WingTai Asia, a subsidiary of Wing Tai Holdings Limited, is an investment holding company that focuses on property investment and development, lifestyle retail, and hospitality management in key Asian markets. The company is a licensed distributor or sole license distributor for many brands, including Adidas, Cath Kidson, TopShop and UNIQLO, and operates brick and mortar shops to sell these goods throughout Singapore and Malaysia.
In 2018, WingTai Asia began building a digital organization to launch its eCommerce business for these brands. At the same time, it started development on a separate social commerce site – MoodRoom.com – that fosters connections between visitors, giving them a place to discuss fashion trends, upload photos of outfit and show visitors where they can buy those styles.
Instead of investing heavily on building a large team to manage thousands of images that changed every quarter, WingTai Asia implemented Cloudinary to improve its efficiency, speed time to market for new product lines, and facilitate moderation and optimization of user-generated images.
In this post, discover the challenges WingTai Asia faced, and how Cloudinary helped it keep pace with fast-changing fashion trends and is enabling it to keep innovating its eCommerce business.
If WingTai Asia thought that keeping up with the changing styles, seasonal lines and new products was tough, managing all the media assets for eCommerce presented an even bigger challenge.
With as many as 2,000 items coming out between two and four times a year, WingTai Asia needed to constantly update its sites with new images, and be able to identify each by SKU, season, brand, color and other features. This was a labor-intensive process, requiring each image to be downloaded, Photoshopped and stored on individual team members' computers for use on social media, in marketing campaigns and for promotions.
The social commerce site MoodRoom.com added more complexity, as they had to ensure all user-generated images were appropriate and displayed properly to ensure an optimal experience in that community.
As it was weighing the idea of building a customized digital asset management (DAM) tool to meet its unique requirements vs. an off-the-shelf solution, WingTai Asia found Cloudinary. "Surprisingly enough, we realized that you can get the best of both worlds with Cloudinary’s rich feature set and the fantastic team behind the product, who are always willing to go the extra mile to work together with their clients to build a better platform for everyone,” said Roy Saadon, WingTai Asia’s vice president and head of Product Technology.
Cloudinary's API-oriented, open platform allowed WingTai Asia to customize its workflow, and offered operational efficiency in terms of coding around the platform. WingTai Asia was able to upload by FTP and import media assets from a variety of sources into Cloudinary. These then were matched with contextual content to create metadata around the assets. A similar process was used for images coming from freelance photographers, as well as the user-generated content to be featured on MoodRoom.com.
With Cloudinary, WingTai Asia was able to easily tag each item, allowing brand managers to efficiently search and access the images they need. Automation in the Cloudinary solution also streamlined transformations, such as cropping and resizing and dynamically applying overlays, depending on the use case and user device.
Thanks to Cloudinary, WingTai Asia is able to do more with less. Supporting multiple brands would have required an army of people to manage all product images for each season, since WingTai Asia has standards for cropping, rounding corners, centering faces and other details.
WingTai Asia has taken a process that would normally require more than three weeks using a conventional DAM and manual editing to prepare all images and upload them to the eCommerce sites and shortened it into only a few days using Cloudinary. Tagging and metadata also has made assets more easily and quickly searchable in the Cloudinary system.
Use of Cloudinary also is helping WingTai Asia future proof its sites. With simple changes to the image URLs, Cloudinary eliminates the need to create new versions of every image so they are optimized for new viewport sizes or new devices entering the market. "Cloudinary is probably the best DAM solution in the market today for building, managing, and delivering responsive media experiences," Saadon noted "All we do is create a new transformation, and those new iPhone users will automatically receive the asset delivered in an optimized, responsive way.”
WingTai Asia also appreciates the opportunity to closely collaborate with Cloudinary, which it believes will foster greater innovation in the future by both parties. "Rather than treating us like just another customer, Cloudinary seeks out what works for both sides, and shares its clear vision about the new product features and improvements that are coming in the future," Saadon concluded. "This helps us think about new, exciting ways that we can expand our use of Cloudinary and be more innovative in our eCommerce sites."