How Hai Sang Hong transformed from traditional wholesale to omnichannel commerce with Delight
Hai Sang Hong (HSH) is a leading luxury foods wholesaler in Asia. With 45 years of history, this family business is now led by Kenneth So, a third-generation family member.
Under Kenneth’s leadership, HSH saw an opportunity to build a direct-to-consumer business, given the increased frequency of home cooking in the new normal.
HSH launched a direct-to-consumer online store using Shopify, and created storefronts on all major messaging and voice platforms using Delight. The company is now well-positioned for omnichannel commerce and reaping the benefits of a successful digital transformation.
A history of taste-making
Every foodie can appreciate HSH’s business. All cuisines have their prized, delicacy foods — the French adore foie gras; Italians have truffles; Americans love lobster; Japanese revere fatty tuna; and of course, everyone loves caviar.
HSH has been in the luxury foods wholesale business, specializing in top Asian delicacies such as abalone, bird’s nest and fish maw. 150 grams of top-grade bird’s nest, for example, can fetch a price of US $500+. Through the hard work of three generations, the company has built a strong reputation sourcing high-quality products globally and wholesales them to hotels, restaurants, theme parks, cruises and entertainment resorts across Asia.
Cooking these Asian delicacies can be a multi-day process, and this is why they are treats usually enjoyed in hotels and restaurants. With consumers spending more time cooking at home and more frequently in the new normal, however, Kenneth saw an opportunity to transform his family business by adding an online, direct-to-consumer component.
Digital transformation: from B2B to B2C
The first step of digital transformation for HSH involved building an online store which would sell directly to consumers rather than businesses. Kenneth enlisted his nephew Winson, also in the family business, to help lead innovation. Winson quickly helped the company launch an online store built with Shopify.
Next came the harder part. Even though HSH is a renowned B2B supplier, it is new to the B2C game. While paid search and paid social advertising works, Kenneth began exploring ideas to drive more organic traffic and lower customer acquisition cost.
Kenneth noticed a lot of his customers were asking questions on messaging channels like Facebook Messenger, WeChat and LINE about their products. He wondered whether customer traffic on messaging channels could be efficiently funneled back to the online store and lead to more sales conversions. He began researching on technology solutions and concluded that Delight offered exactly what he needed.
Extending Shopify: from web store to omnichannel commerce
Using Delight’s software, the HSH team created shops in all the messaging and voice platforms they are interested in — platforms like Facebook Messenger, WeChat, Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa and Samsung Bixby. Product collections and product details are all synced live with their Shopify store.
All it took was several hours of effort with no coding involved. The necessary steps are:
- Setup business accounts for whichever messaging or voice platforms you wish to be on (if you have done this earlier, skip)
- Copy one piece of information from your Shopify account — the Shopify API access token — into Delight’s dashboard
As a result, HSH instantaneously became an omni-channel store. In addition to the web, users could begin their shopping and researching process on platforms like Facebook Messenger, WeChat, Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa and Samsung Bixby.
Within each of the messaging app or voice assistant, users can:
- Browse live product collections by HSH
- Search for and view live product details
- If a shopper gets very interested in a particular product, they can click a product’s “Shop Now” button and will be redirected to complete checkout on Shopify
Since messaging apps and voice assistants are daily-use, the whole experience helped HSH reach more customers without paid search or paid social advertising.
A history of taste-making, a future of innovation
Looking back, Kenneth is still amazed at how little work was required to get everything set up.
“Delight’s omnichannel commerce solution complemented our Shopify store perfectly. We can now offer shopping experiences to users wherever they are — on the web, on messaging and on voice assistants.”
“It helped us get more customers, increased sales and eliminated cost of manual replies,” Kenneth reflected. “It is so easy to use, yet incredibly powerful.”
With 45 years of history winning over taste buds, Hai Sang Hong’s next 45 years of success will be determined by Kenneth and his innovative team on not just catering to our taste buds, but also co-evolving with our taste for technology too.