ASIA PACIFIC BUSINESS: The global retail e-commerce market is expected to grow in the coming years, tell us how big is the market? Where will the growth come from?
Anthony Chow: There are different methods to measure the global retail e-commerce market and firms and analysts differ on their preferred methodology. According to Statista, the market is estimated to reach $6.3 trillion U.S. dollars worldwide in 2023 with a growth rate of 56% over the next years.
Despite these aggressive growth projections, there are still fierce challenges to global retail e-commerce. In recent years, e-commerce exploded in popularity due to pandemic-driven closures and consumers spending more time at home. Now, as lifestyles are returning to normalcy, there seems to be a pent-up demand for experiential purchases like travel, dining, and outdoor recreation. Additionally, economic headwinds like inflation are also softening demand for retailers as consumers have less discretionary income.
ASIA PACIFIC BUSINESS: What are some of the latest trends of cross-border ecommerce that you’ve been observing across markets that you’d like to highlight? And how Newegg support your partners/sellers and adds value for them?
Anthony Chow: Some of the latest cross-border e-commerce trends involve meeting the logistics and marketing challenges associated with doing business on a global scale.
Logistics challenges include finding storage for products when there is a “warehousing crunch” in the U.S., and building fulfillment operations that are accurate, timely and efficient in a multichannel context. This includes transportation and carrier management for the last mile. Marketing needs revolve around introducing new products and brands to the U.S. market.
In both marketing and logistics, we support partners and sellers with Newegg Partner Services (NPS), a unique service offering that leverages our expertise. NPS includes systems for automating order management and inventory; a suite of marketing tools for content creation, advertising, and promotion; and a multichannel logistics network with built-in systems for managing customer contacts.
With NPS, other companies can access the robust value chain ecosystem that we have built and refined during our 20-plus years as a technology e-commerce leader.
ASIA PACIFIC BUSINESS: Newegg have expanded business to many countries, tell us more about your global business especially in Asia-Pacific. In which markets do you see the greatest potential for Newegg?
Anthony Chow: In terms of our B2C offering, we remain primarily focused on selling products into the U.S. consumer market. In contrast, our global business in Asia-Pacific is primarily a B2B service offering geared toward manufacturers and sellers operating in the APAC region.
There are many manufacturers and sellers of technology products in the APAC region that want to sell into the U.S. market. Newegg is in a good position to deliver value-added services to these companies—not only to facilitate reaching customers who are on our platform, but also those who are on sales channels like Amazon, Walmart, and others. To this end, we created a portfolio of service offerings, like I mentioned earlier, called Newegg Partner Services — or NPS — to provide APAC companies with marketing and logistics services, plus services for handling cross-border transactions, managing customer contacts, staffing, and more.
ASIA PACIFIC BUSINESS: ChatGPT is certainly the hottest AI tool this year, how do you view ChatGPT and its impact to the tech industry and consumer markets?
Anthony Chow: ChatGPT, an OpenAI platform, will refine operations for tech companies, and as a result, service offerings to the consumer markets will improve.
At Newegg, we use ChatGPT in several areas of our business. With ChatGPT integrated into Newegg’s PC Builder, we better empower shoppers to discover the best-fit components for the kind of computer they want to build, eliminating the guesswork about part compatibility.
ChatGPT also empowers our customer service agents with a powerful tool for making product recommendations and helping with customers’ item-specific questions. ChatGPT replicates human conversation and problem solving so customer service representatives can instead focus on more complex issues.
Marketing creatives are also powering their efforts with ChatGPT. Teams can pull in data sources to write engaging copy and use generative language modeling to expedite the processes for e-commerce page creation. Lastly, we’re also using ChatGPT in our regular customer emails to generate compelling subject lines that have increased open rate.
We’re still in the early phases of ChatGPT but the way companies, including Newegg, are using the new AI means it has the ability to make a significant impact on the success of our business.
ASIA PACIFIC BUSINESS: Anthony, tell us about yourself, your personal experience. What are some of the important lessons learnt for you?
Anthony Chow: My background is in corporate strategy and leadership, specifically reengineering how e-commerce companies do business. I have been involved with Newegg since the very beginning and have served in different leadership roles with other multinational firms doing international e-commerce.
In terms of important lessons, I have found that you need to develop a cross-cultural awareness to do this type of work. To be successful, you must understand the different cultures and customs involved in managing teams, maintaining vendor relationships, and meeting customer needs specific to where you are doing business.
Also, no matter where a company is located, employees are the key factor for success. My philosophy is to empower high performers within the scope of the company’s best interests. I incentivize high-performing employees to treat their part of the business as their own, which enables the entrepreneurial spirit to manifest in every domain within the company.
ASIA PACIFIC BUSINESS: As the CEO, how do you describe your leadership and your management style? What’s a typical day at work like?
Anthony Chow: Throughout my career in e-commerce, I have emphasized attention to detail in my management. I use three words to define my approach: execution, execution, and execution. I believe in processes and automation. These are the key elements of e-commerce as I see them.
As CEO, my typical day involves focusing on the big picture for the business. From my perspective, the two most important objectives for any e-commerce platform are to provide a quality customer experience, and to maintain a robust supply chain. If we manage the customer experience and the supply chain effectively, we will have success. With that in mind, I am collaborating with key stakeholders and partners to discuss strategy, operations, and growth opportunities within those two objectives.