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Traditional Chinese Pharmaceutical in Singapore goes Digital

China Tangshan, an established GMP-certified manufacturer of Traditional Chinese Pharmaceutical products in Singapore, had just digitised their business with their very first E-commerce platform with Innity.

Established in 1999, Innity is the leading digital media transformation partner, providing digital advertising, marketing and social commerce solutions for brands, agencies, advertisers, and publishers.

With a strong presence in 12 Asia-Pacific countries, Innity continues to expand its solution-focused products and services to help SMEs go digital and regional.

As TCM plays a complementary role in Singapore’s healthcare system, we decided to interview them to find out more.

1. What inspired the launch of China Tangshan?

“Our founder, Mr Chong Kee Fee served many years as an apprentice and operations supervisor at a TCM factory in Malaysia. When he returned to Singapore, he decided to start the business with his wife in 1977. 

Using the company’s proprietary formulations, products were quickly rolled out under house brands Chankang, Heaven Star, Tongsha and several others.

Business was brisk in those days due to a loyal following from the older generations of Chinese and a strong network of medical halls in Singapore.”

2. What inspired you to digitise your business?

“We are a small enterprise, with very limited resources. We had always wanted to expand our distribution network, to reach out to more medical halls and potential sales outlets, but we barely had the manpower, capital, and time to do it. We considered digitising our business when the online and social media platforms started flourishing. We even made the effort to set up a website ourselves a few years ago. We knew we had to digitise to cater to the changing consumer habits, but it was not our top priority.

When the Covid-19 pandemic hit at the start of 2020 with economic uncertainty, all medical halls were shut as part of Singapore’s circuit breaker measures, diversifying our distribution network became very urgent. Thankfully at that time, Enterprise Singapore launched a digitisation support scheme to help defray costs, and they also had a pool of pre-approved vendors who we could work with. We tapped onto the scheme and managed to save a lot of time and money going digital.”

3. How did the E-commerce site help your business?

“Prior to the pandemic, the market for TCM products had already changed drastically. The younger generation is less exposed to TCM products which affected the market. Medical halls also closed one by one as operations got on in age and could not find successors. Hence, we faced a stagnant customer base and a dwindling distribution network.

With our E-commerce website, our visibility has increased as we can reach and engage our target audience directly. We also hope to grow a new following especially among millennials.

We are also now less vulnerable to sudden closure of medical halls especially during this pandemic.”

4. How did Innity help your business?

“We came to know of Innity because it was a pre-approved Enterprise Singapore vendor. We decided to engage Innity to digitise our business because we were convinced by their vast experience, track record and their pool of in-house specialists. 

They offered us an integrated E-commerce solution from custom-building our E-commerce website, product photo-taking, to social media marketing and tracking of our sales performance to fully digitise our business. 

Essentially, we provided Innity with our company background, product descriptions, chosen payment gateway, shipper and we left the rest to Innity.

In areas that we were unfamiliar with such as the choosing of payment gateways and language for our website content, Innity shared with us their experience, gave us their advice, and helped us make informed decisions.

Innity also showed us their array of proprietary tools and techniques in all areas of digital and commerce, showing us how we can achieve exponential growth in the digital landscape. 

We really liked working with Innity as they responded quickly and are very experienced in the digital space.”

5. Would you also recommend other SMEs to do the same?

“A definite yes. Not only is online shopping and social media here to stay, but digital marketing is also much more affordable and cost-effective as compared to traditional marketing. SMEs like ourselves need to digitise to stay relevant.”

6. What are your future plans for China Tangshan?

“We plan to grow our website traffic, enrich the content on our website and engage with our target audience through social media. We look forward to sharing our TCM knowledge and growing a new pool of customers especially among millennials.”

Lee King Huat, Country Head of Innity Singapore: We were delighted to work with China Tangshan on digitising their business. With our solutions, we are confident that China Tangshan will be able to extend their reach and expand into regional markets in the future. 

Having been at the forefront of digital advertising innovation for many years, our integrated digital marketing solution is extensive. We provide high impact display and video advertising, influencer marketing, content creation, data-driven solutions, live streaming and so much more.

With our strong presence in Asia Pacific, we look forward to being the digital transformation partner and bringing world-class digital marketing and commerce solutions to local businesses and SMEs to go digital and go regional. 

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