Carv­ing a niche in life­styles

Retail potential: Papavee (right) and Laksawat of Copperwired, with some of the items in their digital product range. — The Nation

Retail potential: Papavee (right) and Laksawat of Copperwired, with some of the items in their digital product range. — The Nation

CONSUMERS have be­come fa­mil­iar with buy­ing their goods through digital-life­style stores as more of them join the dig­i­tal-life­style trend and adopt dig­i­tal prod­ucts into many as­pects of their lives.

Aim­ing to take advantage of this trend and fur­ther build its lead­ing po­si­tion in Thai­land’s dig­i­tal-life­style re­tail sec­tor, Cop­per­wired has plans to grow 15% from last year’s 3 bil­lion baht (RM386.8mil) in rev­enues.

The com­pany has a strat­egy to main­tain the growth of its re­tail stores un­der their three brands – iS­tu­dio, iBeat and DotLife. They also aim to in­crease the growth of their on­line chan­nels Dotlife.Store and MustLoveMac.Store to ful­fil their cus­tomers’ shop­ping jour­ney, and ex­pand their dig­i­tal so­lu­tions arm to serve cor­po­rates along with small- and medi­um-­sized en­ter­prises.

Pa­pavee Vitchupreecha, re­tail di­rec­tor of Cop­per­wired, said the com­pany will in­crease its own brand-shop, DotLife, to 24 branches in 2019 and 30 branches in 2020. The in­vest­ment cost per branch starts from 10 mil­lion baht to 30 mil­lion baht de­pend­ing on the size.

DotLife is po­si­tioned as a shop that al­lows cus­tomers to closely ex­pe­ri­ence dig­i­tal life­style prod­ucts be­fore buy­ing.

The com­pany has a to­tal 5,000 stock ­keep­ing units (SKUs) from 200 brands to sell through phys­i­cal branches and on­line chan­nels. The high­est growth cat­e­gories are sports and health, along with smart home prod­ucts.

“Con­sumer adop­tion of dig­i­tal life­style prod­ucts is go­ing very well. They are more con­cerned about prod­uct qual­ity and ser­vice rather than prices and pro­mo­tion, and that helps in­crease our rev­enue growth,” said Pa­pavee.

Apart from iBear, Cop­per­wired also op­er­ates dig­i­tal life­style re­tails un­der an­other two brands – iS­tu­dio and iBeat. iS­tu­dio is an Ap­ple pre­mium re­seller while iBeat is an Ap­ple au­tho­rised reseller. Both iS­tu­dio and iBeat sell only Ap­ple prod­ucts and ac­ces­sories re­lated to Ap­ple prod­ucts, through six iS­tu­dio and nine iBeat stores.

The iS­tu­dio and iBeat stores offer the same con­cept but with dif­fer­ent sizes, with iS­tu­dio boast­ing at least 180 sq m while iBeat has at least 100 sq m. More­over, the com­pany has four iServe shops op­er­at­ing as Ap­ple au­tho­rised ser­vice cen­tres, she notes.

Lak­sawat Rien­jaroen­suk, the Cop­per­wired prod­uct man­ager, said DotLife is the lead­ing dig­i­tal life­style store in Thai­land, with a dis­tin­guished prod­uct va­ri­ety and unique of­fering of a hands-on cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence en­vi­ron­ment as well as well-trained staff.

“The va­ri­ety of in­ter­est­ing prod­ucts are the key suc­cess fac­tor for DotLife, there­fore prod­uct sourc­ing is our key chal­lenge to suc­cess,” said Lek­sawat.

“We have over 200 prod­uct brands sourced by Cop­per­wired and its sub­sidiary com­pany Koan, which is a dig­i­tal and tech­nol­ogy dis­trib­u­tor. We are al­ways look­ing for new and trendy prod­ucts to of­fer through our stores.

“Of the 5,000 SKUs, some are new that we added in, some, we deleted from the cat­a­logue and do not sell any­more. We al­ways have new prod­ucts to add into our prod­uct port­fo­lios.”

He said Cop­per­wired started its on­line stores as an Ap­ple au­tho­rised on­line re­seller, with the aim of sup­port­ing the com­pany’s omni-chan­nel strat­egy to fa­cil­i­tate cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence in the on­line-to-off­line shop­ping jour­ney.

“For one and a half years, we have op­er­ated on­line stores, and the lat­est rev­enue as of De­cem­ber 2018, has in­creased 1,000 times from day one,” said Lak­sawat.

More­over, the com­pany this year plans to ex­pand to pro­vide dig­i­tal so­lu­tions for cor­po­rates and SMEs, in ad­di­tion to private residences such as con­dos and vil­lages.

It tar­gets to gain 50 mil­lion baht in rev­enue for 2019.

This year, the com­pany also plans to utilise its data­base of 500,000 mem­bers to cre­ate pre­cise and per­son­alised mar­ket­ing to in­di­vid­ual cus­tomers.

“We have col­lected a cus­tomer data­base over three years now and have 500,000 mem­bers. We had a trial of cus­tomised elec­tronic di­rect mar­ket­ing to them and found that we had a 40% ‘open­ing rate’, which is a huge ra­tio. So, this year we will fo­cus more on us­ing our cus­tomer data­base to do pre­ci­sion mar­ket­ing,” said Pa­pavee.

She said that be­cause dig­i­tal prod­ucts are now blended into peo­ple’s life­styles, con­sumers have adapted well. They love the ex­pe­ri­ence of try­ing new prod­ucts, and pre­fer an on­line-to-off­line shop­ping jour­ney when buy­ing dig­i­tal prod­ucts. — The Nation/ANN

SME , digital lifestyle , retail