Startup hopes to drive Chinese tourists to Singapore retailers

Lee: hopes of partnering Singaporean retailers

Lee Kia Hwee, a Singaporean entrepreneur based in China, hopes his digital voucher redemption platform in China could one day be used to direct tourist traffic to brick-and-mortar retailers back home.

In 2015, the founder and CEO of technology company Avantouch, rolled out alaDing for the Chinese market, where the prevalence of online shopping was encroaching on physical retail stores.

Lee (second from left): hopes of partnering Singaporean retailers

According to Avantouch, China is the most active user of the mobile and desktop ecommerce. While more than half of Chinese consumers say they shop via mobile daily or weekly, only 46 per cent say they shop at brick-and-mortar stores with the same frequency.

“We noticed two huge markets in China that require linkup,” said Lee. “One is the brick-and-mortar retailers who urgently need online strategies to attract additional customers… The other, enterprises or issuers who need to gain new customers… by rewarding them through promotions and loyalty programmes. We (recognised the gap and seized) the opportunity to start alaDing.”

“Traditional advertisement avenues such as internet search engine, internet, TV, radio, newspaper are… meant to get eyeballs/attention but eyeballs do not guarantee a real sale or transaction. alaDing aims to change all these with the Redemption as a Service (model),” an Avantouch statement read.

This redemption market is huge and is in the hundreds billion market size, it added. “As a result, the retailers gain this market by integrating their point-of-sale with alaDing.”

In Singapore too, prospects for tourist retail activity are dimming (look out for the upcoming TTG Asia October for more on the issue), lending relevance to solutions such as alaDing that can help drive online users to stores.

Early signs that the redemption service can extend beyond China have already emerged. In May 2016, alaDing partnered Spanish multinational retailer DIA to roll out the service in DIA shops, Avantouch announced on its website.

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