Why it’s time for marketers to embrace Access Corporate Group’s ‘ConsuMerchant’ model​

The pandemic has seen a slew of retailers moving their bricks and mortar stores online, but it’s not as simple as replacing one with the other and expecting consumers to follow. In the world of online retail, we can empower consumers to become merchants, explained Livia Wang during her session at Mumbrella360: Reconnected.

According to Access Corporate group’s chief brand officer Livia Wang, the best environment for the consumer experience is the physical retail environment: “They can touch, feel, and listen to the brand’s story. They can be introduced to the product’s concept.”

However, since the advent of increased online orders and a dramatic reduction in in-store foot traffic, marketers need to learn how to adapt to the new online retail environment. Speaking to the audience during the recent virtual Mumbrella360: Reconnected event, Wang explained: “If we as marketers don’t change, we can’t help our consumers, we can’t reach them easier, we can’t engage them.”

“If we think about the traditional retailer, the brand and the consumer are very, very far apart,” she said. “Brands use marketing agencies to provide the marketing materials; that’s fine. But brands will also engage with the distributors to sell the products for retailers to sell to consumers.

“But now that everything’s online, people feel like ‘we’re fine, let’s just move everything online’, but it’s actually not as easy as that. We can’t be as inspired by the products that are on the online shelf.”


A sporadic approach doesn’t work


 Currently, the way consumers find information about a particular product online is very sporadic. “Consumers are starting to find the resources from all different kinds of scenarios from their social media feed, from their family and friends, from TV advertisements, from a lot of different sources.

“It’s a little bit embarrassing, because it’s not collaborative information. There is no single point of the message and it’s not very easy for the consumer to understand. So I think the most challenging part for now, because of geographical lock down, is that it’s not that easy to introduce new products.”

Timing is another issue with the current online retail model, especially when it comes to introducing customers to new products. “The projects will take around two to three years in total, distribution will take around one year, and marketing will take six months to prepare. So how can we know what would be the best and most popular products at this given point of time?”

Wang argued that brands must connect with a certain amount of influencers or celebrities or opinion leaders for them to be able to influence the consumer. “It’s very important for a brand to reach out to influencers and key opinion leaders, and then they reach out to the consumer. We call this our proprietary ABM ConsuMerchant™ model – consumer, but they are a merchant too. So they represent multiple roles, and are the conduit between the brand and consumer.”

ABM ConsuMerchant™ turns this distinct group of consumers, cultivated by Access, into brands’ strongest advocates, and, more importantly, valued resellers. “The difference with this model is that currently, the retailer relies on traffic and finding new consumers to convert. With ABM ConsuMerchant™, when the consumer comes to the merchant, individuals already have a connection with the consumer. The connection is already in place for them to be able to make an impact.”


A transformative year

This year, the new world of the retailer has been transformed. What was once an offline experience in bricks and mortar stores has become a tighter connection between the self and the brand via online influencers and the people we follow on social media.

The people we follow already provide a huge influence – and we don’t need to meet them in person to feel that influence. On that level, influence becomes social power, which can become a buying influence and in turn can become a marketing resource.

Lovekins is one of the brands Access has helped implement the ABM ConsuMerchant™ business model. Founded by Amanda Essery, a 6th generation Chinese Australian, Lovekins was born after its founder noticed that none of the medications she was prescribed for her child’s eczema was able to soothe the skin. Amanda wanted to expand her business to a broader global market and engaged Access to help.

Access engaged content creators, social media managers, influencers, distributors and advertisers to enhance Lovekins’ positioning. More than 60,000 Access resellers amplified Lovekins’ brand awareness, recommending the products to more than 10 million consumers around the world.

The ABM ConsuMerchant™ business model leverages the current social influence of individuals,” said Wang. “It doesn’t need to be constrained by the physical location challenges we’ve seen this year, and will therefore become a very involved business moving forward.”


This article was published on 19 January 2021 by