If you ask someone from Generation Y — more known as millennials — what they’re aspired to be growing up, you are more likely to hear answers involving occupations like doctors, engineers, or lawyers. However, ask people from Generation Z, and you will be surprised by how many of them mention social media influencer.

Why are more people pursuing this career path? Simple. They get paid to do something that they already love to do on a daily basis: posting on social media.

An influencer, someone with a substantial number of followers on social media, can generate a paycheck in the range of from US$124 to US$1,405 for one sponsored post, depending on the follower count.

How come a social media post worth that much? Moreover, why are so many brands willing to invest time and money in influencer marketing? 

The Influence of Social Media

One reason why influencer marketing becomes a powerful marketing tool is that influencers understand what today’s consumers want. Many of these influencers are regular people that gained their followers by curating contents that resonate with many people — earning them the power to influence their audience’s opinion and are more likely to be trusted by consumers.

Tofugear found that 55% of Gen Z consumers bought products due to the content shared by influencers. TBWA\Hakuhodo’s chief creative officer and executive creative director, Kazoo Sato, explained the phenomenon.

Influencers brings an entirely different perspective from ad agency creators. He understands what creates buzz for the smart-phone obsessed generation, and we intend to leverage this sensibility and perspective to involve brands in culture.

As a result, they’re able to devise contents that appeal to the brand’s target customers.

It’s also worth noting that influencers usually have their own niche and have followers that are interested in the same group, allowing brands to target the right audience effectively. Markerly found that those with fewer followers have higher engagement rates, most likely because the audience is interested in the product or the topic the influencer is advocating rather than just being fans of the influencer.

Figure 1: Instagram accounts with fewer followers have higher engagement rates; Markerly

In a region where social media is highly popular like Southeast Asia, where 55% of the population (around 360 million people) are avid social media users, it’s become more critical for brands to gain relevancy among their consumers in this platform.

Figure 2: Social media users in Southeast Asia account for only 55% of the entire region’s population; Hootsuite, We Are Social

Thanks to social media exposure, younger consumers also have an easier time connecting with the other consumers online and trust their opinion more than the ‘official’ brand channels or traditional media, because these people have experienced using it or are experts in the specific field.

The rise of social media usage has also raised the popularity of social commerce in this region. According to PayPal, 80% of Asian merchants use social media to sell online. The number is even higher for the three largest Southeast Asian countries. Thailand recorded the highest percentage of merchants using social commerce at 95%, followed by 87% of Philippines merchants, and 80% of Indonesian merchants.

Figure 3: Social commerce is popular among Asian merchants; PayPal

Case Study: Building a $1 Billion Business through Instagram

One of the most successful examples of influencer marketing is Daniel Wellington (DW), a Swedish watch company established in 2011. During its initial conception, DW is famous for leveraging several smaller influencers on Instagram to promote their product instead of choosing a celebrity to gain the same ‘viral’ effect with lower cost. 

By contacting many of these smaller influencers to post images of them wearing the DW watch in exchange for a free watch, the brand manages to invoke public curiosity and place their products in the eyes of potential customers and have the images speak for itself.

Figure 4: A Daniel Wellington Instagram post by Thai influence bikwansr; Bikwans’ Instagram

The result? Almost 4,700% revenue growth in the three years leading to 2015.

An effect to this extent won’t be as easy to achieve now as it did before as more brands are utilizing Instagram as their marketing channel and the platform has since set up posting guidelines to make it more transparent for users to see whether or not an advertiser sponsors a post. Still, it’s evident how powerful influencer marketing is when done right.

The Key to Influencing

There isn’t one right answer on how to choose the right influencer(s) for brands. However, there are some key rules brands should keep in mind when doing influencer marketing.

1. Alignment with Brand’s Audience

Know your audience. Enlist the influencer that has the same audience as your brand or product is targeting to, to ensure your message falls into the right ears and maximize the promotional effectiveness. One of the brands that did a good job with this was Lenovo.

Brief: To promote its new product line of YOGA 3 Pro and YOGA Tablet 2 Pro computers, Lenovo hired influencers, bloggers, and YouTubers to advertise their product on their platform using images, videos, and blogs that detailed their day using the product and promoted a giveaway. One of the influencers that were chosen was Kileen, a Dallas software developer and fashion blogger that works full time and has two kids.

The rationale behind this influencer: As a mom and fashion and beauty blogger, Kileen’s audiences are active, fashion-conscious women who are interested in fashion or lifestyle products. This match with Lenovo’s target, which wanted to position their YOGA 3 Pro and YOGA Tablet 2 Pro computers as a product that can be used daily for all kind of consumers, including active women.

Result: Although the blog post was only able to attract 62 comments, with other posts from other influencers, the campaign was able to garner 51 million social impressions and rank number eight as trending national topic in the US on Twitter. The giveaway also attracted over 61,000 entries.

Figure 5: A blog post by fashion and beauty blogger Kileen regarding Lenovo YOGA Pro 3; Kileen’s blog

2. The Influencer’s Engagement Rate

Brands should also take into account an influencer’s capability on engaging the audience and whether or not they’re someone your target audience can relate to and trust on, just like what Clinique did.

Brief: To promote better skin care routine among Men audience in general and introduce their new product line for men, Clinique for Men, the cosmetics and skincare brand partnered with 37 influencers from numerous fields, including stylists, filmmakers, lifestyle bloggers, and outdoorsmen. One of the influencers it worked with was Mikey de Temple, a surfer, photographer, and filmmaker from New York.  

The rationale behind this influencer: By partnering with someone unrelated to the fashion industry and more known for his professional works, Clinique was able to display how its new product line is used by regular people as a part of their daily activities.

Result: Despite his post only acquiring 748 likes (around 2.68% engagement rate), the campaign from the 37 influencers was able to garner an engagement rate of 3%, or 3.8 times higher than the post from Clinique’s official Instagram account. The campaign was also able to achieve 2.4 million impressions and over 67,000 interactions.

Figure 6: An Instagram post by surfer, filmmaker, and photographer Mikey de Temple to promote Clinique for Men; mikeydetemple’s Instagram

3. Do Homework on the Influencers

When choosing the influencers, it’s also important to see the history of their professional works to be able to judge their integrity and make sure all parties involved can able to meet all contractual obligations to prevent any future problems. Sadly, many brands failed to do this when they hired Instagram influencer and local photographer Daryl Aiden Yow.

Brief: Numerous big brands like Reebok, Dyson, Uniqlo, and Sony had hired Singaporean photographer and Instagram influencer Daryl Aiden Yow to promote their products on his Instagram platform. However, Mothership.SG exposed how he had been using stock photos from websites like Shutterstock and Pinterest and photoshopping himself in the images to promote their brands. Critically, Mustsharenews claimed that Yow had done this with the brands’ full awareness and approval.

The rationale behind this influencer: With Daryl Aiden Yow’s reputation as a photographer and his production of high-quality images, having him promote products on social media would show how picturesque and good the products are to his 115,000 Instagram followers.

Result: Post the expose, many individuals like APD’s Tim Sharp and Singaporean influencer Wendy Cheng and brands like Scoot and F&N Seasons have slammed both Yow and the brands. This not only damaged his reputation as an influencer but also brought down numerous brands’ name, resulting in contract termination from brands such as Sony and Issey Miyake.  

Figure 7: The number of Instagram posts on Yow’s channel drastically decreased from 1165 posts to 42 posts; darylaiden’s Instagram

Influencer marketing is an effective way to directly reach and attract your target audience without needing to spend millions of dollars on advertisements. However, like any other best marketing practices, personalization is needed when choosing these influencers to make sure you reach the highest level of engagement and in turn, your conversion rate.

Customer service goes beyond a smiley face and a friendly personality. In the world of ecommerce, where there is a lack of human touchpoints, customer service plays a vital role. When done well, it can help you increase your Average Order Value (AOV), boost your conversion rate, and create brand loyalty.

But gone are the days when customer service translated to 24-hour hotlines. In this day and age, customer service often comes in a form of live chat, recently popularized by all the hype around AI-driven chat bots.

In order to craft an effective customer care strategy, it is important to benchmark the level of customer service in the marketplace. To do that, ecommerceIQ conducted an experiment to test the responsiveness and effectiveness of brands offering live chat on Lazada Thailand.

Methodology

We randomly picked three brands from each category offered on LazMall, sampling a total of 27 brands across Lazada Thailand.

Each of the brands was asked the same single question – “How long does it take to deliver a product from your brand?” – during two time periods: during lunch time and after work. These are typically peaked online shopping hours, translating into peak load hours for live chat operations too.

Results: How Do Brands’ Customer Service Perform on LazMall?

From our observations, 25.9 percent of the brands offer a real-time response through Lazada live chat. 22.2 percent replied within 30 minutes, 22.2 percent replied within the first hour, 11.1 percent replied within 6 hours and 24 hours, and 7.4% of the brands did not reply at all.

It is also noted that the categories that are the most responsive are Electronics & Mobile and Home & Lifestyle.

Since our sample covers after work, off-hours too, this allows us to identify brands that have configured auto-replies for their live chat. Only 37 percent of the brands tested had auto-replies enabled. Setting up auto-replies is easy and a no-brainer in this day and age when everything is on-demand and 24/7.

ecommerceIQ’s observations about the responsiveness of live chat on Lazada Thailand

From our observations, 25.9 percent of the brands offer a real-time response through Lazada live chat. 22.2 percent replied within 30 minutes, 22.2 percent replied within the first hour, 11.1 percent replied within 6 hours and 24 hours, and 7.4% of the brands did not reply at all.

It is also noted that the categories that are the most responsive are Electronics & Mobile and Home & Lifestyle.

Since our sample covers after work, off-hours too, this allows us to identify brands that have configured auto-replies for their live chat. Only 37 percent of the brands tested had auto-replies enabled. Setting up auto-replies is easy and a no-brainer in this day and age when everything is on-demand and 24/7.

Xiaomi’s automatic reply which indicates the working hours and apologizes for the slow response in both Thai and English.

Most brands do add some human touch to their chats, such as using stickers and offering detailed information. But that is not enough to make an impression and the current live chat offering from brands are far from using live chat at its maximum ability.

How can Brands Improve their Live Chat on E-Marketplaces?

With these findings, brands should start paying more attention to their customer care strategies. We spoke with the Ms. Ratchaneewan Vichaisorn, Head of Customer Service at aCommerce, an end-to-end brand ecommerce enabler in Southeast Asia. Here are her suggestions:

1. Equip your Customer Service / Chat Agents with Product Knowledge

As the agents operating your live chat are an extension of your company’s brand, it is important that they receive adequate training for your products. This is especially the case for Mobile & Electronics and Beauty categories as product knowledge are often the deciding factor for shoppers in Thailand.

According to Ms. Ratchaneewan Vichaisorn, Head of Customer Service at aCommerce, during non-campaign periods, 35% of the inquiries through live chat are about products, while the number of inquiries about products surged to 45% during campaign periods like 9.9. (See how to prepare for the annual online mega sales here.)

2. Leverage the Opportunity to Up-Sell and Cross-Sell

Based on their product knowledge, your agents should be able to provide recommendations of similar products or complementary products that consumers may be interested in.

Brands can also take this opportunity to inform consumers of upcoming promotions to keep them coming back to buy the next time too.

3. Collect Data and Monitor For Customer Feedback

Talking directly to your customers is a great way for brands to collect data and feedback from end users. This information can then be used to improve a brand’s products and services. Because live chats are automatically logged, the chat histories can be mined for patterns and insights.

4. Promote Your Brand

Your customer service agent should be encouraged to offer more information about the brand to improve the relationship between the brand and the consumer. Towards the end of the chat, inform the customer about the channels that they can follow your brand for content, updates, and promotions.

These are a few tips that your brand can adapt to improve your customer service. If you’re interested in a similar audit for your own brand or a consulting session to improve your live chat operations, please contact us via hello@ecommerceIQ.asia or fill out the form below:





     

     

    After Facebook Messenger opened its platform to chatbots in 2016, it became the era of chatbots — more than 12,000 of them were deployed on Messenger by the end of that year. One year later, the number has risen to 100,000.

    Despite rising popularity of chatbots around the world, they didn’t take off as expected in Southeast Asia given the region’s affinity for texting through messaging apps. This was especially true in the region’s biggest market, Indonesia.

    Talent remains one of the biggest hurdles for AI or any other type of tech development in Indonesia, however, it is the inconsistency of the Indonesian language that presents an even greater challenge in developing the Natural Language Processing (NLP), that powers the chatbot.

    According to Irzan Raditya, co-founder and CEO of Kata.ai, an Indonesian B2B chatbot service provider that raised $3.5 million last year, more industry partnerships could be a solution to these challenges.

    “We need more collaboration between the service providers, API providers, and more local developers studying AI,” says Raditya. “Without the human resource, it will be impossible to make this technology a reality.”

    Launched in October 2016, Kata.ai actually evolved from a free text-based personal concierge service called YesBoss that recorded over 100,000 users at peak.

    Before the startup’s pivot, the company struggled to keep up with customer demand and chose to move to a more sustainable business model by targeting a new segment – B2B.

    ecommerceIQ speaks with Raditya to understand chatbots, his thoughts on its most promising applications and how his turbulent experience with YesBoss helped build Kata.ai to its present state.

    Learning the ropes

    Right from the start, the four founders of YesBoss were realistic about their venture.

    “We understood that it wouldn’t be scalable (to provide a concierge service) without AI,” admits Raditya.

    “And in order to build the algorithms, you need data and we collected tons of data from YesBoss.”

    “We learned how to make people’s lives easier through conversations gleaned from our concierge service answering different kinds of customer requests, be it booking a plane ticket or shopping online. Along the way, we learned we wanted a business that was more impactful and scalable.”

    With the man-power heavy B2C service provided by YesBoss no longer active, Raditya saw an emerging opportunity in the chatbot space in Indonesia.

    Sitting on a bank of data, Kata.ai became the first chatbot provider in the local Indonesian language.

    “By studying all the texts in Indonesian from YesBoss — the uniqueness of abbreviations, the slang, and complexity of certain phrases — we did the dirty work and spent over a year researching machine learning to build a comprehensive algorithm compatible with the needs of the Indonesian language NLP,” says Raditya.

    Now equipped with a chatbot able to understand the local language, what was the team going to do with it?

    Serving the enterprises

    As a conversational AI platform targeted at enterprises, Kata.ai develops a chatbot for companies to easily handle incoming customer requests and facilitate ecommerce in Indonesia.

    One of the brands that has developed a chatbot with the company is Unilever.

    Using a female persona named Jemma, the chatbot on LINE acts as a virtual assistant that liaises with customers on behalf of Unilever where customers can chat about everyday things including entertainment news and/or ask for beauty recommendations.

    Raditya says the chatbot is popular among female customers who like to ask for relationship and fashion tips.

    “As of now, Jemma has befriended over 2 million users on LINE and recorded over 200 million conversations to date within a span of one year since its launch,” says Raditya. “The longest chat session actually lasted for four hours.”

    Veronika is chatbot created by Kata.ai for Indonesia’s biggest telco company Telkomsel.

    Another chatbot that Kata.ai helped build is Veronica, the legendary brand persona of Indonesia’s biggest telecommunications provider, Telkomsel.

    By texting with Veronica on LINE, Facebook Messenger, and Telegram, customers can access product information, Telkomsel’s latest promotions, a live customer agent, as well as facilitate transactions such as phone credit top ups, buy data packages, make bill payments and reserve appointments with the company’s nearest offline customer service center.

    Envisioning a platform for all

    If the company’s enterprise solution provides brands with tailored chatbots, Kata’s newest venture released last month, Kata Bot Platform, hopes to provide developers with a enterprise-grade framework to help them create chatbots and reduce costs on tech development and research.

    “By releasing our platform to the public, we want to solve the ecosystem problem. A lot of Indonesian developers aspire to incorporate chatbots into their businesses but face the daunting task of building it from the scratch because there’s almost no platform that caters to the Indonesian language,” says Raditya. “Kata.ai provides the infrastructure so they can focus on building a good customer experience for the business.”

    NLS, one of the features available on Kata Bot Platform

    He also encourages all businesses to use the platform as it can accommodate up to one billion messages and isn’t restricted to only startups.

    Do chatbots live up to the hype?

    “We believe improving the technology of chatbots is important to capture an opportunity that exists in Indonesia’s strong chat culture and major shift in the interaction between people and technology.”

    This shift, according to Raditya, will see people utilizing less apps as it impedes the customer experience; from installing the app, registering for the service, learning how to use it, constantly having to update to new versions, etc.

    Chatbots, on the other hand, provide a more efficient way for users to interact with the service provider without having to familiarize themselves with a new interface as most Indonesians already know how to use popular messaging apps.

    “Chat is the new standard of user interface.”

    The CEO himself has a favorite AI-powered personal assistant service he uses to save time from shuffling through email chains based in Singapore called Evie.ai.

    “Engaging and intelligent chatbots allow businesses to turn these channels from information centers to profit centers, as shown with the case of Telkomsel. They can now monetize an audience of over 10 million connected to their social channels by selling data packages — something that they were unable to offer before,” shares Raditya.

    “If you take a look at consumer technology, changes are usually predicted in ten year cycles. The dotcom boom in 1997 changed the way people conducted business with websites. In 2007, Apple changed the landscape with the launch of the iPhone and app store,” explains Raditya. “During these periods, we saw companies coming out as winners carrying high valuation and delivering high impact to the economy.”

    “Indonesia is always left behind.”

    “With analysts predicting AI to become the one the driving consumer technology on 2017 onwards, Kata.ai can spearhead the wave of incoming local entrepreneurs by being the breeding ground for a new generation of botpreneurs,” says Raditya.

    His “big picture” approach was sparked during the Microsoft Accelerator program in Bangalore last year, in which all founders participated. The program provided 14 B2B startups with Microsoft’s resources and network to help accelerate their growth and Kata.ai was a finalist out of 1,500 applicants.

    Kata’s founding team. (L-R) Wahyu Wrehasnaya (CFO), Reynir Fauzan (CMO), Irzan Raditya (CEO), Ahmad Rizqi Meydiarso (CTO).

    “We learned to see things from right to left, which meant focusing on the goal first and working backwards to the process in order to achieve it,” says Raditya. “Another thing we learned is how to sustain innovation by being the Category Creator, Category Sustainer, and eventually the Category Destroyer.”

    “The program also gave us experience with the technical side of things, such as how to scale our infrastructure effectively to serve millions of customers.”

    Although the company’s focus is currently on Indonesia, Raditya isn’t counting out expansion to other countries.

    “Right now, we’re focusing on building chatbot technology that can offer customers a next level of service that is personalized using historical data,” closes Raditya. “But who knows, in one or two years, I think voice could be an interesting medium as well.”

    Recently in the news, Starbucks opened a new Roastery outlet on Nanjing Road in Shanghai last week begging the question, so what?

    There’s nothing surprising about a new Starbucks in China, except this is now the world’s largest one at 30,000 sqm, twice the size of its counterparts in the US and will be the first-ever to incorporate in-store augmented reality (AR), thanks to China’s most influential internet company – Alibaba.

    What can consumers do in this store powered by Alibaba’s technology and Mobile Taobao app?

    • Access a detailed map of the floors and menu with Alibaba’s location-based technology
    • Save favorite Starbucks products to their Mobile Taobao account
    • Scan key features around the Roastery to get information on coffee bars, brewing methods via animations
    • Earn a customized photo filter for sharing on social media
    • Ultimately, appeal to the digitally savvy Chinese audience

    Sure, China is an attractive market to invest in but what is Starbucks planning with its“most ambitious project ever”?

    An augmented reality app is used in the new Starbucks Roastery in Shanghai, China. Photographed on Friday, December 1, 2017. (Joshua Trujillo, Starbucks)

    Slow Growth Around the World

    Starbucks second quarterly earnings reported $5.29 billion, short $120 million of the expected $5.41 billion. While the coffee giant has found great success in its 46 years because of its consistent and convenient services and products, the company has felt the squeeze of rising competition from convenience stores and fast-food chains like McDonalds aggressively improving the quality and pricing of its beverages and menu.

    And so, to capitalize on a blue ocean, the company decided to focus on a region where coffee culture is only emerging

    Revenue from Asia Pacific makes up almost 15% of Starbucks’ annual revenue, a 5.5% increase from five years ago.

    It’s obvious to us that the holding power of China for Starbucks is going to be much more significant than the holding power of the US,” — Starbucks’ founder and Chairman Howard Schultz.

    As the Chinese economy grows, Starbucks’ success does as well in a country where disposable incomes increase and the younger generation is attracted to quality-driven and unique brands that speak to who they are.

    “For coffee, there’s a certain kind of ‘in-the-know’ from consumers who seek out these good boutique shops,” said Jack Chuang, partner at OC&C Strategy Consultants who studied the Chinese coffee market.

    Although still predominantly a tea-drinking nation, China is rapidly developing a taste for coffee, an activity previously thought was for the affluent or Westerners.

    Jack Ma’s New Retail Vision Reinforced Through Coffee

    What does Alibaba get out of it?

    It was as recent as Single’s Day when Jack Ma announced the ‘New Retail’ concept that aims to blur the line between conventional brick-and-mortar retail and ecommerce with the help of technology and data.

    In the coming years, we anticipate the birth of a re-imagined retail industry driven by the integration of online, offline, logistics and data across a single value chain,” — Jack Ma.

    Alibaba’s HEMA Supermarkets already blur the line where consumers can shop for groceries online via the HEMA app and receive them within half an hour, or scan barcodes at the store, pay via the app, and set up delivery.

    A shopper can easily scan barcodes in the store and pay for the products through the HEMA app before having them shipped home. Source: Alizila

    Partnering with a highly influential brand like Starbucks and providing them with the right technology is Ma’s push for even faster digital adoption..

    A survey has shown that 40% of consumers are willing to pay more for a product if they could experience it through AR, and 71% claim that they would shop at a retailer more often if they offered AR.

    Seems like Starbucks and Alibaba will be brewing some heavy money in China.

    Bitcoin is the mother of all Ponzi schemes.

    It will crash and fade at some point. But on the way to its inevitable death, the journey may make many more insanely rich. This is a global high-velocity bubble, the first in which the entire world can easily participate in.

    And so it could be HUGE.

    But it will end in tears.

    Why? The problem isn’t that Bitcoin is digital. I’m cool with digital.

    I do get that paper currency is nothing more than paper printed by a government.

    But suppose I started a paper currency, the Asim Dollar, and stated that I legally cannot print more than 1,000,000 Asim Dollars ever, just like the cap on Bitcoin.

    The question is would anyone use, or give a value to, Asim Dollars?

    If I was the first person to think of this, in amongst a group of cavemen, I might get some traction but once everyone sees others making new paper currencies, the Asim Dollar will collapse.

    That applies to Bitcoin too. Bitcoin is open source so it’s damn easy to copy, and those copies can be improved on, which is what we’re seeing happening.

    The new copies of Bitcoin address some of the weaknesses of Bitcoin, in particular speed of transaction and the blockchain file size.

    So when they’re better where will that leave Bitcoin?

    Cryptocurrencies in general also have other fundamental issues. Given they’re decentralised who do you go to if your Bitcoin suddenly disappears? No one.

    And can anyone give any assurance that today’s hack of US$64m of stolen Bitcoin will not be the first of many hacks? Nope.

    Further, the lack of price stability makes Bitcoin far from ideal as a currency.

    The only currencies that have maintained value are ones that are backed by something like gold or ones that are backed by legislation and a government.

    Bitcoin is neither.

    Bitcoin is a scam. And while blockchain technology has uses, it’s massively overhyped in large part due to Bitcoin itself.

    The future of money is digital. But it’s not Bitcoin…

    Source: Quora, answered by Asim Qureshi, CEO LaunchPad, 5 $1-10m startups (including Jibble.io)

    ecommerceIQ, together with Sasin SEC, created the Leadership Ecommerce Accelerator Program (LEAP) to provide the fundamental knowledge and skills needed to successfully run an ecommerce business in the world’s fastest growing market.

    As ecommerce widely becomes second nature around the world, developing countries must take charge with new models, mindsets and regulations to assist businesses in catching up with their consumers. Thailand has long been making moves towards a new economic model – Thailand 4.0.

    In the ninth week of LEAP, global payments unicorn, Adyen, shared insights on the region’s check out habits and Korn Chatikavanij, former Finance Minister of Thailand, discussed the country’s much needed progression to new policies and attitudes.

    1. Why a Payment Can Fail?  

    Bradley Riss, Adyen Head of Business Development APAC

     

    ecommerceIQ, LEAP

    Not many students in the room or across the Southeast Asia for that matter have heard about Adyen, but that’s because the global payments provider works in the background for clients such as: Uber, ofo, MANGO, Spotify, Dropbox and ZARA.

    While the concept of payments may seem extremely simple for those accustomed to digital transactions, in a region where bank accounts and credit cards aren’t trusted, facilitating ecommerce payment can be tricky.

    LEAP2017, Payments

    According to the World Bank, over 150 million adults above 25 do not have a bank account and based on Adyen’s data, these are the top reasons why a payment can fail:

    LEAP2017, ecommerceIQ

    The “Do not honor” or Invalid Service Code messages indicate that the customer’s card issuing bank will not validate the transaction and provide an authorization code or the credit card being used for the transaction has been rejected by the bank.

    To resolve the issue, the shopper must contact their credit card issuing bank and obtain a verbal authorization code for the transaction. Once obtained, the transaction can be captured manually.

    A student asks, “if my customers haven’t adopted online payments yet, what can I do as a business to facilitate transactions?”

    Bradley’s reply?

    You can only offer a local solution. For example, work with convenience store providers like 7-11 and allow them to facilitate transactions.”

    2. Korn Chatikavanij: Technology is Coming to Save Us

    Korn Chatikavanij, President of Thai Fintech Club

     

    LEAP2017, ecommerceIQ

    The former Finance Minister of Thailand started with encouraging words about the country’s development such as the country’s national income per capita has grown by 300% from 1986 at $800 to $2,500 at 1994. But he also highlighted certain issues that have caused the government to decide that it requires a new economic model in order to keep up with the world.

    The income inequality between the richest 20% and the poorest 20% has remained at a 13 times difference for the last 30 years. And while this means that the entire Thai population has benefited from the booming economy, 13 times is severely high in even the most unfair circumstances. This is especially true when looking at a developed economy such as Japans, which has an income gap of only 3 times.

    What is the best solution Korn believes can tackle this problem?

    Access to good education and technology.

    Urbanisation in his eyes is a good thing. When farmers become city dwellers, they will have more money in their pockets because economic opportunity is better in cities. And when people have more money to spend, their behavior changes to that of an urban middle class – more leisure travel, more consumption.

     

    And even if more farmers move to the city, the country has enough natural resources to sustain itself and for export but without technology, the Thai people cannot capture and utilize its full potential.

    The way we manage a key source as a country that calls itself an agricultural center is damning.”

    He is referring to the amount of natural rainfall that occurs in Thailand. If the quantity is scaled to 100 droplets, the country only uses four out of the hundred.

    ecommerceIQ

    Korn concluded with a word of advice for the entrepreneurs and C-levels in the classroom,

    Consumers don’t change just because your tech is better. They change because the service provider has not adapted to their needs.”

    My Thai channel provider stopped providing me with HBO, so it was only then I finally decided to switch to Netflix and now I’m hooked because their technology is superior.

    The final class of the 10-week program will conclude on Thursday November 16th, with a tour of a fulfillment center to understand how 11.11 and 12.12 campaigns impact day to day ecommerce operations. Stay tuned for next week’s takeaways and keep up with learnings from the last eight weeks.

    [LEAP Week 1] eIQ Insights: The New Ecommerce Opportunity in Thailand
    [LEAP Week 2] eIQ Insights: Refinement of an Ecommerce Channel Strategy
    [LEAP Week 3] eIQ Insights: Market-Product Fit First Before Anything
    [LEAP Week4] eIQ Insights: Central Marketing Group’s Shares Phase II of Digital Strategy
    [LEAP Week 5] eIQ Insights: Startups Need to Have an Independent Source of Income to Survive
    [LEAP Week 6] eIQ Insights: In Mobile Commerce, App Install is Only the Starting Point
    [LEAP Week 7] eIQ Insights: Logistics and Fulfillment, The Other Side of The Ecommerce Coin
    [LEAP Week 8] eIQ Insights: Looking to Succeed in Fulfillment and Logistics? Start with Data and People