Posts

I put out a survey two weeks back about ecommerce enablers to find out the sentiment towards these companies in ASEAN, if brands actually use them (why or why not), and areas where they believed partners could improve.

The answers I received were not what I expected.

60 percent of respondents reported using an “ecommerce enabler”, but given their answers, most didn’t understand the difference between a marketplace and an enabler.

ecommerceIQ

Very simply put, ecommerce enablers are service providers that help a brand execute its digital strategy through a one-stop solution. This solution encompasses content production, web platform optimization, performance marketing, technology to integrate all digital channels, all the way to customer care, fulfillment and/or delivering it to the end customer’s doorstep.

Ecommerce enablers provide a client with whatever it takes to sell successfully online.

Popular examples in Southeast Asia include: aCommerce, iCommerce, etc.

Lazada, Shopee, 11street are not ecommerce enablers, they are the platforms for businesses to sell on. Sure, they might lend a brand an account manager who periodically checks in but their goal is to push for lower product prices and exclusive channel promotions.

The marketplace is neither charging the business for this service or providing special treatment – if a better performing merchant comes along, it catches you later.

This is why Alibaba’s Tmall has its own list of Tmall Partners – specialised agencies that build functional stores for businesses on the Tmall platform. Tmall itself is not the enabler.

The same goes for marketing platforms such as MailChimp, payment gateways like Paypal and delivery companies like Kerry Express or NinjaVan – they may not be ecommerce enablers but they are important pieces of the ecommerce supply chain.

This distinction is vital to the growth of ecommerce in Southeast Asia, especially as most global brands – Samsung, Unilever, L’Oreal, etc. – are choosing to outsource their ecommerce BUs to other experts.

Why? Because inhouse teams aren’t sure how to structure themselves. Over 65 percent of global marketers feel teams are “somewhat integrated” or “broken out by channel”. For ecommerce to work, Marketing needs to align with Sales, and Service.

 

ecommerceIQ

But ecommerce isn’t a magical band-aid capable of fixing all problems – especially not corporate silos.

Aื FMCG industry leader recently asked me, “what is something you would do to improve my brand’s digital strategy?”

My reply?

“Establish internally what the business wants from ecommerce, who’s in charge of this division and the resources the business is willing to dedicate before even bothering to bring on an enabler. Without internal alignment, it becomes one inefficient mess and everyone ends up pulling hair.”

After working with some of the world’s top brands – Unilever, Microsoft, Reckitt Benckiser, Payless, Samsung – I’ve been fortunate enough to see how these well-oiled machines function and why it doesn’t necessarily work for ecommerce.

The beauty of digital is that it’s instantaneous, which is the complete opposite of how decisions are made in these enormous corporations. It’s new, it’s disruptive.

Online moves quickly and requires constant care because a store that never sleeps means inventory, pricing, recommendations, customer support need to be up to date 24/7. It gets even more complicated when the ecommerce enabler needs to manage a brand.com and a marketplace shop-in-shop (SIS).

What often gets overlooked by brands is the shift in power.

Dangling more visibility over the thousands of grey market and official sellers on its site, a marketplace will push aggressively for more deals, more exclusivity, more vouchers, now, now, yesterday, while the brand pushes back with the same tenacity, touting “channel conflict”, and scrambling to squeeze funds from other departments.

The brand finally ends up throwing paperwork at the problem two weeks past the deadline.

Who wins?

No one.

Certainly not the enabler.

How is it in 2018, we still don’t know how to do ecommerce?

As a marketplace, its job is to offer the best deals and shopping experience to customers to grab market share. It does this by subsidizing prices, and by nudging its merchants to sell more and offer exclusives.

As a brand, its job is to sell to as many customers as possible, keep its distributors civil, maintain brand consistency across channels and mitigate the amount of friction between departments. It does this by offering the same promotions to each channel partner, allocating resources in a democratic fashion and following processes to a tee.

As an ecommerce enabler, its job is to work with its client and ecommerce partners (marketplace, 3PL, payment gateways, etc.) to increase GMV by optimizing digital channels. It does this by executing on behalf of the brand a strong digital strategy, which sometimes means bartering with the marketplace for more visibility for its clients.

Ecommerce enablers are by far nowhere near perfect. Imagine a marriage counsellor trying to find compromise between two hot-headed and egotistic partners refusing to budge but still looking to have a long term relationship.

Oh, and sessions aren’t once a week, it’s an uphill climb everyday. This respondent hit it on the head when describing what they did not like about its enabler.

“Not mature business yet.”

While the concept of ecommerce is not new in the world, the execution, talent and best practices are still nascent in Southeast Asia.

Customers in APAC need education on ecommerce, a company’s ecommerce team in APAC needs education on how to work with other departments, and marketplaces in APAC are still figuring out how to be more like Alibaba and Amazon, two companies with over 10 years operating experience.

An ecommerce enabler is supposed to have all the answers. While a challenge to take on, especially in Southeast Asia, it’s a hot business with a lot to gain, and probably why ecommerce enablers have popped up all over Southeast Asia and India.

And it’s been somewhat positive for respondents using an enabler as majority would recommend it to a friend or colleague.

“Getting an ecommerce enabler should definitely be considered, regardless of what stage a business who wants or is doing ecommerce is in.”

“Allows me to focus on my core business capability and rest assured online segment is still moving along.”

ecommerceIQ

Now what?

Now that the distinction has been made between a marketplace, a payment gateway, a marketing tool and an ecommerce enabler who ties them all together, a business needs to decide whether it needs marriage counselling.

Is it more cost effective to invest and build a team to manage digital channels inhouse or outsource it to a third-party partner? The survey respondents listed reasons why they work with an enabler:

“Aligned with brand principal interest and cost effective”
“Short time to market, revenue growth”
“Strong communications, effective operations”

Now you’ve identified you need one, how do you choose an ecommerce enabler?

  • Assess the experience of its leaders – do they have a strong track record in high-performing digital businesses?
  • Assess the existing clientele – are you in a similar tier/size/industry?
  • Assess the company’s own digital footprint – their performance marketing will be telling of the performance marketing they do for you
  • Assess the scope of work – is the enabler incentivized to sell more for your business?

And now take a look at your own business and decide whether it’s ready to commit to ecommerce. Is there an efficient approval process in place for resource allocation and commercial sign off for digital channels? Is there a C-level stakeholder responsible for P&L?

If not, time to move fast because in the digital world, it’s either give all or risk losing a lot.

 

Want to build an ecommerce strategy in Southeast Asia or speak to an enabler? Send an email to hello@ecommerceIQ.asia or fill out the contact form below





    If you’ve been in Thailand and toured its popular landmarks, it’s most likely you have passed by a store packed with Thais and tourists alike buying bags and bags of…well, bags. Crowded stores filled with unmistakable colorful patterns distinguish NaRaYa from other locally produced labels and its popularity among Chinese, Japanese and South Korean tourists speaks volumes.

    The famous brand can be found at over 20 domestic stores scattered around Thailand and 13 international branches and after 30 years in the retail business, shoppers can finally go online to buy NaRaYa products.

    ecommerceIQ sits down with the decision makers at Narai Intertrade Co,. Ltd. to understand what plans they have for 2018 and what their definition of successful retail is.

    Obstacles to a fruitful online journey

    For a brand that has enjoyed immense popularity among women in Asia across all age groups, it seems the company is actually late to the retail game given the prevalence of ecommerce in Southeast Asia.

    A few factors explain why it took NaRaYa so long to finally focus on digital.

    Narai Intertrade Co,.Ltd., the parent company of NaRaYa, is a family owned business established in 1989 and is the manufacturer, distributor and official retailer of its own brand, making the supply chain a tangled web of complexities.

    But a common obstacle that keeps manufacturers and distributors from going direct to consumer is channel conflict. By selling online, the brand would be competing directly with its partners in other markets.

    “Initially, we wanted to focus on selling traditionally in our physical stores, and on being a wholesaler for our overseas partners,” shares Mrs. Wasna Lathouras, President of Narai Intertrade Co.,Ltd.

    “Doing ecommerce would mean cannibalizing our partners.”

    “If you notice on our website, you will be directed to the online websites of our overseas partners such as in Japan. If we were to go online, our cost would definitely be cheaper but reduce the opportunity of our partners to market and sell our products in their local markets.”

    So how did they get around upsetting current partners?

    Simple.

    “We launch ecommerce in markets where none of our dealers exist.”

    Channel conflict aside, the owners share a few factors that drove them to tilt the scales in favor of ecommerce. One, it was hard for the company to ignore the pressure to sell online, especially as the executives took to social listening to understand the needs of its customers.

    “We have really high demand for our products from customers that don’t live in major cities in Thailand. Being online, everyone with a mobile phone can get NaRaYa products in a few days,” says George Hartel, the company’s Chief Operating Officer. “It opens a new market and opportunity for us.”

    Two, they found a partner able to handle multi-channel retail and provide enough flexibility to expand across the region when the company was ready.

    Left to right: aCommerce Group COO Peter Kopitz, Narai Intertrade Co,.Ltd. President Mrs. Wasna Lathouras, Assistant CEO Mr. Pasin Lathouras, COO Mr. George Hartel

    “Both NaRaYa and aCommerce need to grow together. That’s why we need to have our backend and distribution center ready for offline distribution, while aCommerce will take care of the online distribution,” says Mr. Pasin Lathouras, Assistant Chief Executive Officer.

    Three, they realized what online could mean for new retail opportunities in the US, India and China markets and expansion even within home market Thailand.

    “I would say that 80% [online revenue] will come from overseas, and 20% from Thailand,” shared George. “This is because Thailand is a tourism based country and ecommerce is relatively early in Thailand so primarily people are still shopping offline.”

    And four, given their existing footprint, could they reach retail’s pinnacle, omnichannel?

    “We are starting an evolution with pure ecommerce in the beginning and in the future, we could roll out an omnichannel experience, for example, tourists can preorder at the airport and deliver to hotels.”

    But George is very clear in stating: “We are not substituting offline with online.”

    NaRaYa offline also gets a makeover

    The evolution of retail isn’t a sign that companies should close down shop and open webstores. What the headlines and trends instead point to are the expectations of a new shopper generation.

    What factors will nudge Thais to spend their newfound middle-class income?

    Shoppers waiting outside the mall with their bright yellow NaRaYa shopping bags.

    Part of creating a wholesome and attractive brand is greatly affected by the user’s sensory engagement in brick and mortar stores. As one loyal NaRaYa shopper put it,

    ‘Every time I visit NaRaYa, it makes me feel relaxed and free to choose my new bags with quality staff, if you want any help you can talk with them.’

    Enter the rise of ‘smart stores’ and new technologies bridging offline and online channels like RFID tags, smart mirrors in change rooms and even robots handing out cards to act as virtual baskets in Sephora’s case.

    While Thailand’s commerce industry is not ripe for robots, NaRaYa has plans to heighten its in-store shopper experience.

    Mrs. Lathouras shares details of the brand’s newest two-floor flagship store at ICONSIAM, scheduled to open in October of this year and estimated to span 1,450 sqm.

    Not only will the flagship introduce four new brands, making a total of seven sub-brands available for long standing fans, it will also incorporate a cafe serving local tea.

    The cafe will accommodate customers waiting for friends and family browsing in stores and offer a palatable drink menu suitable for its typical Asian shopper.

    The care placed in the customer experience is vital to building any successful business but creating a memorable shopping experience doesn’t come cheap. The company plans to spend up to 2 billion THB ($64M USD) on its distribution channels, existing and new, to not only expand its presence offline but also modernize its traditional brand image.

    ecommerceIQ

    New Lalama product line by NaRaYa freshen the brand

    “We want to rebrand our look and feel to be less housewives and domestic. We want to look modern and international but remain a luxury affordable brand.”

    The company’s soft launch online will be on Lazada Thailand next week and offer an initial 300 SKUs, while the official launch scheduled for May will look to imitate what is seen in physical stores.

    “NaRaYa wants global recognition, ultimately. Of course, it is a dream to see NaRaYa in fashion capitals but we are very conservative when it comes to our goals,” closes Mr. Pasin.

    It’s hard to escape news of changing consumer behavior and ongoing retail ‘disruption’, especially amid the year’s largest sales. An evident signal of this shift has been the steady decline in foot traffic to once widely /lopular Black Friday sales in shopping malls.

    Net sales on Black Friday slid 10.4 percent for brick-and-mortar chains, according to RetailNext.

    For digital-first businesses, launching online is a no-brainer. But what happens when you are an existing brand that is over 80 years old working with hundreds of distributors around the world? Speed and simple decision making are out of reach.

    At the Shangri-La at the Fort Manila, four brands – Abbott, Unilever, Payless, and Titan22 – each leaders in their own categories, were brought together by ecommerce enabler and e-distributor aCommerce to candidly share customer preferences, impact of traffic congestion and what must change internally in order to stay relevant in the future.

    This is what was discussed:

    1. More Filipino men pushing the carts

    “There’s a lot more male shoppers going for groceries, it used to be the woman that was in charge of nutrition labels, but now they tell men to do it,” says Christian Domingo with a laugh. He is the Head of Ecommerce for Abbott Philippines.

    Findings from a recent Nielsen study show that 40% of today’s grocery shoppers in the Philippines are men, an increase of six percentage points from last year. The driving factor? Affluent Metro Manila residents, especially in dual-income households.

    Nielsen

    Grocery shopping behavior for men and women in the Philippines. For more charts & graphs, visit here.

    What this means for brands is to rethink marketing strategies traditionally targeted towards women.

    Referencing another study, Christian attributed the popularity of ecommerce to worsening traffic conditions in the Philippines. CEO and owner of Titan22, the top sneaker retailer in the country, Dennis Tan, also shared his experience.

    “The customer decision window is getting shorter and shorter. It used to take days where people thought about purchases and then come back to it but now the entire process seems to happen with minutes.”

    He should know as Titan sold 400 pairs of Jordan Elevens during Single’s Day (11.11) in the first hour online.

    “I won’t drive for hours for a chance to get the right shoe size. Consumers have a lot of options where to buy products, so we need to offer a competitive advantage.”

    2. After-sales is as important as the purchase journey

    Ecommerce is commonly misinterpreted as the shopping experience on a website but what gets forgotten is the attention given to the steps that come after checkout.

    “How a customer feels after the purchasing experience is a big factor to the entire happiness experience to retail. This is one of the big pieces,” comments Dennis.

    “We need to give them inspiration, not only about the shoe, it’s about happiness guaranteed,” agrees Thea Lizardo, Head of Ecommerce for Payless Philippines (Footwear Specialty Retailers Inc.).

    3. Internal processes causing friction, there needs to be unified commerce

    aCommerce, ecommerceIQ

    Christian Domingo and Thea Lizardo from Abbott and Payless, respectively.

    “It’s not typically mentioned but an important factor to talk about is the hurdle of internal friction in terms of technology. There’s a lot of confusion around how we attribute sales,” mentions Thea. “ These discussions are vital to transforming the entire business.”

    “How do we remain competitive? How do we keep customers? It’s overwhelming for brands and business owners to adapt to all the changes because it’s so quick but at the end of the day, it’s understanding your numbers, your customers, your behavior and leveraging it.”

    “Internally, there is no P&L, who is going to own the digital marketing unit? The marketplace?” comments Christian.

    “It’s recommended [at Payless] to have a separate P&L, separate ERP for our ecommerce business as we didn’t want to disrupt the other 76 stores,” replies Thea.

    Another internal roadblock Christian hopes to push through is the company’s (lack of) unified shift to ecommerce.

    “We are selling milk online but other product divisions such as diabetic drugs need the push. They have hurdles like FDA approval, internal conflict, etc. but what we envision for 2018 is to go beyond the brand because it’s the user looking for a solution to a problem.”

    “We [Unilever] have a long heritage selling fast moving consumer goods but we need to move things faster,” closes Kay Veloso, Head of Ecommerce for Unilever Philippines.

    “It’s [unified commerce] not an unachievable dream, it’s a basic expectation. B2C, B2B – we serve the entire ecosystem to get the pulse of people we serve, and continue to adapt our brands to ensure their day to day needs are met through ecommerce.”

    aCommerce, ecommerceIQ

    Kay Veloso at the aCommerce Philippines Partner Media Workshop

    4. Data and mobile will pave the retail future

    Each brand has their own ideas about the main focuses for 2018. Unilever Philippines hopes to e evaluate its mobile experience to understand if it’s delivering the brand message across the board.

    “Omnichannel is the big trend that is here to stay in the Philippines. We need to provide consistent online and offline experiences and preserve the quality of our products both instore and online,” comments Kay. “80% is coming from mobile websites and the Philippines is actually the fastest growing mobile market in Southeast Asia.”

    Payless Philippines wants to leverage its data to better utilize its offline stores to become more customer oriented and explore new channels.

    “How can we leverage the 76 Payless stores and unify them to serve our customers better? We have online data, consumer data so we can map out our merchandising plan for various locations.”

    “Social commerce, exploring the space that we’re not in [social media] but also stores (they can be turned into fulfillment centers). Customers are becoming brand agnostic. We need to capture them when they are on their devices, not only at the mall, people no longer go online, they live online.”

    Titan, on the other hand, will focus on expansion through ecommerce to meet the demand growing outside of Metro Manila.

    “The challenge for Titan is all our physical stores are in Metro Manila while 50% of consumer base is outside Metro – we will continue to build on it and see what role innovation really plays for us.

    “At the moment, ecommerce is more defense than offense, but when you start playing offense is when you start to win.” — Dennis Tan, CEO and owner of Titan22

    “It used to be that companies had to set up a website because everyone was doing it but the companies that have their own internal ecommerce teams are the ones that are most successful, you need to be ones to drive and grow it in the organisation.”

    Dennis Tan from Titan22


    For more insights, sign up for the eIQ Weekly Brief, delivered every Friday morning.
    For more charts & graphs, check out our database.

    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.

    Originating from China, Singles’ Day online shopping festival has become Asia’s official Black Friday and Cyber Monday since 2009. Taking place on November 11th of every year, it was initially set up to celebrate the individualism of Chinese consumers but became an annual online shopping extravaganza that Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales combined cannot even touch.

    Southeast Asia’s very own Singles’ Day, nicknamed the Online Revolution, happens on the same day.  For the last class in the Leadership Ecommerce Accelerator Program, students learned how knowledge was put to action through a practical look at ecommerce operations in a 21,000 sqm fulfillment center handling B2B and B2C orders for 11.11.

    Project Management is the Backbone of Your Fulfillment Center

    Lai Tze Siung (TS), Operations Director aCommerce Thailand

    Lai Tze Siung (TS), Operations Director aCommerce Thailand

    Whether you are preparing for 11.11 or beginning to set up a fulfillment center, frequently asked questions often revolve around the capacity and resources needed to run the warehouse efficiently.

    So how do we answer such questions?

    Proper project management.

    At aCommerce, TS explains there are 5 stages: Initiate, Plan, Execute, Control/Monitoring and Closing. Some vital areas to watch out for is demand forecasting, which requires active communications with clients to plan for upcoming promotions and campaigns equating to high influx of orders.

    For special sale periods such as 11.11, the warehouse floor is re-adjusted to increase efficiencies for the shortest process cycle time. Customer expectations during the holidays are much high than normal and must be managed.

    Other tips? Ensure to call COD customers before arriving at their doorsteps to collect cash because many times they aren’t at home or don’t have the exact change.

    Over the years, the entire ecommerce landscape has changed and shifted the way our warehouses are built. The packing tables, shelves and racks need to accommodate larger items as more consumers become comfortable with ordering items such as refrigerators and TVs online.”

    After the presentation, TS and the operations team led the class through the fulfillment center to understand how customer service reps answer product questions.

    More people are using social media to connect with their brands. We have seen the number of phone calls declining drastically over the years.”

    The class was also showed how high-value items are stored in a secure location, which operations technology systems were running the backend and the entire picking and packing process.

    The flow of our fulfillment center

    A quick introduction of the safety measures and the fulfilment center operations.

    The tour started at the inbound station, where goods are delivered to be stored according to brand. Items are also categorized according to its popularity. The fast-moving items are placed near outbound for quick pick-and-pack and delivery.

    A walk through the large, bulk item section where 50” television, refrigerator, air conditioning units, etc. are stored.

    aCommerce uses movable workstations to bring the labels and processing to the large items.

    aCommerce staff explains the information each employee needed to complete the process. This includes the identification the location of the items or what are the items ordered in a basket.

    At aCommerce’s pick-and-pack stations, where the items are being packed into boxes and the system will automatically choose suitable logistics supplier to complete the delivery.

    As we come to the end of the first Leadership Ecommerce Accelerator Program, we look forward to celebrating the success of our senior executive class as they move forward in their companies with the new knowledge gained.

    Thank you to all of our lecturers from leading industry players such as Lazada, Pomelo, eatigo, Kerry Express, honestbee and aCommerce. Thank you to Sasin Graduate Institute for the support and input. And congratulations LEAP graduating Class 2017 for the completion of Southeast Asia’s first ecommerce executive program!

    For those interested in learning more about upcoming classes and workshops, please send us a message here.

    If you haven’t had a chance to catch up on the past nine highlights from the 10-week program, here are the links to the past insights:

    [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

    [LEAP Week 9] eIQ Insights: Thailand Must Do More With Less to Achieve a Digital Economy

    As internet adoption grows at a double digit pace year on year in Southeast Asia – a 31 percent increase last year – retailers and brands must find ways to capture the wave of the some 80 million new consumers coming online.

    Internet shopping has become one of the most robust areas of growth in the last few years, especially in markets like Indonesia and Thailand as both international and local ecommerce players pour money into winning the emerging digital customer in the region.

    In such a fragmented market segmented varying in cultures and languages, there are a few common key threads to be noted about the region’s increasingly affluent shoppers:

    • Southeast Asia is mobile first. Mobile subscriptions have increased by 8% since last year, adding an additional 60 million users.
    • Southeast Asian’s are the most actively engaged with social media. Indonesia is sometimes referred to as “Twitter city” whereas Total Access Communication Pcl, estimates that Thais spend up to six hours a day on Facebook and Youtube – the 8th highest in the world.
    • Southeast Asia has low credit card penetration and a large unbanked population – 73 percent – due to a lack of financial maturity.
    • There is an overall low trust in anything ‘digital’ due to its novelty and user unfamiliarity.

    So how do retailers, brand stores and marketplaces attract more consumers to shop on their websites?

    One highly successful and proven method is to incentivize with large discounts, leading to the emergence of some of the region’s most infamous flash sales.

    Sign up here to get the PDF.

    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