As e-commerce sees accelerated growth for retail industries (Shopify reported that global commerce sales are expected to reach US$5 trillion in 2022!), companies like Hong Kong-based direct selling company QNET, are ready to reap the rewards.
QNET, an e-commerce direct selling company, is no stranger to the online scene. Established over two decades ago, the multinational company was one of the first in the direct selling industry to embrace digitisation – adopting an e-commerce platform as part of its strategy – charting rapid growth across borders.
Today, QNET is an industry leader with customers in nearly 100 countries, bearing numerous awards for its digital excellence, online communications campaigns, and mobile app. And the company’s lightspeed success is no coincidence: QNET is a company that believes in giving its employees, distributors, and customers the best online experience imaginable – and that starts by establishing a world-class e-commerce platform.
Enhancing the E-Commerce Experience
In partnership with Microsoft, QNET switched to an end-to-end strategy built on Microsoft Security products and services, such as utilising cloud security through Microsoft Azure. QNET’s Chief Information Security Officer, Egal Egal, says, “With the amount of data accessed, utilised, and shared across our global offices, it makes perfect sense to team up with a reliable partner, such as Microsoft, to ensure our customers’ experience is seamless, intuitive, and secure. For example, we integrated a function in the QNET Virtual Office that makes changing credentials more effortless and secure than ever. The entire process even takes less than a minute.
“When traffic ramped up as the pandemic started, we knew we had to take proactive steps to ensure the digital experience is not affected by the high number of transactions,” Egal adds. The most recent World Federation of Direct Selling (WFDSA) report saw direct sales going strong throughout the past two years, charting a global growth of 2.3% in 2021. “As a business that operates using e-commerce, our number one concern is always the user experience – we implemented measures to increase efficacy on our systems and structures so that our distributors and customers can use our platforms knowing that vital information, such as their order number and delivery status, was always up-to-date and accurate.”
Ameer Deen, Chief Technology Officer of QNET, added that the company is always looking for innovative solutions that enhance the online experience. “Our team operates with one goal in mind: to offer the best e-commerce platform to our customers. In Africa, we implemented the Mobile Money payment system where you can manage your money in an account linked to your mobile phone, not dissimilar to a bank account, to purchase our products. We’ve launched this in eight countries to great success.”
AN amazing digital ecosystem for QNET’s customers
With an evolved IT infrastructure in the mix, QNET could focus on other aspects of the business, such as integrating innovative functionalities in QNET’s stellar mobile app. Deen says, “Our business is largely based on e-commerce. Any technical difficulties could result in downtime, which significantly impacts revenue – not just for ours but also for our distributors. By diversifying our digital offerings and building an ecosystem of online tools, we can mitigate the risk of downtime for our distributors and customers.”
An initiative that was essential when QNET started expanding into new and emerging markets, QNET’s online training programme, QNETPro, provides comprehensive coaching for new and existing distributors on how to successfully run their direct selling business across borders.
QNET’s extensive digital tools, such as its Virtual Office (VO), social media workshops, and live virtual training sessions, even bagged its European division a Digital Business award by one of the biggest network marketing newspapers in Europe.
Malou Caluza, CEO of QNET, says that creating a holistic end-to-end online environment is one of the most essential factors to QNET’s growth. “Developing economies, such as Africa and Asia, are adopting digital technologies exponentially, boosting productivity and employment opportunities as e-commerce opens up new prospects for business. QNET’s direct selling business model offers an attractive opportunity to those looking to start a business online. It does not require a lot of capital, and our distributors can run their enterprise hassle-free from anywhere, at any time, through our digital ecosystem.”
A global leader in the digital world
Studies show that despite the economy slowly recovering from the pandemic, the demand for goods and services through online commerce is still trending upwards – and QNET is well-prepared to handle that demand while still ensuring its global community of distributors and customers reap the benefits of its advanced online resources and tools.
Over the past 24 years, QNET has consistently delivered on its promise to provide high-quality products and services to its distributors and customers. In 2016, QNET won the Sitecore Experience Award in the Omnichannel Automation – Best E-Commerce Experience category. The award acknowledges QNET’s delivery of a seamless, integrated e-commerce experience that makes the online purchasing process a cinch for customers.
With the lockdown in 2020 forcing social distancing and long periods of isolation, QNET adapted quickly to the new normal with a shift to digital engagement tools, virtual events, and training programmes. QNET converted its bi-annual flagship convention into a virtual format, dubbed V-Convention Connect, which saw over half a million audience members last October. The convention was an immersive virtual experience with QNET’s distributors and customers coming together to learn more about the direct selling industry and attend talks by industry professionals and expert speakers. The convention’s social media campaign even bagged several international communications awards over the past two years.
Caluza adds that the growth and milestones achieved by the company would not be possible without innovation being at the root of QNET. “We started off as a small team that worked out of an office without any furniture, besides a few tables and chairs. The Founders believed that innovation, being open to change, and consistent hard work would lead us to success – and I’m proud to say that they’ve instilled that spirit within the company. Without their enterprising spirit, QNET would not be the global e-commerce powerhouse it is today.”