Hong Kong has witnessed a surge in the number of e-commerce stores over the recent past, and there are numerous reasons for that. Most importantly, it’s got to do with the friendly retail environment both around the island as well as in mainland China. By Sarah Wangari.

It’s worth noting that the busy trading port has been embroiled in pro-democracy protests with mainland China for some time now. However, these separatist protests have done very little to stifle cross border trade between Hong Kong and China, as well as the rest of the world.

In 2019, Hong Kong ranked third among the easiest places to do business in the world. Therefore, companies can leverage reliable services like Shopify to set up their e-commerce stores and begin tapping into the island’s lucrative e-commerce industry.

The following are some of the top 4 e-commerce trends that we’re likely to witness in Hong Kong in 2020 and beyond.

credit: lexamer

1. Recommerce Will Become the In-Thing 

One of the trends that will shape the e-commerce landscape in Hong Kong is the popularization of recommerce.

Recommerce basically refers to the trading in previously owned commodities. According to statistics from MobData, the recommerce market in China will reach ¥1.25 trillion, and Hong Kong will likely account for at least 25% of that share.

The surge of recommerce in Hong Kong has been fueled by the growing demand among Hong Kong consumers to possess quality, sustainable, and affordable commodities.

2. Group Buying Among Hong Kong Businesses 

Group buying is another e-commerce trend to expect in 2020. Through group buying, retailers and consumers will have access to commodities at significantly reduced prices.

The trend is already a hit in the international markets, and Hong Kong appears to be a late adapter. Only a few brands like Alibaba and JD.com have already restructured their operations to conform to this new trend.

Since group-buying technically means bulk buying, e-commerce stores in Hong Kong will be able to make profits even when they price their commodities below the market averages.

3. Short-video Apps Will Grow in Popularity 

The short-video industry is already booming in China, and Tik-Tok is proof of that. These videos are enriched with lip-syncing features and other fun content, and are used for product promotion purposes.

As the demand for short videos continue to rise in Hong Kong, we can also expect to see a surge in short-video apps. The overall effects will be stiff competition among short-video app hosting companies. Which means that traders will have variety in terms of choosing an app to do their short-video promotions.

4. A Shift from KOLs to KOC Marketing 

Key Opinion Leader (KOL) marketing has lost its appeal in Hong Kong over the recent past. That’s primarily because these marketing methods lack credibility. In most cases, the products are endorsed by influencers who might not even have tried them.

Key Opinion Consumer (KOC) is expected to phase out the KOL marketing in 2020. In this marketing model, consumers create posts and videos sharing their own experiences using a product.

KOC is also considered more affordable compared to KOL. Therefore, e-commerce stores that apply for the SME Export Marketing Fund will be able to put their funds to better use, instead of shelling out huge amounts of it for ineffective KOL campaigns.

Credit: rawpixel.com

Evidently, 2020 will herald several e-commerce trends in Hong Kong, attracting several global businesses to the port city. If there was ever a time to open up an e-commerce store in Hong Kong, it’s now.