Profile: Brian Chau, General Manager, E-Commerce, China, The Coca-Cola Co.

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Profile: Brian Chau, General Manager, E-Commerce, China, The Coca-Cola Co.

By Erika Flynn - 05/01/2019

Location: Shanghai, China

Experience in market: More than 20 years

My job: “I lead the fastest growing online B2C business for the Coca-Cola system in China.”

Shopper behavior: “The shopping experience in China has been fundamentally digitalized over the last few years, which is well-reflected in the term ‘New Retail’ first introduced by Jack Ma of Alibaba. Central to this is the seamless integration and interaction of the online and offline shopping experience, enabled by the highly connected digital ecosystems and big data enablement. In the beverage category, whereas the path to purchase would only sit within a brick-and-mortar store location in the old days, it is now extended far beyond to multiple digital/online touchpoints and devices.”

External technologies: “The pervasive digital payment ecosystem is definitely the one impacting the path to purchase the most in China, since it enables a highly seamless and convenient shopping experience.”

Collaboration: “Digital partners in China are generally very willing to collaborate with brands. For example, we have been working with our partners on big data mining initiatives to help us in developing product innovations, digital activations and even route-to-market optimization.”

Successful activity: “For the 2018 and 2019 Chinese New Year, we have collaborated with the Alipay/Alibaba ecosystem to transform a traditional Chinese ritual (giving red pockets) to a fully integrated digital online shopper marketing experience, leveraging our Coca-Cola Chinese New Year packaging as an invitation to participate and as a gamification media to deeply engage with consumers.”

Keeps you up at night: “Whether we have a robust future-state digital/online commerce capability and enough bench strength in place to keep up with the fast-changing digital landscape in China.”

E-commerce: “E-commerce is already highly developed in this market, given China is already the No. 1 e-commerce market globally. Moving forward as the shopping journey becomes more digitalized and connected, it’s never good enough to only consider e-commerce in China, without covering the omnichannel implications in the marketplace.”