FGRT attended Innovation Enterprise’s most recent conference series in Shanghai on September 6–7. Below, we provide our key takeaways from day two.
FGRT attended the latest conference series organized by Innovation Enterprise on September 6–7 in Shanghai. The conference featured three summits, namely Chief Innovation Officer Summit, Big Data & Analytics Innovation Summit and Digital Marketing & Strategy Innovation Summit.
Ray Xiao, Head of BI & Analytics at Adidas talked about the company’s shift from selling wholesale to selling through franchises in China, emphasizing the importance of driving store performance. In order to improve, the company needs to provide the right product, at the right place, for the right consumer, as well as to deliver a best-in-class retail experience.
Adidas is leveraging big data analytics to provide actionable insights to management in a number of areas, including store operations, pricing and promotions, as well as assortment and range optimization.
Kapil Kane, Director of Innovation at Intel, shared the company’s Ideas2Reality (I2R) program, a China-wide corporate incubator and accelerator program, which is focused on incubating ideas generated solely by internal employees. The aim of the program is to attract talent and bring intrapreneurship to the company; staff participating in the program essentially act as a startup within the corporation.
After I2R was launched in 2013, participants were able to turn ideas into technologies, however, they were not able to successfully commercialize these new technologies and turn them into business. Intel wanted to understand why this was happening. After some research, it looked at various unicorns to see what made them successful and found that several, including Dropbox, Airbnb and Reddit, came out of the Y Combinator program, an American seed accelerator.
Based on what it discovered, Intel launched the I2R Accelerator program, providing guidance and helping engineers to commercialize their ideas. Of the 350 ideas that were generated, 75 were incubated and 20 were accelerated. This resulted in eight ideas that became either Intel technologies, design wins or Business Unit landings. Even though not all projects were successful, Kane believes that the program benefits the company by nurturing entrepreneurship among its engineers.
Xin Liao, CEO of Haier Linkcook, shared his journey in developing smart home appliances with Haier. Haier, which is one of the largest home-appliance manufacturers in China, is a significant player in the refrigerator industry, accounting for over 30% market share in China and 19% globally. At Haier, Liao heads a team to build ecosystems for smart appliances.
Vision: Invent the Fourth Screen at Home
Haier’s vision is to design refrigerators that go beyond the function of storage. The company wants to create smart refrigerators that can suggest recipes, play music and videos, alert the user when certain food is about to expire and order products on e-commerce portals before they run out. Pursuant to this vision, Haier has been collaborating with key industry players, including China’s largest online cooking recipe provider available on mobile, Yiguo.com, one of the largest fresh produce e-commerce companies in China (similar to AmazonFresh), QQ music and others.
According to data collected from the refrigerators, around 100,000 families use it each day, with an engagement of 40-plus clicks and usage of 80 minutes per day.
Haier has been expanding into other kitchen appliances, such as cooker hoods and wine fridges.
Make Everything as a Service
As a household appliance manufacturer, how does Haier ensure that consumers purchase frequently from the company? Haier promotes the idea of being a service provider, rather than a product manufacturer: consumers may only buy a refrigerator once, but they use services frequently.
Using Rolls-Royce as an example, Liao discussed how Rolls-Royce has blurred the line between selling things and offering services. The company’s profits come from servicing and maintaining engines, rather than selling them. It charges customers for every hour that they rent an engine, and it promise to maintain and replace the engine. Liao believes this approach has been effective in aligning the interests of the buyer and seller.
Similarly, Haier is more like an Internet of Things (IoT) company than a product company. Take wine fridges as an example, Haier can switch from product to service, which causes users to buy products on its e-commerce platform.
Taylor Howard, Lead Content Strategist at Alibaba Group, presented on international user experience design (UED). Her team is mainly responsible for AliExpress, with the goal of bringing Singles’ Day (a local concept) to the global stage.
The problem that AliExpress faces overseas is low awareness and consumer trust. Only 38% of overseas consumers have trust in products made in China. The AliExpress team sets clear metrics to measure the extent that international shoppers know about 11.11 (another name for the Singles’ Day shopping festival). The team’s goal was to reach as many people as possible, while minimizing resources, through: 1) a live video campaign; and 2) a #Happy1111 campaign. The three-month campaign resulted in 95 million impressions and a reach of 45.7 million.
AliExpress is readying itself for Singles’ Day 2017, and has set high expectations for it.