(Chris Buono (far right), UPS managing director for the Philippines and Indonesia, gestures as he answers a query from stakeholders during the UPS presentation at the Quest Hotel in Clark on Tuesday. Listening intently is CILA president Frankie Villanueva (2nd from left). Photo by Ashley Manabat)
CLARK FREEPORT – The 2019 UPS Industrial Buying Dynamics Asia Pacific Study was presented to various stakeholders who gathered at the Quest Hotel here on Tuesday.
Chris Buono, UPS managing director for the Philippines and Indonesia, presented the study to Clark stakeholders led by the Clark Investors and Locators Association (CILA) and its president Frankie Vilanueva who was also a panelist in the event.
“We focused this event in Clark for a number of reasons. One is Clark has been home to us for almost 20 years and we want to continue to see it grow,” Buono said.
“I love the investment and the infrastructure growth here as compared when I first came here in 2012 to where it is now. It’s completely different setting,” he added.
The study found that B2B (business to business) buyers in the region are doing much of their purchasing online and at the same time relying heavily on offline relationships and seeking out solid after sales service.
“In terms of the two things that we talked about today B2B suppliers and online shoppers, obviously two very different dynamics but two dynamics that are extremely important to a company’s potential growth and while exhaustive as we can make it at UPS we think there’s value at customers looking at this and understanding exactly what the impact on their own company by providing a post-sales support or providing that human interaction and tying it with their own online customer experience,” Buono explained.
Notwithstanding the anticipated increase in online purchases among Asian buyers, the report also indicates that speaking over the phone or in person happens more frequently in Asia than in the US or Europe.
Asian buyers especially value establishing a relationship in person before purchasing online. It was noted that this practice is most pronounced in China, where winning trust before doing business is a key part of the deal making process.
The study, which surveyed more than 3,400 industrial purchasers globally, including 600 from companies across China, Japan and Thailand, offers valuable region-level insights and specific market- level traits that can help B2B businesses better connect with buyers in Asia.
“What we see in Asia is that business relationships are not one dimensional – online channels are popular, but so too are more traditional forms of buying and this presents a real balancing act for those who want to sell in this region,” said Sylvie Van Den Kerkhof, UPS vice president for marketing in the Asia-Pacific region.
“The data suggests that businesses wanting to work in Asian markets need to ensure that their e-commerce and bricks and mortar operations are both optimized and integrated, while ensuring that post-sales services, such as returns, off er a seamless experience of buyers,” she added.
“Our takeaway is that solutions should aim to balance the convenience and innovation of advanced technologies with human touch points. Software, no matter how smart, is hard pressed to replace the impact and rapport of interpersonal relations,” Buono explained.
“Our hope today is we are able to pass along as much knowledge and information coming out of the study and some viewpoints into how UPS capabilities could help potentially other companies,” he added.