Can customer relationships win you digital accolades?
BUYING fish isn’t an easy task, and it’s certainly not something most people buy online.
However, in Singapore, one fishmonger not only went digital but also won the IDC Digital Disruptor of the Year award — all by using technology to build a stronger relationship with its customers.
In an exclusive interview with Tech Wire Asia, Dish The Fish Co-founders Jeffery and Angeline Tan explain what they did differently and why.
“We’re an online to offline (O2O) business and use a variety of technologies such as a point of sale cloud, an online e-commerce platform, and a CRM system — but we’re people selling to people, and that’s what differentiates us,” explained Jeffery.
From the conversation, although the company is using technology innovatively, it’s not doing so to impress those making the purchasing decisions. Instead, it seems to want to simply leverage technology to build really personal relationships with those buying fish for themselves or their families.
“We believe eating fish is a lifestyle, and we want to make it simple for our customers to enjoy the lifestyle,” said Angeline.
Jefferey, who understands the market having spent quite a bit of his time in the past around fisheries, believes that delivering a great product is what customers value most — and they do that by forging and maintaining strong relationships with vendors in local and foreign markets.
The duo in Singapore, in fact, also work hard to ensure that the fish they stock isn’t on the endangered list issued by any authority, and are wild caught as far as possible.
Through its website, Dish The Fish sells fresh produce they can vouch for — and tries to ensure customers have plenty of opportunities to choose how their fish is cleaned, cut, and packed.
That degree of certainty naturally ensures customers always get what they want, and that there are no surprises along the way — but the first order is just the start of the relationship with the customer.
To deepen it, Jefferey and Angeline craft blogpost and stories that help customers understand why their elders ask them to consume fish every week, how it helps the human body, why it’s good, and what each type of fish is culturally appreciated for.
“Content marketing is a strong part of our strategy because it shows to customers that we care. Nobody else in our business does this — it’s something we feel differentiates us and helps us nurture our relationship with customers,” explained Jefferey.
Given the (loyal) customer base that Dish The Fish serves and the fast-paced growth of both, it’s online and physical stores, the company is set to make waves in the fishing industry in Singapore — and its co-founders would have it no other way.
“We’re excited about the future. We’re currently exploring how augmented reality could make customers feel closer to us — even those that don’t visit our stores,” concluded an optimistic Jefferey. Technology truly is an enabler for personal relationships and growth for forward-looking business in Singapore.
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