coffee-cup is one of the different values making customers frequent more; besides, people also care about the space, décor, view, etc.

Another fundamentally important factor for a branding campaign is customer experience. Experience is truly the accompanying actions or services, making customers feel they have received the attention and devotion when using certain products or services. Customer experience is one source of developing brand touchpoints and including various concepts of expertise, such as interface experience, shopping experience, or product experience of a brand.

Apple has successfully satisfied their customer experiences by designing an intelligent technology product-ecosystem to meet the seamless connection and interactions between devices and people, creating convenience and ease. Therefore, besides the brand itself’s discriminations, an excellent customer experience will be an active element for branding.

The digital age has witnessed a transformation of the brand-value system and concepts of a brand when almost all the customers are much more interested in sensory factors like emotional experience when using products. That experience requires brands to keep up with customers’ insight, creating compelling content to obtain customers’ trust.

3. Brand voice – the strength out of all the concepts of a brand

Why is brand voice important? Because it can speak up almost all the values of a brand and directly affect its audience. Voice can help personalize the brand, let itself create personality, and speak up as a human. As one of the key concepts of a brand, that is the most basic visualization of brand voice. However, brand voice is the element synchronizing and positioning brands at a higher level, shaping the brand identity and awareness. As a result, brands know what and how to reach the right audience target or market, developing both content styles and operation models consistently.

brand voice
Brand voice has a full power to personalize itself

We remember Pepsi as a symbol of dynamism, youthfulness, and positive energy. On the other side, Coca-Cola is reminiscent of family reunions, cozy and fun spaces. While Apple emphasizes the simplicity and quality of the product system, Samsung focuses much more on diversity and stunning design. These differences show that every single brand shapes the growing direction with unique concepts, then they will record in the user’s mindset of distinct characteristics and styles.

Whether branding is minimalist or sophisticated, businesses need to fully meet the most fundamental concepts of a brand to increase communication and interaction with their customers. Simultaneously, it is necessary to follow appropriate values integrating with development orientation to avoid overuse, and confusion, which then losing the discriminations brands want to convey.

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breakthrough ecommerce barriers
Breakthrough ecommerce barriers
Misperceptions, weak possibilities, or lack of substantial investment are significant barriers to the ecommerce industry in Vietnam today. However, the long-term effects of old business models now seem to be more accessible. Business owners also focus more on improving the management and operation of the ecommerce complex systems. The shortage of capital has also improved somewhat. To do that is to combine solutions seamlessly, take advantage of the “small rain lays great dust” idea to influence and change consumer habits and perceptions partially, then quickly breakthrough ecommerce barriers.

1. Breakthrough ecommerce barriers with customer-centric orientation

Customer-centric orientation can significantly improve the problems that consumers are suffering from shopping online. This orientation is correctly a long-term process to breakthrough ecommerce barriers, follows the business for a lifetime, creates brand values as a result, and other measurable values, such as highly-appreciated customer feedback, increasing the number of products sold.

At first glance, customer-centric orientation looks quite general and tends to imply intangible values. However, the “customer-in-center” mindset can generate both cognitive and measurable values. Before it can create measurable values, the business needs to have a clear awareness and specific purpose of this orientation, maintaining it as a unified business culture.

customer-centric orientation t breakthrough ecommerce barriers
The customer-centric mindset produces lifetime values for both businesses and customers

To get started, be customer-friendly in all aspects—organizations at first need to analyze the customer community’s needs and insights. Customer feedback, including limitations from existing products/services on the market, service quality, promotion campaigns, is the foremost factor to consider. Proactively getting customer feedback on products and services is all valuable information; thus, organizations will have time to complete both product systems and customer service.

It is an equally critical factor that improving user interface can produce oriented rather than product-centric. Many businesses assumed that the “good wine needs no bush” developing style would naturally create attraction itself. Indeed, this style is not wrong; however, it is still not powerful enough in the long run. Proactively taking care of customers, receiving the limitations of existing products are the fastest steps to improve producing more appropriate products. Products tailored to the needs make customers perfectly comfortable in the user experience.

2. Set sales goal to prevent cash-flow issues and breakthrough ecommerce barriers

To breakthrough ecommerce barriers effectively, one of the critical things is to set clear business goals. It is difficult to predict future fluctuations; however, proactively create realistic goals and prepare everything to achieve them. Businesses can start from their monthly goals about the cost, revenue, or market share achieved, then set out tasks to achieve the goal instead of declaring the whole year’s goals with an incredible number that no one could ever reach.

sales goal
The sales goal needs to be a month-to-month process instead of a whole-year forgotten promise

Besides, sales goals can give great support to an organization’s financial problem. In particular, the cash-flow factor should not become the only weapon that businesses abuse to invest endless-capital for ecommerce races. The fact has proved that enormous capital investments have made a large number of SMEs miserable. Meanwhile, ecommerce giants have received sponsorship from well-known global ecommerce organizations. They have been ready to run.

3. Strengthen product policies to breakthrough ecommerce barriers

The ecommerce market needs to tighten product policies to deal more effectively with fake or low inferior quality products. This reason is the most significant issue without any practical solutions, and it also comes from both sellers, ecommerce enterprises, and consumers. Vendors are for-profit; businesses cannot control the stores; consumers prefer low prices despite good-quality; all of them are potential factors making the issue of fake goods, counterfeit goods more widespread.

To temporarily deal with the issue of inferior quality goods, it is necessary to focus on developing return and exchange policies and accompanying preferential policies. Businesses should quickly recall counterfeit or error products if the customer has received the product, give back customers an authentic one, and may come with a discount voucher for the next purchase. This reaction shows the attitude of the proactive settlement of businesses, as well as keeps customers calm.

return and exchange policies
Return and exchange policies contribute to customer’s trustworthy enhancement

On the other hand, to maintain the product and brand values in the long term, there should be a permanent policy in product quality assurance, product censorship policy before officially selling products online—for example, the ecommerce website TIKI.VN has done well when ready to commit a 111% refund if found counterfeit, simultaneously also completed the product quality assurance process before officially opening for sale on the website.

Additionally, other ecommerce businesses also make commitments to supply genuine products much more firmly. However, this is just an effort from one side; ecommerce businesses can only fulfill their role and work to ease the issues, not the most radical solution because counterfeit or inferior quality goods had originated from when traditional trading existed. In terms of a holistic approach, significant efforts from every consumer are essential, in other words, personal consciousness. This effort is quite complicated and needs to come first from the family and society’s educational process to form consciousness in human growth and personal development.

A high sense of quality will be the most comprehensive solution, whether from consumers, sellers, or businesses, which can then create more weighty policies that maximally protect consumers’ interests not only in ecommerce but also in all other economic sectors. Comprehensive policies will significantly eliminate inferior quality goods step by step to breakthrough ecommerce barriers.

Customers, cash flow, and product quality are the keys to determining the success of an ecommerce system, also affecting many other aspects. Therefore, to do breakthrough ecommerce barriers is to come first from the leading foundations and create synergy for removing existing barriers.

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digital transformation
3 ways brands transform into the digital age
As the digital age has been developed genuinely, platforms have a more robust transformation, marking a significant milestone of globalization. Brands, of course, do not accept falling behind the market and continually innovating to suit the tastes of consumers. This worthy improvement helps brands attract customers’ attention and ideally bring the best user experience. To come into the digital age, brands transform in various ways, focusing on utilizing brand touchpoints, customers, and potential opportunities.

1. Invest in touchpoints to make brands transform

With no exception, brands transform as always to keep up with the digital age’s swift trends. To complete the digital transformation, investing in brand touchpoints is a concept that worth-considering. Most generally, the brand touchpoint is the simultaneous interference from both businesses and customers, creating the highest attraction for the business and providing the best customer experience.

However, some people argue that the concept of brand-touchpoint is vague and quite broad because any existing factors can potentially affect the movement of brand touchpoint for better or worse. This argument will be recognized if businesses do not know where to start creating a touchpoint. Brand touchpoints stem from business core-values, the level of customer experience, and a little bit of difference when needed.

Systematic

System assets help businesses grow in both quantity and quality. A standardized system not only allows products to shape within the unified normative framework but also ancillary services. A complete digital transformation of a brand does not stop at the product level. Developing and continuously improving the system are the keys to meet the second requirement of the brand touchpoint: user experience. The apt system helps businesses get in touch with product-and-service convenience and can create an isolated ecosystem to make brands transform.

product system in digital transformation
A complete product system create a much more convinience for customer experience

That was how Apple had been successfully producing a technology-product ecosystem that made a stunning attraction for users. Simply put, the term ecosystem in this context implies a group of products that can interact with each other in harmony to optimize customers’ convenience. Apple has generated an almost-efficient technology ecosystem that performs seamless interactions. However, what makes Apple enthusiasts completely satisfied is the personal ID system with high privacy and data security.

To take another example, Nike has wholly changed their business since their growth stalled, and the earlier business model was no longer sufficient. The mandatory change in the brand requirements has shifted to using an online business network to interact directly with consumers. The online trading system completely replaces the traditional product-distribution through intermediaries, as well as exclusive distributors. Nike also combines the accompanying member programs with trendy and fashionable items, creating a close connection with customers. As a result, the transforming system contributed to an increase in ecommerce revenue by 38% in November 2019 (data provided by Brands Vietnam).

Brand honesty

To transform successfully in the digital age, make sure that the brand is honest and authentic. All information about the business can be delivered more quickly than ever in the internet era. A restaurant with a 1-star review will undoubtedly make customers turn away. Therefore, providing authentic information will make users feel secure and reliable when using products. Brand honesty helps create a pure life for products while contributing to the user experience’s seamlessness, making the brand touchpoint in harmony. Transparency in product quality and working manner will create a unique touchpoint system.

Brands transform with simplicity and minimalism

That viewpoint may sound strange, but most customers in the digital age need simpler products, services than cumbersome and complicated ones. Simplicity and minimalism in branding still can create brand touchpoints while focusing on the pillar values of the brand, such as strengths, target customers, differentiation, missions, quality, and messages. These keys, eliminating other complex elements, will be more focused and orientated for businesses in the long run. Simplicity and minimalism make businesses quickly adapt to the ever-changing digital age.

simplicity in brands
The brands truly need simplicity and minimalism more than a complicated system to produce brand touchpoints

2. Customer-in-center to make brands transform

Product-centric is still an essential factor in most campaigns. However, customer-centric will be the necessary combination to enhance user experience, which making brands transform. Products exist in the world with the ultimate goal of meeting customer needs. Therefore, identifying customer needs is a crucial starting point for a digital transformation campaign.

customer-in-center philosophy
Growing up with customer-in-center mindset will create more brand values than only keeping a product-centric mindset

That is how the Maggi brand cleverly introduces cuisine recipes combining with soy-sauce on their website. This action increases convenience for cooking lovers. Customers feel more excited when their everyday-cooking gets more of the brand-attention though buying only one soy-sauce bottle.

In general, customer-centric is a long-term transformation requiring businesses to have a proper awareness of their target customers. This awareness should also form in every staff of the company to make brands transform. Besides, this customer-in-center philosophy acts as a value connecting businesses with their customers; but not a task to be completed and to get rid of.

3. Challenge-utilizing to turn into opportunities

The digital age witnessed rapid and unpredictable changes requiring businesses to have timely adaptive solutions. Products are not only produced for quality but for customer convenience. Other customer needs are also considerable except for products themselves, namely membership programs, accompanying promotional gifts. Customers also tend to shop more on ecommerce websites, which leads to a requirement to manage information, data, and technology platforms. Epidemics also become dangerous, increasing unforeseen risks for businesses.

challenge-utilizing
Challenge-utilizing in the digital age is a very important to-do-step to make brands transform

Utilizing the challenges will be sure leverage when brands transform into the digital age. Besides, people are still the critical factor, no matter how advanced technology is. Therefore, businesses first need to focus on the internal structure: human resources, processes, products, and customer services to complete the transformation.

The COVID-19 crisis has globally worsened since the Government issued a social-distancing-order as the number of confirmed coronavirus cases continues to increase. However, recently, the ecommerce industry has had a speedy growth, as people now prefer to shop online while staying home. This time is much higher challenging for every business in Vietnam and an opportunity to make brands transform themselves.

At SECOMM, we will accompany clients on every ecommerce step to ensure comprehensive solution-providing for their ecommerce transformation. The brands transform successfully in a digital age when they are operated with a sustainable website platform. We will be the starting point for this revolution. Contact Us for more detail.

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barriers to the ecommerce
3 barriers to the ecommerce industry in Vietnam
With impressive recorded statistics, ecommerce businesses are increasingly asserting their essential role in the economy. However, together with positive development, the e-business field contains various challenges, evolving into barriers to the ecommerce industry and getting even more complicated in the Vietnamese market.

1. Quality of goods – one of the barriers to the ecommerce industry

The variety of products published on every ecommerce website is always diversity-guaranteed to meet almost the market needs. However, ensuring the criteria of goods quality has been an unresolved question up to now, becoming one of the barriers to the ecommerce industry. The burning issues of low-quality products, counterfeit consumer goods are eventually uncontrollable and exist in the market. Those effects can be derived from a couple of factors that can be analyzed from the perspective of the sellers, ecommerce enterprises, and consumers.

quality of goods is one of the Barriers to the ecommerce industry
Low-quality products are considered to be the factor that most affects the business-reputation

The seller’s consciousness

The low-quality of goods has come from the traditional trading model operated offline, and merchants inevitably take responsibility in that case. Although consumers can contemplate the offline model seriously, the product quality is still sellers’ responsibility and control. Uncontrollable-quality sources become a critical issue when merchants provide goods with a profitable price to get much higher returns by selling fake or inferior quality products with very attractively “low” prices. In the flourishing process of online business, those unsolved issues have the chance to spread across the online-offline frontier and lose control.

The perception of ecommerce enterprises

When the quality issue emerges, e-firms are the first to be impacted. Those types, namely B2C and C2C, act as middlemen for merchant support to sell products on ecommerce exchanges.

Consequently, those enterprises restrict the source of inferior products and entirely rely on consumer feedback to address the issue in a very passive way. The quality barrier prevents enterprises from gaining consumer trust to maintain their loyalty.

The buying awareness

The spread of low-quality goods partly comes from consumer awareness. In the e-market, there is still a consumer group preferring inexpensive or on-sales items to other high-price and authentic products to save the living cost or try a variety of products. They tend to choose low-price items neglecting the origin and information while never complaining about the lack of product-clarification. Low-awareness behavior gradually contributes to the growth of uncontrollable-inferior products and as a result, the development of barriers to the ecommerce industry.

The growth of poor quality products depends on many factors and the responsibility of sellers, businesses, and consumers for the sake of a healthy and trustworthy market.

2. Buying habits – one of the barriers to the ecommerce industry

The need to change buying behavior from offline to online is also one of the barriers to the ecommerce industry in Vietnam. To certainly clarify, take a look at three fundamental behavior-levels happenings when consumers make a purchase.

buying process habits
The personas buying process has eventually constructed unchangeable habits of customers

The first group is pure traditional shoppers, who tend to see and touch what to buy. They wholeheartedly believe their eye-process can ensure more quality and conformity of the product. Therefore, they never trust any online items because of unmanageable-value. As a consequence, changing the buying habit of this group is the most challenging requirement.

The second group is hybrid buyers combining traditional and modern buying styles. That hybrid group tends to select-for-best. For instance, they can quickly add a book or ten pens to their cart because it is more convenient than buying at the bookstore. However, they will directly go to a clothing store to choose an item that fits their size and ensure the fabric quality. That behavior similarly happens when they buy shoes, bags, or other fashion items. In brief, hybrid customers have changed their buying habits in the most popular fields over the years. Hence, there will be much higher requirements for unique products such as fashion items, technology devices, motorcycles, and cars in some cases.

The last group tends to complete online shopping. They take advantage of online shopping as a convenient and speedy tool, helping them save more time during the shopping process. However, this group still has some challenges: maintaining trust-worthy and credibility to upgrade target consumers to loyal customers.

While the increasing mobile-usage has somewhat raised the online shopping demand, the user-habit transformation is a worth-factor that needs better solutions in long-term strategies or it will be one of the barriers to the ecommerce industry. In particular, the significant element affecting ecommerce user-habit is the story of quality-expectation and the reliability of online stores.

3. Barriers to the ecommerce industry in Vietnam include long-term investment

Long-term productive resources in the ecommerce market are also one of the considerable barriers to the ecommerce industry. For this purpose, the ongoing need includes warehouse management, branding & marketing, payment & shipping processes. Consequently, all of the elements should require enterprises to keep the non-stop funding on continuous losses.

long-term investment
Most ecommerce enterprises spend massive capital inflows in the long run

Along the same lines, small and medium-sized enterprises can not afford long-term competition versus the ecommerce giants in the market. For instance, international names like Alibaba, JD.com, or Amazon create an enormous distance for other SMEs to overtake.

In general, the capital investment race invisibly makes large ecommerce businesses more robust and extensive. Meanwhile, it oppositely generates more barriers to the ecommerce industry in Vietnam due to the lack of sufficient capital in the long term. Following this, depending on each organization, there will be many issues when operating an e-business. Therefore, it is necessary to have the most comprehensive outline and meticulous ecommerce study to set the oriented developing goals.

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