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Carving a NICHE in lifestyles 

Jan 05. 2019
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By Asina Pornwasin
The Nation Weekend

Apple-connected Copperwired has built a loyal following BY meeting the needs of the digitally savvy

AS MANY consumers have joined the digital-lifestyle trend, and adopted digital products into many aspects of their lives, they have become familiar with buying their goods through digital-lifestyle stores.

 Aiming to further build its leading position in Thailand’s digital-lifestyle retail sector, Copperwired has plans to grow 15 per cent from last year’s Bt3 billion in revenues. 

The company has a strategy to maintain the growth of its retail stores under their three brands – iStudio, iBeat and DotLife. As well, they aim to increase the growth of online channels Dotlife.Store and MustLoveMac.Store to fulfil their customers’ shopping journey, and will also expand their digital solutions arm serving corporates along with small and medium-sized enterprises. 

Papavee Vitchupreecha, retail director of Copperwired, says the company will increase its own brand-shop, DotLife to 24 branches in 2019 and 30 branches in 2020. The investment cost per branch starts from Bt10 million to Bt30 million depending on the size. 

DotLife is positioned as a shop that allows customers to closely experience digital lifestyle products before buying. 

The company has a total 5,000 stock-keeping-units (SKUs) from 200 brands to sell through physical branches and online channels. The highest growth categories are sports and health, along with smart-home products. 

“Consumer adoption of digital lifestyle products is going very well. They are more concerned about product quality and service rather than prices and promotion, and that helps increase our revenue growth,” said Papavee.

Apart from iBear, Copperwired also operates digital lifestyle retails under another two brands – iStudio and iBeat. iStudio is an Apple premium reseller while iBeat is an Apple authorised reseller. Both iStudio and iBeat sell only Apple products and accessories related to Apple products, through six iStudio and nine iBeat stores. 

The iStudio and iBeat are the same concept but with different sizes, with iStudio boasting at least 180 square metres while iBeat has at least 100 square metres. Moreover, the company has four iServe shops operating as Apple authorised service centres, she notes. 

Laksawat Rienjaroensuk, the Copperwired product manager, says DotLife is the leading digital lifestyle store in Thailand, with a distinguished product variety and its unique offer of a hands-on customer experience environment and well-trained staff providing service.

“The variety of interesting products are the key success factor of DotLife, therefore product sourcing is our key challenge to success,” said Leksawat.

 “We have over 200 product brands sourced by Copperwired and its subsidiary company Koan, which is a digital/technology distributor. We are always looking for the new and trendy products to offer through our stores. 

“Of the 5,000 SKUs, some are new that we added in, some we deleted from the catalogue and do not sell anymore. We always have new products to add into our product portfolios.” 

He says Copperwired started its online stores as an Apple authorised online reseller, with the aim of supporting the company’s omni-channel strategy to facilitate customer to experiences in an online-to-offline shopping journey. 

“For one and a half years, we have operated online stores, and the latest revenue as of December 2018 has increased 1,000 times from day one,” said Laksawat. 

Moreover, the company this year plans to expand to provide digital solutions for corporates and SMEs, in addition to condos and villages. 

It targets to gain Bt50 million in revenue for 2019. 

This year, the company also plans to utilise a database of 500,000 members to create precise and personalised marketing to individual customers. 

“We have collected a customer database over three years now and have 500,000 members. We had a trial of customised electronic direct marketing to them and found that we had a 40 per cent ‘opening rate’, which is a huge ratios. So, this year we will focus more on using our customer database to do precision marketing,” said Papavee.

She said that because digital products are now blended into people’s lifestyles, consumer have adapted well, love the experience of trying new products, and prefer an online-to-offline shopping journey when buying digital products.

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