“Consumers want to be thrilled”: HP Malaysia MD on retail’s “seismic shift”


nline purchasing, to ensure they have the right technology to support the ‘work from home’ way of life.

Tan believes that as we look towards the next phase of the pandemic, we must recognise that retail has fundamentally changed forever. 

“The tailored shopping experience we expect online is now an expectation offline as well,” he said.

This is why the technology giant has bet big on setting up the HP Experience Hub, located in shopping Pavilion Bukit Jalil in Kuala Lumpur, the first of its kind in Southeast Asia.

“By bringing together the offline and online experience, the store provides an immersive, engaging experience that enables consumers across the region to feel the same level of care and support from HP, no matter how they choose to engage with us,” Tan said.

The HP Experience Hub is designed to offer consumers a personalised introduction and journey through the entire range of HP products from all the different categories including desktops, laptops, printers and more.

HP worked on the launch of its new store with Malaysian retailer Thundermatch, which it began working with in 2012 at the launch of the HP concept store in Plaza Lowyat. Since then, TMT has been at the forefront of HP’s ventures in Malaysia through stores, interactive campaigns and outreach initiatives building the brand’s presence in the market whilst simultaneously nurturing Malaysia’s IT market. 

The allure of the physical store

From HP’s internal research, the company has found that nearly 50 per cent of consumers still prefer shopping in physical stores to online. Thirty-three per cent prefer interacting with products, while 26 per cent want to have an overall in-store experience.

“At the Experience Hub, consumers can learn about HP technologies through engaging VR games, digital interactions, or having a go at our immersive go-kart gaming section,” said Tan.

There is also a dedicated printer corner which not only showcases the full range of products but also features interactive videos and guides to educate customers on the various options and considerations before making a selection.

Moreover, the store has a team of HP Live Advisors that run livestream sessions every Monday to Friday, from 10am to 7pm. 

These advisors provide personalised live support based on customers’ needs through real-time video calls and chat functions across 4 countries: Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Philippines.

These livestream sessions are broadcast within leading e-commerce platforms such as Lazada, Shopee and Tokopedia ; securing close to 40,000 and more viewers on a monthly basis.

Growth is evident

According to research by Facebook and Bain & Co, Southeast Asia as a whole is truly a dynamic region, and digital retail grew by 85 per cent year-on-year and the region is on track to see almost 80 per cent of its consumers go digital by the end of 2021.

The World Economic Forum also stated that by 2030, 75 per cent of ASEAN customers will be from the Generation Z and Millennials demographic.

In many ways, the Malaysian marketplace has been kind to HP, and the company has always been a top performer in this hyper competitive space.

“In many ways, we pride ourselves at HP as a trailblazer in reinventing the customers experience and partners engagement within the marketplace,” said Tan.

He feels that as the world moves towards a permanent state of hybrid work and commerce, the company must provide customers with the confidence and trust in their brand, products and purchasing experience.

A new era beckons

“This is just the start – we are on a continuous mission to deliver omnichannel commerce to better serve our customers,” said Tan.

Tan explains that the goal is to ultimately drive customers to not just buy more technology, but through greater engagement, the brand aims to make sure customers purchase the right technology as well.

In this modern era of commerce, he feels companies must engage with customers as individuals.

“We need to meet the customer wherever they need us to be, engage in all the ways and on the devices they want,” he explained.

There is obviously a need to create experiences that are hyper-personalised, whilst giving them free rein to learn and understand the technology at hand.

“When offline, consumers want to be thrilled. If there’s one thing we’ve all learnt during the pandemic, it’s that it takes a lot more for consumers to want to leave the house,” he concluded.


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