Here’s what you need to know for today.

 

1.Vietnam’s NextTech Group aims to be Rocket Internet of Southeast Asia

NextTech Group for Technopreneurs, the Vietnamese company that has invested in Indonesia’s first cross-border shopping platform WeShop – aims to build the Rocket Internet of Southeast Asia. This expansion is mutually beneficial for both his company and the regional ecosystem. The venture building model helps early stage startups grow with the builder’s existing resources and networks.

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2.The coming wave of ecommerce for consumer goods

Ecommerce is now a big and growing share of many FMCG product categories across the world. In many cases, these brands no longer need research-and-development departments, factories, salespeople or retail outlets. The combination of OEM suppliers, digital marketing platforms and ecommerce has disrupted the traditional barriers to entry and is reinventing the path to purchase. Read on how FMCG brands in Southeast Asia can welcome the digitalization of their industry.

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3. Big C Vietnam closes Cdiscount

Big C Vietnam says it will close its eCommerce site Cdiscount by the end of December.

The closure appears to be part of a policy change from Thailand’s Central Group after it bought the supermarket chain in April in a $1.14 billion deal. The company will soon change the chain’s name and it has other eCommerce brands and established sites it could expand into Vietnam.

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Before you dive into the Halloween candy craze, check out the headlines you should know for today.

 

1. Amazon says India investments showing results, but drain on global margins

Amazon’s finance chief also indicated that the company would continue to add resources to India. Over the past two months, Amazon has outsold Flipkart in terms of monthly sales, but Flipkart continues to be ahead of Amazon.

Read the rest of the story here.

 

2. Rumor mill: Lazada in talks to buy Southeast Asia grocery delivery startup Redmart?

Lazada, under Alibaba’s stewardship, is in advanced talks with Redmart, a Singapore-based grocery delivery service, to buy the company. Redmart is said to prefer an investment, but one source told us that an acquisition priced between $30-40 million could be agreed and announced as soon as this week.

Read the rest of the story here

 

3. The realistic future of AI for ecommerce

The days of negative revenue and buying market share in Southeast Asia are quickly coming to an end, and sustainable e-commerce is going to require a focus on user experience.

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4. Amazon takes aim at Alibaba by bringing Prime to China

Amazon has launched a tailored version of its Prime service in China to tap consumer demand for overseas goods, putting the U.S. online retail firm in closer competition with local rivals Alibaba and JD.com.

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Here’s what you should know before  you head out for the weekend.

 

1. Alibaba’s logistics ally, ZTO rides China’s ecommerce boom

 ZTO’s IPO Thursday raised $1.4 billion for the Shanghai-based firm, which is now worth about $12 billion. The company expect the express delivery market to consolidate further, and smaller players will start to be wiped out due to a lack of economies of scale and operational efficiency.
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2. 7-Eleven no longer selling AIS services

The convenience store giant has stopped offering all services nationwide related to the mobile phone operator. This suggests that as distributors get greedy due to position of power, more brands will see the benefit of owning their own online sites and become the go-to for their customers.

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3.  Emmi milk plans Asian expansion through Amazon

In Hong Kong, Emmi is already the third strongest yoghurt brand. In Singapore, Riedener sells Emmi products in many four- and five-star hotels and Singapore Airlines in Business Class as well as in expat shops in China.

 

Read the rest of the story here

In a recent study by McKinsey, Southeast Asia was identified as one of the fastest growing economies in the world with a combined Gross Domestic Product of $2.4 trillion. Southeast Asia is also home to a rapidly growing population of active internet users who are starting to use the internet to research products and shop online.

With an increasingly tech-savvy population used to conveniences offered by ecommerce in their everyday lives, it is only expected that this will influence ecommerce adoption for B2B sales. Decisions for companies are ultimately made by individuals.

And B2B sales are currently anything but convenient. A supplier selling electronics wholesale may have orders coming in from sales representatives by phone call, email, or even physical mail and fax. The difficulty of consolidating B2B orders from a variety of sources have been creating headache since 2001, as according to Richard Jacobson, ex-B2B Internet Research Manager of IDC Asia Pacific, “the biggest driver of B2B adoption is the lowering of administrative costs for buying and selling activities.”

In fact, the opportunities and benefits of B2B ecommerce in Southeast Asia have not gone unnoticed: Singapore Press Holdings is tying up with Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) to develop the region’s first bilingual B2B ecommerce platform to enhance cross-border trade between China and Southeast Asia. While UOB is reported to launch a B2B marketplace in the first quarter of 2017.

However, since these partnerships are still in the early stages, businesses won’t have an easy option for a while.

If you are running a B2B business in Southeast Asia and have been through the hassle of consolidating orders across a range of sources, it might be time to proactively move your wholesale business online.

On one hand, you could apply to sell on a B2B marketplace like Alibaba or Indonetwork or you could choose to set up an ecommerce portal on your own. Both marketplaces and private ecommerce portals have their benefits — it’s just a matter of choosing the B2B channel that best suits the size of your business.

1. For manufacturers and large scale distributors: Alibaba’s B2B marketplace

With US$1.49 billion in revenue coming from Alibaba international B2B marketplace and its portal for China-based buyers and suppliers, the wholesale behemoth is the product source for retailers shopping for everything from motorcycles to cashew nuts. For businesses looking to reach as many prospective buyers as possible, Alibaba may be your B2B channel of choice.

However, it is important to note that Alibaba is best suited for large-scale manufacturers who enjoy economies of scale and do not prioritize strong brand identity.

If you’re selling under a B2B marketplace like Alibaba, visitors will see Alibaba’s branding before they see your brand.

If Alibaba looks like the right fit for you, here are some best practices to keep in mind:

Get a paid membership

Alibaba offers “free” memberships, although the “free” option does comes with a catch. Your items will be ranked last, which makes it difficult for prospective buyers to chance upon your products. You will also be limited to only listing 50 products, and without having the product showcases, verified icons, customization, or the ability to quote for buying requests

 

Compete on other things beside price

With products on Alibaba as cheap as they are, competing on price alone can be difficult for SMBs. After all, the cheaper your products are, the lower your profit margin becomes. Instead of falling into a price war, you can offer faster shipping, or faster response time when it comes to customer service.

 

Ensure your images and descriptions are optimized

Take clear, high-quality product photos to give your buyers a good idea of what they’re paying for. Similarly, providing accurate descriptions of your products that outline all necessary specifications — from material to measurements — to provide potential buyers with everything they need to make an informed purchase.

2. For independent designers and distributors: Private wholesale portals

For B2B sellers who run a distribution business, a marketplace like Alibaba may not be the ideal space for business. Some may have exclusive rights to sell certain products or brands in a specific region, or they are selling items unique to their brand.

If branding is an important part of your business, a private wholesale portal ensures that you can maintain control over how your products are presented to prospective buyers.

There’s a big catch when it comes to private portals. Unlike the added discoverability offered by public marketplaces, wholesaling through your private site means that you’ll have to find alternative ways of driving retailers to your site.

A private B2B portal is suitable for businesses that are either already running a wholesale business or looking for a scalable wholesale B2B option. According to the customer satisfaction survey by TradeGecko, a cloud-based inventory management software company, there are some important areas of consideration when choosing a private B2B portal:

Inventory management

As your business grows, there will be more inventory to manage and having more inventory means it will become increasingly difficult to manage visibility of inventory levels, especially if you decide to open a separate store for wholesale purposes. If this sounds like an area of concern, using a system such as TradeGecko B2B ecommerce ordering platform will give businesses the opportunity to sync the inventory levels of a B2B site with shopping cart platform.

 

Automated notifications

Moving to the cloud also lets you link up different business applications like accounting and fulfillment to deliver better customer experiences through automated notifications that update your customer on the status of their order. By sending updates to your customers every step of the way, you’ll save plenty of time on fielding inquiries.

 

Bulk data import

When new retailers start purchasing, you don’t have to manually enter in all the customer’s data into the system. Instead, you can set up online application forms that enables the bulk import of data — reducing man hours and transcription errors.

This means that next year, whether adding 600 new customers or 6 million new customers, the amount of time spent on data-entry won’t change.

Adopting ecommerce for the B2B side of your business will enable you to stay ahead of the curve as you’ll be making it easy for your buyers to purchase products when they need it. After all, buyers are expecting the immediacy, transparency and accuracy of retail ecommerce to carry over into the B2B world now that it’s well infiltrated the B2C world.

By Vera Lim, Inbound Marketing Manager at TradeGecko

Here’s what you need to know this Friday morning.

 

1.  Alibaba and SingPost strengthen ties

Singapore Post’s (SingPost) ties with Alibaba were strengthened today as the Chinese online giant’s S$86.2m investment in SingPost’s logistics subsidiary Quantium Solutions International (QSI) was completed.

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2. World Bank says its easier to do business in Indonesia

The significant jump is reported to be based on improvements made in starting a business, getting electricity, registering property, getting credit, paying taxes, trading across borders and enforcing contracts.

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3. Singaporean startup Stendard helps small medtech companies reach global standards

The website helps companies generate the documentation they need for the compliance process by answering a series of questions about a company’s internal procedures, staff, and products. Available on a subscription basis.

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1. Lotte to launch Lotte.vn in Vietnam

Korean retailer Lotte is entering the Vietnam eCommerce market with Lotte.vn after six months’ preparation. By launching its first online shopping website on October 28, the Korean retailer is expecting to acquire 20 per cent of the online market.

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2. High growth for Chinese FMCG market

In 2010, the market was worth just US$1.4 billion – today it has exceeded $25.3 billion according to data from Euromonitor. It has far surpassed any other country in the world and is about twice as big as the US.

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3. Smartphones proved to be a boon for ecommerce portals during Diwali sale season

This year, the top retailers in Southeast Asia grew mobile sales by 37 percent year-over-year to now capture 54 percent of all eCommerce transactions.

Read the rest of the story here.