Background

There are five major components in product cycle: design, manufacturing, distribution, retail, and marketing management ( Figure 1 ). These five components composed a closed loop that is the trunk in global economics. Globalization shortens the distance between three components: design, manufacturing and distribution, and both the cost and the production time are reduced. On the other hand, modern logistic industry shortens the distance between two components: manufacturing and retail, and the distribution efficiency can be increased. However there is still lack of technologies developed to shorten the distance between two components: retail and marketing management. For instance, in addition to tracking sales to measure their salespeople’s performance via point of sales (POS), companies must figure out how to quantify and analyze customer behavior and sales knowledge for effective, efficient and adaptive marketing management.

Figure 1. Retail Product Cycle

 

Hong Kong is a service based economy with the service sector accounting for 90% of Hong Kong's GDP. Our retail industry ranks among the largest service sector and accounts for 27.5% of Hong Kong’s GDP [1]. The feature of current retail industry in Hong Kong is labors intensive, which highly depend on the front line selling effort. It is important for retail companies to understand customer behavior and the relationship between selling effort and sales.

 

China retail industry is the third emerging retail market in the world. The total retail sales of China is 50 times higher than that of Hong Kong retail industry, and China retail industry still keeps growing rapidly [2,3]. Recently, there are many Hong Kong retail companies setting up their huge and spreading retail networks in Mainland China. There is an urgent need to figure out how to quantify and analyze customer behavior and sales knowledge for effective, efficient and adaptive marketing management in their potential retail networks [4].

 

References

 

[1] The Hong Kong Retail Management Association, http://www.hkrma.org/en/library/index.html

[2] Report on Monthly Survey of Retail Sales, Census and Statistics Department, Hong Kong Government, April 2010 Issue.

[3] Main Statistical Data in 2009, National Bureau of Statistics of China 2010.

[4] Communication and discussion with Mr. Vincent Fang, Legislative Councilor