Across the world, the past twelve months have presented several challenges in the macro-economic landscape—but those challenges haven’t slowed us or our partners down.
Our organization heads into 2023 strengthened by the overcoming of challenges and optimistic about the enormous growth potential of China and broader APAC markets in the new year and beyond.
Not only do we expect to see growth in Japan and Southeast Asia, but the end of China’s Covid Zero policy should bolster Chinese consumer confidence, creating a windfall for brands active in the market.
Interested in hearing what we’ve been up to? Take a read through some of the highlights of the past year for WPIC– Asia’s leading e-commerce, retail, and technology consultancy.
WPIC has always been at the forefront of China’s digital commerce revolution, and 2022 saw no exception to that. Our firm led the way in the digital world last year, embracing new technologies, driving double-digit growth across the portfolio, and finding innovative ways to connect with consumers on behalf of our brand partners.
Over the course of the year, WPIC welcomed several new brands to our portfolio from almost every consumer sector, including fashion and apparel, beauty and cosmetics, health and wellness, packaged foods, child / baby / maternity, sports and fitness, pet food and care, outdoor apparel and accessories, toys, consumer electronics, homewares, and more.
Especially hot product sub-categories in China this year included nutraceuticals, pet care, skin and hair care products, and outdoor and winter apparel—with more and more global brands looking to capitalize on lifestyle changes in Asia that are driving demand growth for these products.
In addition to new brands joining the portfolio, WPIC delivered strong client revenue performance, significantly increasing our GMV from 2021. Chinese consumption stayed steady despite lockdowns in select cities, as per capita disposable income continued to rise and 11/11 Singles’ Day (the largest consumer purchasing event of the year, worldwide) revenue grew by 13.7% YoY.
Meanwhile, our Japan and Southeast Asia divisions continued to contribute strong revenue – both for WPIC and our brand partners.
In 2022, WPIC also continued to expand its social commerce offering, first launched in 2021. We activated several campaigns on Douyin and opened our first Douyin cross-border e-commerce flagship store.
On top of that, WPIC became the first Western organization to be announced as a verified Douyin Partner, enabling us to provide all the brands in our portfolio with content and commerce solutions for their Douyin operations. The partnership also gives WPIC special access to: brand management and formal training sessions with Douyin; aggregated platform data; curated insights around the latest trends; and the latest resources around best practices. This partnership and growth of our social commerce offering is helping brands tap into Douyin’s surging popularity as a leading digital commerce platform in China, and the most important development in marketing and retail in China since the original arrival of e-commerce.
In November, WPIC launched a re-organized creative practice under the direction of Charles Lavoie, a more than 10-year industry veteran of creative campaigns in Asia.
Creative Labs now oversees branding strategy, social, influencer marketing, content, livestreaming, offline activations, and more, for brands looking to drive powerful impact in Asia.
In this new era of social commerce and interest-driven commerce, effective creative capabilities are more important than ever before, to ensure brands resonate with their target consumers. The tagline for Creative Labs is “Impact APAC,” and that’s exactly what we’ll achieve across every existing and emerging platform in the region.
To that end, two of the creative campaigns that generated a significant buzz in the market were: a livestream for PMD Beauty from their headquarters in Draper, Utah, as part of the brand’s 6/18 promotion campaign; as well as a livestream for Vitamix from their headquarters in Cleveland, Ohio, as part of their 11/11 Singles’ Day promotion campaign.
Finally, to capitalize on the rise of cross-border e-commerce and to help customers get their products as soon as possible, in June WPIC broke ground on a 20,000 square foot bonded warehouse in the Nanjing Longtan Free Trade Zone. The warehouse enables WPIC to extend logistics services to our cross-border e-commerce clients and will also support B2B and B2C warehousing and delivery operations for standalone logistics clients. WPIC’s facility will process over 800 B2C orders per day and 5-10 containers per week for B2B clients.
As we process more and more orders across different product categories each year, the launch of a bonded warehouse is a major step in the continued growth of WPIC’s logistics division.
As experts on all questions regarding market growth in Asia, WPIC has been called upon to provide wisdom and insights to a variety of audiences this past year.
Whether we’re asked to speak at the annual Global E-commerce Leaders Forum (GELF) event in New York, various trade shows across North America, or private events providing financial institutions with the latest information of what’s going on in Asia, the WPIC team invests hundreds of hours each year educating and providing insight to different groups across the globe.
In 2022, WPIC established a partnership with RBC, Canada’s largest bank, to support Canadian brands with expansion into APAC markets. Under the agreement, WPIC will provide custom education sessions to RBC’s Canada-wide team of more than 300+ client managers, and RBC clients will receive preferred pricing to WPIC’s solution set, which are available to both small- and medium-sized businesses (SMEs), as well as enterprise organizations. This new partnership will facilitate the growth of WPIC’s Canadian client base and reflects WPIC’s status as the clear leader among firms that activate brands in APAC.
2022 also saw its fair share of awards for the WPIC team around the world.
WPIC was awarded the gold medal in the Canada China Business Council’s Business Excellence Awards in the e-commerce category. The panel of judges recognized the numerous Canadian brands that WPIC has launched in the past two years, the expansion of solutions we’ve released (including our e-commerce store tool), as well as the speed with which our company has grown. This was WPIC’s second straight gold medal from CCBC, having won a gold-medal award in a different category in 2020.
WPIC was also named Best Company for the Empowerment of Women (SME) by the Women’s Empowerment Council, a Beijing-based organization committed to advancing gender equality in China’s business community. This awards program recognizes trailblazing individuals and innovative companies that have demonstrated a robust commitment to promoting women in the workforce and taking actions to effectively advance gender equality which can drive stronger business outcomes. The panel of judges gave the award to WPIC for “actively identifying, nurturing, and promoting female talent.” They noted that WPIC has an “impressive” 67% representation of women in its workforce, and a “stellar” 87.5% ratio of women in its China leadership team, including four of five C-suite executives. They also celebrated our support of the charity Educating Girls of Rural China (EGRC).
In June, WPIC Co-Founder & President Joseph Cooke was also honored with a Top 40 Under 40 award for 2021. This achievement is presented to professionals across British Columbia for demonstrating excellence in business, judgement, leadership, and community contribution.
Corporate Social Responsibility
To mark International Women’s Day 2022, WPIC held a LinkedIn campaign highlighting several of the female leaders who have driven our company forward through their technology, marketing, management, logistics, and finance expertise.
As part of the International Women’s Day campaign, WPIC also donated funds to Educating Girls of Rural China (EGRC), a charity that provides young rural women in China access to education through financial sponsorship. Our donation will enable several girls to attend high school in the coming year.
In addition to this donation, WPIC worked with our brand partner, Alaffia, to donate over $300,000 USD worth of personal care products to various women’s and children’s charities in Hong Kong. WPIC was honored to be a part of their efforts to take social responsibility, give back to society, and invest in a more equitable future.
WPIC has established itself as not only the leading company for APAC-related e-commerce services, but also the leading voice on the changes taking place in the region’s technology and retail landscapes.
Throughout the year, CEO Jacob Cooke’s expertise has been sought by a wide range of television stations and news outlets, including Bloomberg, The Financial Times, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, CNBC, Reuters, Women’s Wear Daily, Jing Daily, and more.
2022 may have presented macroeconomic challengesfor organizations around the world, but WPIC’s mission—to connect global organizationswith APAC markets—has become even more important, and our unique capabilities have becomeeven more valuable.
There was so much to celebrate in 2022, as WPIC developed in and unveiled new capabilities, expanded our client roster, and generated social impact, while delivering strong service for our brand partners.
We head in 2023 optimistic about how China and other APAC markets will perform in thewake of Covid Zero being lifted. With our strategic investments in social commerce, creative, and cross-border e-commerce, WPIC and its clients are positioned to thrive.
Interested in seeing our annual predictions for 2023 and the year of the water rabbit? Keep an eye out, as those will be released in the first week of January.
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