Singapore’s Phoon Huat ups its eCommerce gameplay

3 Aug | Future CFO Editor

In 2018 brick and mortar retailer Phoon Huat opened its doors to the online world. Eventually, the company solidified its commitment to online commerce with the launch of in early 2020 in a bid to make baking supplies more accessible to customers during the lockdown.

At the time, the existing platform provided mostly basic functionality for e-commerce like creating accounts and making orders.

Lee Shing Lam, Head of eCommerce at Phoon Huat, noted that customers commented that the search function and the limitation in merchandising functions made it very difficult for them to find products that they want.

The challenge(s)

Lee noted that one challenge was how to manage the product range the company was carrying online.

“This led us to look for a scalable and sustainable platform to support its expansion. At the same time, we also sought to improve the services and customer experience on its online store,” he added.

With MuleSoft integrating with Phoon Huat’s core ERP solution – SAP, it allows products and product information to flow seamlessly into Salesforce Commerce Cloud. The process empowers its employees to integrate data and innovate at scale.

“It allows us a high degree of freedom to perform merchandising through sorting rule, search refinement and categorisation. In addition, we utilised Search Dictionary and Bucket Values to maximise the searchability of our products,” added Lee.

A better way to engage customers

To maintain customer trust and satisfaction, Phoon Huat selected Salesforce Service Cloud to help its customer service team with a new, digitised omnichannel approach to engage with its customers as it expands the business across the SEA region.

Phoon Huat used MuleSoft to create a seamless experience across its eCommerce platform. With MuleSoft, Phoon Huat can easily integrate and unify data across its entire eCommerce experience, including RedManShop customers, while empowering its employees to integrate data and innovate at scale.

Phoon Huat CEO Shuichi Sato reiterated the company’s commitment to delivering a better online shopping experience for its customers. In addition to investing in a new software platform, the company has expanded its digital transformation team, improved warehouse layout and procedures, and invested in its logistics fleet.

For Phoon Huat these enhancements include:

  • A search engine that allows customers to search for products faster & easier
  • Mobile-friendly user interface
  • Personalised shopping experiences, enabled with machine learning capabilities
  • Delivery tracking through email and order status updates via the website.

Cecily Ng, AVP and GM of Salesforce Singapore, says companies like Phoon Huat are using the pandemic as an opportunity to reinvent themselves and capture more customers.

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How the Red Man heeded the green light to dish out better CX

27 July | DigiconAsia Editors

With many locked-down families turning to bakery, this traditional bricks-and-mortar firm jumped to the Cloud to ensure supply lines remained intact.

How does a regional supplier and retailer of cookery supplies weather a global pandemic when its bricks-and-mortar sales have been its main mode of business?

The well-known answer is of course: digital transformation. This is what Phoon Huat, a baking ingredients and equipment supplier in South-east Asia, did in early 2020.

Amid the pandemic, the firm accelerated the launch of its online shop in order to allow customers to continue to access baking and cookery supplies during the numerous stages of lockdown.

With an offering of more than 7,500 products ranging from bakery supplies to international gourmet brands, the firm pivoted to e-commerce with an aim to differentiate itself with affordable pricing and its own exclusive house brand RedMan. Its earlier website, built in 2018, was not geared for the scale of the pivot, so some digital transformation was in order.

Selling in the Cloud

Recognizing the need for a scalable and sustainable platform to support its pivoting and expansion, the firm chose to work with Salesforce to relaunch its RedManShop e-commerce website.

By doing so, the firm has empowered its employees to deliver an end-to-end digital customer journey across sales and customer support. Cookery enthusiasts of all levels of skill can now expect a one-stop solution for not only merchandise, but also a menu of related content such as recipes, training courses and an improved shopping experience that includes:

  • A search engine that to scour the large product range and content faster and easier
  • A mobile friendly user interface
  • Personalized shopping experience powered by machine learning
  • Item delivery tracking through email and order-status updates via the website

With a wider outreach due to its enhanced e-commerce presence in the region, the firm also used Salesforce to create a digital omni-channel approach to boost customer engagement. To improve data connectivity across its disparate branch offices and applications, MuleSoft was engaged to create a seamless experience across its e-commerce platform and empowering employees to integrate data and innovate at scale.

Said Shuichi Sato, CEO, Phoon Huat Pte Ltd: “We are committed to delivering a better online shopping experience for our customers. Besides investing in a new software platform, we have also expanded our digital transformation team, improved our warehouse layout and procedures, and invested in our logistics fleet.”

Cecily Ng, AVP and GM, Salesforce Singapore, said: “The pandemic has presented businesses such as Phoon Huat with the opportunity to reinvent themselves and capture more customers — a great example of technology’s transformational power, beyond helping businesses to cope with the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

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