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Yun Dong Jia: find a silver lining on “cloud” during COVID-19 pandemic

Caleb Huanyong Chen (Department of Management, Macau University of Science and Technology, Macau, China)
Yuen Wah Li (The University of Law, Guildford, UK)
Allan K.K. Chan (School of Business, Hong Kong Baptist University, Kowloon, Hong Kong)
Yilin Huang (Department of Management, Macau University of Science and Technology, Macau, China)

Publication date: 14 December 2022


Learning outcomes

This case provides detailed information about digital technologies and business practices that may help offline retailers catch up with the trend of new retail. After studying the case and working on the assignment questions, students will be able to:▪ Understand new features of smart cash registers, including facial-recognition payment, purchase-sales-inventory management, customer profile and store management, which all are important for the long-term development of the retail business in the age of “new retail”.▪ Identify opportunities, practices and impacts of digital technologies, such as big data and artificial intelligence, on contemporary retail businesses.▪ Identify problems of traditional retail and suggest solutions by applying the concepts and tools learned above.▪ Apply digital marketing approaches and tools (e.g., social media, livestreaming and online word-of-mouth) to design marketing campaigns; students should include basic elements such as the 6Ms for effective marketing communications (market, mission, message, media, money and measure).

Case overview/synopsis

This case describes difficult situations facing Leo Shoudong Pan, the founder and CEO of Yun Dong Jia Technologies Co Ltd (YDJ), in marketing communications. With a motto of “Making it easy to open stores anywhere”, YDJ develops and sells smart cash registers, which provide a self-developed operating system and cloud computing services. Pan targets small and micro retailers, who are technology laggards when digital transitions had swept the world. His goal is to build a network of 100,000 pieces of smart cash registers across China, but he has only sold 8,000 pieces since he founded YDJ in 2016. He must make a breakthrough in the business. To drive leads and sales, he feels the urgency of conducting effective marketing communications with target customers and enhance their understanding on the value that YDJ creates for them. Monetary incentives are tangible but not yet fully demonstrated YDJ’s value. With the traditional retail approach, brick-and-mortar stores, especially those small-scaled ones, are not able to meet the market change; instead, they must adopt digital techniques to catch up with the trend of new retail, which is necessary for a long-term business development rather than just a temporary measure during the Covid-19 pandemic. Pan must craft more compelling messages. What customer value should be chosen as incentives to motivate the target market? How to conduct effective marketing communications correspondingly?

Complexity academic level

Senior undergraduate; Postgraduate; MBA; EMBA.

Supplementary materials

Teaching notes are available for educators only.

Subject code

CSS 8: Marketing.



The authors thank the editor Dr Michael Goldman and guest editor Dr William Wei for their excellent guidance, and the two anonymous reviewers for their valuable feedback and advice, during the review process. The authors also thank Anne Lawrence, Grishma Shah and Chandler Chu for helpful comments on previous versions of this case study.

Disclaimer. This case is written solely for educational purposes and is not intended to represent successful or unsuccessful managerial decision making. The authors may have disguised names; financial and other recognizable information to protect confidentiality.


Chen, C.H., Li, Y.W., Chan, A.K.K. and Huang, Y. (2022), "Yun Dong Jia: find a silver lining on “cloud” during COVID-19 pandemic", , Vol. 12 No. 4.



Emerald Publishing Limited

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