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The third English E-Commerce Class organised by the Selangor Information Technology and E-Commerce Council (SITEC) educated merchants about what Online-to-Offline (O2O) meant, as well as how it could help merchants to improve their customer relationship management.

Wilson Quah of Milkadeal

The first speaker to talk about O2O to the 71-strong class was Wilson Quah, co-founder of MilkADeal. MilkADeal started off as a business based on the “Groupon model” back in 2011, but has since transitioned to a cashback model in 2015.
Quah spoke about the basics of O2O and what it was, with the co-founder of MilkADeal calling it a customer acquisition model that helps merchants to both maximise their assets, be those assets time or properties, as well as a model that assists in the branding of a merchant.
“O2O is a good catalyst to assist your business and maximise your asset value, while also a cheap way to get new customers. However, to keep your customers, it still has to be the old-fashioned way, through good customer service and good products,” said Quah
Quah also noted that the model works better if the merchant already has previously available numbers of their own customers, as well as the variable costs associated with their businesses.
After the crash course on O2O, the attendees were then offered a more tangible view of how O2O can affect a business, especially a brick-and-mortar business that intends to move towards a multi-channel or cross-channel approach to profile their customers by Lim Chee How, the founder and CEO of Tapway.
Founded in 2013, Tapway aims to improve shopping experience in the offline world through online tools, utilising methods like deep shopper profiling and shopper behaviour analysis. This, according to Lim, was inspired by the online shopping experiences of his own team.

Lim noted that the personalised experience that a shopper encounters while shopping online is absent in brick-and-mortar shopping. He also advised merchants who were currently aiming to move into the multi-channel approach from their current single channel approach, to instead consider the cross-channel method, which would provide a singular view of the customer, which immensely helps the merchant.
Lim then offered the services of Tapway in aiding brick-and-mortar merchants in transitioning to the cross-channel, or even the omni-channel method of customer relationship management.
Tapway provides a 360° view of customers, has a high reach capability, and also helps merchants to make their customers feel special through the personalised experience. Lim noted that the services were dependent on wireless technology, and stressed the importance of making the signup process as frictionless as possible for their customers.
“Rather than having them download an app or spamming them with ads, make it seamless and frictionless, as fast as possible, such as only needing to connect to the site through their social media account of choice,” advised Lim.
“The key to marketing comes down to understanding the customer. With no two customers exactly the same, being able to understand the customer and personalise their shopping experience will be an immense help to merchants,” added Lim.
Before the end of the session, attendees were also offered insurance by Harveston Risk Management Sdn Bhd, which offered a cyber security insurance package “not offered anywhere else in Malaysia”, that would help merchants against data breach lawsuits.