Chat with experts: Steve Suh founder of FloShip

Chat with experts - ecommerce consultant and cross border ecommerce expert
Digital Develop invited  Steve Suh founder of FloShip. From Crossborder eCommerce to future of that Steve talked about a lot of things about eCommerce. He shares his entrepreneurial journey and story behind founding FloShip. Hope it will help you to start and run cross-border e-commerce successfully.

Biography: Born and raised in Philadelphia, Steve Suh traveled to China to find new opportunities and challenges. With years of logistics experience, Steve now runs Floship; an end to end solution for cross border e-commerce businesses.

What’s your background and what get’s you out of bed every morning?

I grew up in Philadelphia as a Korean-American and decided to move to China to expand my perspective. China was developing at such a rapid pace that I decided to pack my bags and immerse myself where the action was happening. Ultimately, if I was going to truly understand how the Chinese economy and Chinese people do business then I had to be in China to get a first hand view; to understand the customs, culture, how they operate.. everything.

Every morning, I wake up with the desire to go into my day with all I’ve got (and 2 cups of coffee). Despite the hardships, it’s still incredibly rewarding.

What motivated you to start Floship?

Working at 4PX, China’s largest cross border e-commerce logistics company, I realized that while they had an international sales team, they did a poor job on executing for western, international merchants.

As I saw the growth of cross border B2C logistics for Chinese sellers, I had no doubt that if we could plant this business model in the minds of western sellers and provide a great service, that we could serve a very large, addressable market.

How long have you been in the business of helping e-commerce retailers for? What have your platform/company goals been?

5 years. Goals include: building and improving our proprietary user-friendly fulfillment software; building new and lasting partnerships and connecting smart, driven individuals to our growing Floship team.

Which e-commerce platform do you prefer and why?

Each e-commerce platform has its pros and cons however I’d rank Shopify as one of the growing leaders in e-commerce today. From ease of use, community app store, to the customer support, Shopify makes it a hassle free platform for anyone to set up an e-commerce business. Even when your business has scaled up a bit and you’ve decided to go global, Shopify Plus can assist with that via clone stores for different regions/language, detailed check-out shipping options, etc. They’ve really got it all covered.

A common problem in e-commerce is retailers having traffic but no conversions. If they’re gathering traffic but not making any sales what would you recommend?

As with any business trying to garner sales, you got to ask yourself what are your customer’s pain points and how are you helping to address them. If your site looks pretty but is difficult to navigate or lacks key information in the right pages, how do you expect customers to react?

Reducing friction is key and to do so is to think from your customer’s perspective. Conversions will come once you’ve dialed in on what exactly makes your customers tick. Using analytics data for things like cart abandonment, time spent idle in checkout, etc. can all help you decipher what’s holding back a critical conversion.

Do you see mobile users as being the ‘future’ of e-commerce retailers? What are your personal experiences while using mobile shopping, if at all?

Mobile e-commerce, or m-commerce, is definitely a growing sector and it’s already the prevalent shopping platform in China. Wechat is huge. According to Statista, nearly a billion active accounts use Wechat per month and that number is continually growing. Big name brands like Hugo Boss and Coach are even hosting full fledged stores on Wechat, complete with plug-ins, ads, social media link shares, etc.

Especially for the Asian markets – SE Asia, India, etc. – we see mobile being 50%+ of overall e-commerce transactions. In some sense, you’re seeing e-commerce start backwards where customers are shopping mobile first before migrating over to desktop.

Where do you think the future of e-commerce marketing is heading? Is it chatbots, IoT, more personalized content, big data?

Definitely, all of the above. Omni-channel approach is a thing.

Do you think a branded e-commerce store help merchants to stay in top?

Absolutely, branding is what gets eyes to stick. Building and maintaining an attractive brand can yield a loyal following. Having a following is the foundation to potentially build an empire.

Recently, I’ve been hearing of a lot of top Amazon merchants building more traffic to their branded e-commerce store due to a number of factors such as margins on each sale and Amazon white labeling their own brands and thus competing against existing merchants. Without a branded e-commerce store, products become commodities on the marketplaces and therefore, pricing becomes a race to the bottom with other competitors.

What’s your thought on data driven marketing?

Being data driven as a company is critical and 100% necessary. Analyzing data that you’ve gathered will offer insights to what is boosting or holding back your company growth.

At Floship, we always want to optimize our work processes so that we always are getting the maximum yield from our inputted resources.

Push, email or messenger which would be next channel to engage with audience? What’s your thought on this?

All of these should ideally be somewhere along the engagement pipeline right? Multiple channels of engagement increases customer touch points. Each engagement offering another opportunity for a website click or a share on Facebook or a converted sale.. You see where I’m going with this.. but as always, use caution, not having a specific channel of communication is better than having one that is broken.