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Traditional and Digital Retail Trends Discussed in SM’s First Partnership Summit ​

With the market’s adaptation to digital shopping, traditional retail businesses find it important to keep with the consumer’s growing needs and demands for shopping experience beyond the brick-and-mortar concept. SM Supermalls used this big idea for its first Partnership Summit titled “Bricks Click: Creating the New Marketplace” to create a venue for deeper discussion among retailers and business partners. The summit was held at the SMX Convention Center of the Mall of Asia Complex.

SM Supermalls President Annie Garcia and Senior Vice-President for Operations Steven Tan together with panelists (second from left) Margot Torres, Executive Vice President, McDonald’s Philippines; Hiebert Dimagiba, Head of Mobile & IT Business, Samsung Philippines; Aitor Gomez Maguregui, Head of New Business Sales, Google Philippines; and Mark Gamboa, Director of Marketing, Max’s Group.

The summit aimed to inspire and motivate players in the retail industry, local and regional, through knowledge sharing and market updates from distinguished experts in the field. During the summit, discussions centered around the impact of social media on businesses; ways to elevate customer experience, and strengthening customer satisfaction.

Esteemed guest speakers included entrepreneur and inspirational speaker Francis Kong, Disney Institute Regional Business Development Manager Wing-Hoe Tan, and Samsung Electronics Vice-President for Online David Kang. Panel discussions further elaborated the topics, with executives and veterans of known companies such as Samsung, Max’s, McDonald’s and Google contributing their insights and business experiences.

In his presentation, Kong explained that a business should learn to utilize social media and technology not to compete with the traditional way of retail, but to enhance and further develop its reach. Technology, according to Kong, is not the competitor of traditional retail, but its complement.

Entrepreneur and inspirational speaker Francis Kong talked about creating new and meaningful experiences for the customer with the cohesive use of social media with traditional retail.

“Co-existence between analog and click technology can never replace human involvement,” Kong added.

Tan stressed in his speech that positive results and customer delight root from company culture, from how they treat their customers to how they treat their own employees.

A playful moment from Disney Institute’s Wing-Hoe Tan, his session discussing about ensuring delightful service and maintaining good company culture.

“An organization must cultivate the same internal customer service within their employees, gauged with the same intentionality as how they do with their external ones. It is not written on any handbook; rather, it is already imbibed in the employees’ hearts and minds to provide exceptional service,” Tan said.

Kang ended the sessions with his emphasis on how technology heavily influences consumers’ decisions, but in the end, the brick-and-mortar shops are still their preferred way of shopping for their desired products.

Samsung Electronics Vice-President for Online David Kang delves deeper into his talk about the cohesive existence of technology and traditional retail to bring another level to the customer’s shopping experience.

There were 1,000 participants who attended the summit, hailing from businesses in the Philippines and abroad, all pioneers and heads of SM’s valued tenant companies. The partnership summit is one of SM’s projects in line with celebrating its 30th year in the retail industry. SM currently has 55 malls nationwide.​


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