“A consumer centric mindset is the most important skill.”

Simon Xiu, eCommerce Lead, China

Friday, January 14, 2022

What is your current role in e-commerce at MDLZ?

I’m the China ecommerce lead, in charge of eB2C and O2O.

What makes your role so exciting?

China ecommerce market is quite mature and dynamic. Online consumers (traffic) are becoming more and more dynamic as well, from traditional platforms (Taobao, Tmall, JD) to new ones (PDD, Tiktok, Kuaishou, etc.). As players in the game, we have to keep learning and be agile to understand and fulfill consumers' needs better: more portfolios, more occasions, higher efficiency of service. We continuously face different challenges and we need to find ways to conquer market share. All the above makes me feel so excited to be in this role, especially work with a young and full of energy team.

Where do you see e-commerce going at MDLZ

We have big opportunity in social commerce, especially in Tiktok and Kuaishou, which captured 700m & 300m daily active users separately. To make stronger connection with target consumers, we must further develop the content of each brand precisely and communicate in an efficient way. O2O will continue to grow quickly and drive offline sales via leveraging online traffic and collaborate with platforms to develop more occasions and improve consumer shopping experience by logistic and service at city level. For our portfolio development we are leveraging big data deep dive and target consumer insights. E-commerce will play a more and more important role as online R&D center, where we incubate more portfolios for consumers by target group, then expand proved ones to offline. And finally: the ecommerce channel is treated as a very important channel to build brand and communication with consumers, digitalization requires more synergy between branding and commerce.

What are the key skills one must have to succeed in both e-commerce and at MDLZ?

A consumer centric mindset is the most important but very fundamental skill/capability for both ecommerce and MDLZ, especially nowadays there are many e-approaches to connect with consumers precisely for insights, brand building, communication, product innovation/renovation, etc. Considering fast growth and change in ecommerce, agility is another critical capability to adopt the situation and capture opportunities for growth. In the meantime, we must keep mind open in the market to ensure leading position of categories we played as well as keep learning from outside. Finally, the ability of data analytic and application is a must skill for ecommerce.


How have you developed your career at MDLZ?

I joined MDLZ China in July, 2020 in my current role. Before MDLZ, I started my career in modern trade as key account supervisor 17 years ago. Offline experience helped me build strong business sense and account management skills (planning, communication, financial skills, supply chain understandings, etc.) as well as people management and consumer/shopper insight skills. These capabilities made me transfer from offline to online very smoothly in 2017 in my previous company. During that period, China’s e-commerce market was evolving to a new stage after many years of development, that required precisely targeting consumer (AIPL), content development, big data empowerment, “new retail” (online to offline). The business fundamental logic of both online and offline is quite similar, a consumer-centric mindset is the critical bridge linkage from offline to online.

How would you describe the culture at MDLZ?

Being open and respectful is the first image that comes to mind. People working here are nice and open to share, communicate and cooperate. The leadership team is looking for long-term strategy, which gives the team clear and firm direction of our business. Although MDLZ China has a big structure and business scale, agility is indicated in many areas: new channel development especially strategically investments in ecommerce, go deep and go up, business intelligence evolvement, etc.

Do you feel MDLZ does a good job at creating a diverse and inclusive environment?

Yes, in MDLZ China, the team is quite diversity in terms of genders, ages, religions, nationalities, etc. The company encourages employees to communicate open, equally and respectfully, different points of view are welcome. There is even a D&I committee (leadership team are key members) to promote the implementation of diverse and inclusive in daily work.

How can e-commerce help us become a more sustainable responsible company?

To make our business sustainable responsible, we must understand consumers more deeply and fulfill their needs via powerful portfolio ranges and efficient service. Ecommerce is the channel that can play critical roles of consumer insight, portfolio incubation, more consumer recruitment, quick service and sales growth contributor. We win in ecommerce (digital commerce), we will win consumers, then win the future absolutely!

Make it with Passion – Love our Consumers and Brands

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