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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.

A shopper tapping the ‘buy now’ button is often seen as the last stage in the ecommerce funnel, but companies should understand that it doesn’t stop there.

The warehouse hustle bustle, weight of package, and even presentation of the delivery man not to mention the possibility of a return all can determine the extent of local success a company finds and whether if their operations make expansion plausible.

In the eighth week of eIQ x Sasin: LEAP, lecturers stress the details that make e-fulfillment successful and how each tiny misstep can lead to additional man power, longer work hours and missed deadline.

1. Setting Up a Fulfillment Center Requires A Lot Data and Elbow Grease

Kenneth Thean, aCommerce Regional Director of Solutions Design

 

LEAP2017, ecommerceIQ, aCommerce

Ask anyone about a warehouse and they’ll probably draw a building with some shelves and people in it. While these elements exist, creating the right framework to manage the flow of inbound and outbound goods means companies need accurate data.

ecommerceIQ, LEAP2017

First step in designing a fulfillment center, analyze. Source: aCommerce

Before investing in a large costly warehouse, sophisticated technology and assets, use data to assess your actual requirements. Kenneth shares a few mistakes clients often make when planning.

“Very commonly, companies expect to see exponential growth and overestimate order volumes. Always consider the accuracy of your data, do a check to avoid unrealistic forecasts to ensure the sustainability of your fulfillment center.”

2. Kerry Express: How We Grew From Nobody to Somebody

Alex Ng, Kerry Express Executive Director

 

LEAP2017, ecommerceIQ

Kerry Express launched in Thailand in 2013 and in four short years, the company ships 500,000 packages a day, operates 500 distribution centers and is the number one parcel delivery company in the country.

How did they grow and ensure customer satisfaction at the same time? Alex attributes it to having the best people and keeping it ‘stupid simple’.

ecommerceIQ

The growth of Kerry Express in five years. Source: Kerry Express

A student asked Alex, “how do you ensure that the workplace environment is genuinely a happy one?”

“Reduce the mundane routines, bureaucracies and eliminate workplace politics. There is no room for politics at Kerry, only for real work.”

3. Market Expansion? It’s Ok to Copy and Paste

Kawin Prachanukul, Country Head and Co-founder ShopBack Thailand

 

LEAP2017, ecommerceIQ

The components Kawin had to assess when launching UberX in Thailand in only 10 days.

 

“Uber has its ups and downs, but what they have been able to accomplish in terms of market expansion is admirable,” says Kawin, ex-Uber Thailand Operations Manager.

While at Uber, Kawin shared how his first major task was to launch UberX in only 10 days. How?

“It was only possible because the company’s global team has documented and tracked each and every one of their multiple steps when launching a new market, including learnings and failures. It makes expansion easier because all the local market needs to do is copy and implement.”

The last in-class session of the program will finish on Thursday November 9th, covering payments with case studies by global unicorn, Adyen. Stay tuned for next week’s takeaways!

[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

commerce marketing

Criteo Exec Connect 2017 in Bangkok

“The question that needs to be asked is not for more channels but have we maximized our efforts in the current ones?”

This comment comes from Scott Minteer, VP of Online Marketing at LOOKSI (previously Zalora Thailand), during an executive roundtable held by Criteo Exec Connect last week.

The once popular question, “should I go online?” has long passed.

In a room filled with the region’s top ecommerce players, enablers and forward thinking global brands – LINE, Lazada, Agoda, Beiersdorf, Meiji, aCommerce, Orami, Konvy, etc. – the question has now become, “how do I maximize the returns on my existing ecommerce assets?”

How can I drive a higher number of quality users to my app, my webstore, my marketplace shop-in-shop to increase conversions?”

When the majority of retail’s biggest names are trying to reach customers through a desktop/mobile website, marketplace official shop, and/or dedicated app, it’s easy to get lost in the digital space.

This is where quality commerce marketing technology comes into play.

Companies with vast ad networks mixed with new age machine learning such as Criteo, one of the world’s largest commerce marketing ecosystems, exist to help growing businesses like fashion retailer ZALORA and booking giant Expedia capture the attention of Southeast Asia’s most relevant 200+ million digital consumers.

Commerce Marketing

Alban Villani (Criteo), Julien Chalté (LINE), Thanawat Malabuppa (Priceza)

ecommerceIQ chats with Alban Villani, General Manager of Criteo Southeast Asia, Hong Kong and Taiwan, to understand where the region stands in terms of marketing maturity, how brands can optimize online performance and how businesses can adapt to gain more from marketing tech.

But First, Education.  

There are multiple ways that a business can drive traffic to its ecommerce store – banner ads, search keywords, SEO-optimized content, etc. – but marketers need to first understand if they are utilizing the right channels for their market.

Is the business driving traffic to the best channels?

Alban believes there are a few changes that need to happen before retail can really take off in the region.

  1.     Ditching a conservative approach

“Smaller brands need scale and personalization to compete on equal footing with larger retailers. Sometimes all marketing effort is still placed only on desktop,” says Alban.

The desktop started as the main device favored by consumers to shop on but in order to reach the new generation of shoppers using various devices to browse through multiple platforms, companies need to capture much more information than the conventional statistics reveal such as age, gender, geographic location, etc.

MatahariMall.com, one of Indonesia’s largest retailers, used a Criteo specialized retargeting tool to discover an online visitor’s readiness to purchase by assessing factors such as consumers’ online navigation patterns and what they add to ‘shopping carts’. This increased the e-retailer’s advertising ROI by 900%.

Once a customer has been segmented, simple dynamic retargeting tools can then display the most relevant ads in real-time to them later in the purchasing funnel and local brands can leverage targeted marketing to capture relevant shoppers outside the walls of their own assets on third-party apps like Facebook.

Take for example, Joan is browsing on the Lazada app for a Maybelline lipstick on the brand’s official SIS (shop-in-shop) during her morning commute to work. In the evening, she accesses her desktop computer at home to look at vacation photos on Facebook when she notices an ad that shows her the same lipstick she didn’t purchase earlier in the day. She decides to buy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1vgAQvWZMzk

Businesses of all sizes are slowly beginning to realize that channels are all connected and marketing efforts should reflect the same by tracking cross-device and cross-platform performance.

  1.     Investing into a mobile application

“They [brands] are already making money on web, so they don’t spend too many resources on app,” says Alban.

Southeast Asia’s affinity for smartphones has caused companies such as Shopee and LOOKSI to adopt a mobile-first strategy to reach a wider audience. By building an app with strong UX and ads targeted at encouraging installs, they can directly send alerts and deals with loyal customers.

Central Group’s Scott commented that majority of the LOOKSI’s revenue came from its app.

Commerce Marketing

LOOKSI app advertising

“We build brand awareness through desktop so it’s still needed but the conversion rate is higher on the app,” says Scott.

The popularity of mobile apps in the region and performance marketing tactics like in-app retargeting by Criteo increased Zalora’s app traffic and sales transactions by 9X from September 2015 to 2016.

More than 4 in 5 Thai respondents find it more enjoyable and convenient to use a retail and shopping app over a brand’s mobile website – Criteo APAC Research

“The key to mobile success is keeping the retention rate high because even a 5% increase could grow the value of purchase from anywhere between 20 to 90%,” shared Ronen Mense, VP Asia of Appsflyer, during the roundtable.

“You can talk about the future and what’s going to happen based on future technologies like progressive web apps, AR, VR,” he continues. “But the most important thing to focus on is where your consumer is engaging with your brand and service today. If you wait until a new technology reaches critical mass, it will be too late.”

“The focus isn’t only on installs anymore, the key challenge for brands is encouraging repeat usage and improving conversions,” says Alban. “Very simply, it costs more to acquire a new user than it is to retain an existing one.”

A Real Marriage Between Online and Offline Data

“Thailand started to slow down in [retail] progress a year and a half ago. What we have seen is mostly consolidation, meaning there are fewer ecommerce sites and fluctuating churn.”

Less opportunity has led to an emerging hybrid model where brands and ecommerce sites must work together.”

What Alban is referring to is a symbiotic relationship where ecommerce platforms like Lazada, Konvy, etc., build tools to enable sellers to gain more visibility on its platform and sellers in turn, share consumer behavior data – what do they like to buy? Which products do they purchase together, what time do they like to purchase?, etc.

“Lazada wants brands to be more involved, we empower them through our platform and technology, while brands bring in their deep consumer knowledge,” commented Aurélien Pallain, EVP of Marketing at Lazada Group, at Criteo Exec Connect.

Although marketplaces are slowly developing in-house solutions to help its sellers drive traffic to their shop-in-shops, majority are still heavily dependent on off site re-targeting agencies to acquire high volumes of traffic by tapping into a large publisher network.

“Data sharing is necessary to help companies maximize their online performance, it benefits all parties and ultimately the consumers by allowing brands to reach them with relevant offers,” added Julien Chalté, Head of Ecommerce at LINE Thailand.

To optimize existing ecommerce assets is to optimize available marketing tools through data.

But in order to capture valuable data, structured systems need to be in place internally in a business and this is where Thailand’s traditional retailers and brands lack maturity.

Criteo has the capacity to utilize a brand’s offline database to reach a custom audience online, but very few players in Thailand’s retail industry have tech-powered brick and mortar stores or “clean, usable data” from offline purchases.

“Criteo uses first-party data, never the third party, to build quality product recommendation so clients use us as a discovery tool as well as a conversion tool.”

“We can take data from the brand that they have collected from their CRM, loyalty cards, and offline transactions and match it with our recommendation engines for O2O [offline-to-online] marketing but not many businesses have this type of information readily available,” says Alban.

How can this be fixed?

By holding more brainstorming sessions like Criteo Exec Connect and building more partnerships within the ecommerce ecosystem between enablers, platforms and brands, Alban feels positive about the region’s development and piquing interest from brands looking to improve existing marketing efforts.

Commerce Marketing

Criteo Exec Connect 2017 in Bangkok

“Smaller brands must tap into an open commerce marketing ecosystem and use machine learning to connect shoppers to the products they need and love. Criteo’s technology allows them to engage shoppers with relevant experiences on both retail apps and third-party platforms directly driving sales and profits.”

“There’s actually a quicker speed of adoption in Thailand than Singapore between brands and agencies. The big difference is in the average revenue per user (spend) but most brands are more interested in looking at market potential.”

And where else has a brighter potential than Southeast Asia’s online future?

Download the Report2017 Criteo APAC Research: App Commerce Goes Big in Thailand

THIS POST IS SPONSORED BY CRITEO

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.

The third week of LEAP dove into a session disproving what most marketers still commonly think of as the “magic dust of strong sales” and introduced digital marketing concepts such as SEO, SEM and retargeting tools to students looking to grow their customer base.

Here are some of last week’s LEAP highlights:

1. “Growth hacking is bullshit, there is no shortcut to growing your business”

SHEJI HO, GROUP CMO, ACOMMERCE
ecommerce growth marketing

Sheji Ho, aCommerce Group CMO at LEAP 2017

The biggest takeaway from Sheji’s two hour lecture on digital marketing is that companies should ask themselves “if the market needs their product” before spending money on Google and Facebook ads. Popular businesses like ofo, Seekster and Blue Apron, may run into trouble because they lack what Brian Balfour refers to as “market-product fit”.

Examples below:

ofo – Thailand’s roads are the second deadliest in the world, does it make sense to have bike sharing in Bangkok?

Seekster – home service on demand started in the US but churn rate began increasing because once a user finds a suitable cleaner through the platform, most home owners would take the transaction offline.

Blue Apron – once people learned what ingredients to buy and how to cook the meals, would they continue ordering expensive meal kits?

ecommerce growth marketing“Before you spend money at your product, does your business make sense in this time and this market? Because if not, people won’t use your product regardless of how much money you throw at it.”

2. Ok Google, teach me about SEO

KORAVUT PAVITPOK, HEAD OF GROWTH MARKETING, ACOMMERCE
ecommerce growth marketing

Koravut (Bom) Pavitpok, aCommerce Head of Growth Marketing

What is Google’s market share in Thailand?

A whooping 99%.

It’s almost essential then to understand how Google search can drive quality online traffic to your website through proper SEO (search engine optimization), SEM (search engine marketing) and dynamic retargeting.

Based on factors such as search volume and intent, companies can bid on keywords to capture the attention of Thailand’s most likely buyers.

ecommerce growth marketing

The more accurately you can target users on the lower end of the funnel, the more likely to see conversions on your ecommerce channels.

Think of Google search like street names,” says Bom Pavitpok. “You want to be on the most popular street for your particular category.”

The next LEAP class is on Thursday September 28th, 2017 taking a look at social media marketing, Google analytics and a Central Marketing Group case study. Stay tuned for next week’s takeaways.

[LEAP Week 1] eIQ Insights: The New Ecommerce Opportunity in Thailand

[LEAP Week 2] eIQ Insights: Refinement of an Ecommerce Channel Strategy


Sign up for the eIQ Weekly Brief to receive weekly ecommerce insights.

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.

The second session of LEAP dove into a common problem faced by many traditional businesses looking at ecommerce – what online channels should I be selling on?

Factors involved in building an effective retail channel strategy was dissected during this week’s module conducted by managers from leading regional ecommerce enabler aCommerce.

Topics for the week included: multi-channel online distribution, choosing a tech platform to build a webstore and key ecommerce metrics to capture.

Here are some of this week’s LEAP highlights:

1. Criteria for Choosing the Right Online Marketplace

RAPHAEL GAILLOT, REGIONAL DIRECTOR OF BRAND COMMERCE, ACOMMERCE
ecommerce channel strategy

Raphael Gaillot, Regional Director of Brand Commerce, aCommerce

In Southeast Asia, there are typically four channels a brand can sell through: a brand.com, a popular online marketplace, e-retailer, and/or social media (FB, LINE, Instagram, etc.). To test the market’s demand for its product, many brands begin with top marketplaces such as Lazada or Shopee in Thailand.

Raphael shares a few criteria brand managers should consider before choosing a marketplace to allocate resources to:

ecommerce channel strategy

What are the top marketplaces in Singapore? Share your email to receive it here

2. The Right Technology for a Webstore

MANDY ARBILO, HEAD OF REGIONAL WEB DEVELOPMENT, ACOMMERCE

Depending on the country a business is operating in, the level of ecommerce platform maturity differs but the most important part of any shoppable webstore is the features that allow businesses to retain customers and guide them down the ecommerce funnel.

ecommerce channel strategy

Mandy Arbilo, Head of Regional Web Development, aCommerce

Below are a few examples of website features as shared by Mandy:

  • Discovery – SEO/SEM, affiliate feeds, etc.
  • Consideration – Product details, beautiful imagery, etc.
  • Conversion – Promotions and discounts, etc.
  • Loyalty – Loyalty points, wish lists, etc.
  • Advocacy – Gift wrapping, product reviews, etc.

ecommerce channel strategy

“Products delivered to the hands of customers may be the final touchpoint in the theory of ecommerce but in reality, it is not.”

The last touchpoint? Implementing the right levers so they keep coming back.

3. Analytics to Monitor in Ecommerce

MARIE ENAUD, REGIONAL HEAD OF BRAND COMMERCE OPERATIONS, ACOMMERCE

Traditional businesses can think of the layout of their ecommerce storefronts similar to an offline store.

“In a supermarket, store managers would put the eggs and milk near one another because you know these are items that people commonly buy together. The same works for a webstore.”

ecommerce channel strategy

Marie Enaud, Regional Head of Brand Commerce Operations, aCommerce

Marie stressed that through data collection and rigorous analysis, companies would understand which SKUs (stock keeping unit) would perform the best and which products would do more poorly. This allows demand forecasting, stock allocation and determination of successful campaigns.

Opening a brand.com store would provide a wider range of customer data such as buy frequency, time of purchase, types of products bought together, etc. but marketplaces such as Lazada have begun sharing more customer data such as gender mix, age mix and geographical reach.

ecommerce channel strategy

“Is there any shortcut to capturing this data and understanding customer behavior?” asked a student.

“There’s no shortcut to gathering intelligence for ecommerce. It’s best to implement these processes as early as possible and to remember that what worked offline doesn’t mean it will succeed online. Monitoring the data is necessary.”

The next LEAP class is on Thursday September 21st, 2017 taking a look at digital marketing tactics in Southeast Asia. Read LEAP Insights from last week: [LEAP Week 1] eIQ Insights: The New Ecommerce Opportunity in Thailand.


Sign up for the eIQ Weekly Brief to receive weekly ecommerce insights.

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

Southeast Asia’s first ecommerce program kicked off last Thursday with three lecturers from honestbee, L’Oreal and aCommerce teaching a full class of C-suites and Senior Managers from banking, travel, retail and FMCG industries, etc.

Every week after class has wrapped up, we will be sharing a few highlights from each session.

Welcome, Class of 2017.

1. Thailand’s Emerging Digital Consumer, the Super App, and Marketplace Verticals

PAUL SRIVORAKUL, ACOMMERCE GROUP CEO, CO-FOUNDER ARDENT CAPITAL   
LEAP Ecommerce Course Southeast Asia

Paul Srivorakul, aCommerce Group CEO, co-founder Ardent Capital

Messaging platforms are the emerging leaders in the ecommerce space to watch for because they’re no longer just social platforms but have the capacity to move up and down the value chain to become a ‘super app’.

An example is LINE: LINE@ (advertiser), LINE Shop (ecommerce) and LINE Man (on-demand).

LEAP Ecommerce Course Southeast Asia

Convergence of media, advertising, ecommerce and logistics. These brands move up and down the value chain

With millions of dollars behind titans such as Go-Jek, Lazada and Tokopedia all fighting for the region’s 200+ million internet users, what’s left for SMEs? According to Paul, the future is in vertical marketplaces.

“It’s more important to build a community around your company’s products and services than continual subsidizing because what matters is the consumer experience.”

2. What is a Product?

BOUNTHAY KHAMMANYVONG, HONESTBEE THAILAND COUNTRY MANAGER

product can be the feel of your packaging, it is the brand image, the UX on your website, it is essentially everything that reaches your end consumer.

LEAP Ecommerce Course Southeast Asia

Bounthay Khammanyvong, honestbee Thailand Country Manager

“It is imperative to define and understand your product to understand who is your real competition and whether you can avoid a war.”

And for ecommerce, make sure to offer consumers something they won’t be able to find offline. Otherwise, what’s the point?

3. The 10 Golden Rules to Succeed in Ecommerce as a Brand

PRAPONSAK (CAFAE) KUMPOLPUN, L’OREAL ECOMMERCE MANAGER

As a brand builds its digital strategy from the initial strategy, business plan to constructing the right internal ecommerce team to execute and measure the right KPIs, there are a few questions the Ecommerce Manager should always ask:

“What do you need to do to succeed?” and “why should you do this?” at each stage of this 10 step ecommerce strategy.

LEAP Ecommerce Course Southeast Asia

Praponsak (Cafae) Kumpolpun, L’Oreal Ecommerce Manager

What L’Oreal focuses on when establishing its ecommerce presence on multiple online channels is A+ Content – engaging content that inspires purchasing.

The next LEAP class is on Thursday September 14th, 2017. Stay tuned for this week’s learnings.

Sign up for the eIQ Brief to receive weekly ecommerce insights.

Seasoned entrepreneurs from multiple ecommerce companies at Echelon Thailand 2017 discussed how ecommerce in Southeast Asia has developed so far and where it is heading.

On the panel: Orami Group CEO Jeremy Fichet, Box24 CEO & founder Nithipont Bond Thaiyanurak, honestbee Thailand country manager Bounthay Khammanyvong and Pomelo co-founder & CFO Casey Liang revealed some of the trends that they expect will influence the region’s ecommerce businesses in the next few years.

Here are the key takeaways:

1. Customers are getting more demanding and sophisticated

The tide is slowly turning from a few years ago when customers were more accepting if their order was late or inaccurate as ecommerce was so new.

“As we’ve honed our skills and elements of ecommerce, customers are now freaking out if anything is slightly off or wrong. Customers are becoming more and more demanding,” says Bounthay.

Customers are also getting more sophisticated with technology as other channels such as social media has improved product discovery. Companies can choose to ship to anywhere in the world to reach a global market.

“People are finding our products a lot faster and they’re willing to purchase from anywhere in the world,” says Casey.

2. Ecommerce players are gaining strength

The line between online and offline players has been blurred in the past few years as brick-and-mortar retailers are exploring digital channels and pure ecommerce players are looking to build an offline presence.

“Pure online players have more flexibility to expand their growth offline through different partnerships. If we look at the top 10 retailers in the US, Amazon is likely #2 or #3. In China, #1 and #2 will be Alibaba and JD.com,” says Jeremy.

“I’m pretty sure that in Southeast Asia, half the top 10 retailers will be ecommerce pure players in 5-10 years,” he continues.

3. Reaching for an optimal omni-channel mix

Pomelo’s Casey noted that a channel strategy comes down to selling a product and the shopping experience customers go through to reach that point. Sometimes, online doesn’t always work.

“Purchasing media is pretty much online, purchasing travel also makes sense online but when you look at physical products like fashion that is very tangible, people want to try it on and feel it.”

“There are benefits being online that you don’t get shopping offline. If you want to find a silver dress with pleats, you can go to the mall and spend hours looking around for it or you can lay in bed and easily find exactly what you’re looking for on your phone. Obviously, when you want to try it on and see how it fits, then offline comes in. We [Pomelo] are still trying to figure out what is the optimal hybrid strategy, ” says Casey.

The company recently opened its first pop shop to allow its customers to ‘experience’ its fashion pieces offline in Singapore.

4. Convenience ecommerce – the next big thing?

“I believe convenience ecommerce will be the next big wave. What we see in the market is businesses asking how can we add value to people’s lives? And one of the key things how to do it is by helping them save time – helping them focus on the important things like family, rather than running errands,” says Bounthay.

Read more #EchelonTH2017 coverage by eIQ with Dr. Alex Lin from SGInnovate here.

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