Here’s what you should know today:

1. DHL deploys electric motorbike for ecommerce delivery in Vietnam

Ecommerce division of DHL Group, DHL eCommerce, has launched its nationwide domestic delivery operations in Vietnam, managed by hubs and depots strategically located throughout the country.

The network also support cash-on-delivery (CoD) service and consumers will also be able to open, check and return goods at the point of receipt thanks to DHL’s Open Box Delivery service.

“Only 15% of Vietnam’s ecommerce shoppers paid online in 2016,” said Thomas Harris, Managing Director, DHL eCommerce Vietnam.

In line with its recent announcement to reduce all logistics-related emissions to zero by 2050, DHL eCommerce has begun deploying the use of electric motorbikes in its domestic delivery operations in Vietnam.

Read the full story here.

2. Cambodia ad agency MSA join forces with Malaysia-based VLT

Malaysia-based VLT, one of Southeast Asia’s leading independent digital advertising agencies, has formed a joint venture with Cambodia-owned advertising firm MSA to take advantage of the growth in Cambodia’s digital advertising, media and services market.

Adrian Lim, CEO of VLT, said Cambodia was one of the young and dynamic business growth areas in Asia, and there was a huge need of digital advertising solutions here.

“I’d like to say, what no one has dared to say. Digital is a mainstream,” Phirun Kao, CEO of MSA said. “Digital is at the core of all advertising in every communication we do for our clients.” he added.

Read the full story here.

3. Uber and Grab are set to pay P5 million fine in the Philippines

Online ride-hailing companies, Grab and Uber are set to finalize their payments for the P5 million fine ordered by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) of the Philippines.

According to Grab Philippines Public Affairs Head Leo Emmanuel Gonzales the company will complete the payment of its fine on Wednesday, July 19. Meanwhile, Uber Philippines Communications Head Cat Avelino said its payment is already on its way to the LTFRB.

The LTFRB slapped both Grab and Uber with a P5-million fine on July 11 for various violations, such as allowing drivers to operate without the necessary permits from the regulatory body.

Read the full story here.


Here’s what you should know today.

1. Facebook redesigns marketplace

The changes are more about making the marketplace easier to use, with a now-scrollable list of item categories that appear as candy-colored, rounded icons.

The idea here is to encourage better discovery, as most people come to the Marketplace with a goal in mind. They need a piece of furniture, or an appliance, or they want to browse for deals on second-hand items like clothing, purses, baby products or maybe a used smartphone.

You can filter any section by location and price to narrow the listings returned, either with or without an accompanying keyword search.

Facebook doesn’t share numbers related to how many users have tried Marketplace, number of listings or transactions to date. However, the company did say last fall that there are 450 million people already using “Buy & Sell” groups on Facebook every month,

Read the rest of the story here.


2. Twitter teams up with Bloomberg for streaming news

The social-media company is joining forces with the global financial news outlet to create a service that will stream news produced solely for Twitter 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The channel, which has yet to be named and is expected to begin operating this fall, won’t simply rebroadcast footage from Bloomberg’s existing television operation.

It will be made up of live news reporting from the news outlet’s bureaus around the world, as well as a curated and verified mix of video posted on Twitter by the social-media platform’s users.

The effort comes at a turbulent time for Twitter, which this past week reported a decline in revenue for the first time since going public. It has struggled to find a successful formula for converting its sizeable user base into a fast-growing ad business.

Read the rest of the story here.


3. DHL eCommerce launches domestic delivery service with nationwide coverage in Malaysia

“Ecommerce has become a way of life for Malaysians, with 47% already using their smartphones to shop online,” said Malcolm Monteiro, CEO, Asia Pacific, DHL eCommerce.

The investment in Malaysia includes a 48,000 sq ft central distribution hub in Puchong as well as depots in Penang, Johor Bahru, Cheras and Puchong and a fleet of 2-wheel and 4-wheel vehicles.

The fleet of vehicles will provide next-day delivery to all urban areas in Klang Valley, Penang and Johor Bahru, and two to fourday delivery to all other locations across West Malaysia and East Malaysia.

Read the rest of the story here.


There’s increasing pressure for ecommerce companies to offer customers “value-added services” such as same-day delivery or offline pick-up points thanks to a growing generation expectant of instant gratification – waiting even 3 days for a package isn’t going to cut it.  

Online brands and retailers end up working with a variety logistics companies to deliver orders across urban and rural areas in a quick fashion to appease customers. This is a trend not only in developed economies, but demanded in developing countries such as Thailand and Indonesia as well.

Progression of logistics in Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia is poised to become one of the world’s fastest growing market for ecommerce, estimated to exceed $238 billion by 2020. Known to be ridden with infrastructure challenges such as fickle trade regulations and lack of roads, government initiatives across the region are being put in place to improve logistics.

An example is the Indonesian government’s push to increase accessibility of islands in the country by constructing a road alongside the Malaysian border and building seaports.

“If you look at the roads, airports and railways, things are improving and will continue to. Infrastructure spend in Indonesia is expected to reach $165 billion by 2025 and the spend in public investment expected to increase by 7% per year,” says Charles Brewer, CEO at DHL Ecommerce.

Thailand also has a $50 billion infrastructure budget as the country plans to improve roads, highways and railways in the upcoming years.

But long term changes will take both investment and time before the region’s infrastructure can catch up to “same-day appetite” in developing markets and at a relatively inexpensive cost.

The ‘Light’ Model

In the meantime, online players can rely on the rise of an on-demand, lighter logistics model that tackles issues of long delivery periods and limited distribution in rural locations.

According to real estate consulting firm CBRE, modern logistics services are shifting away from big box warehouses, bulky deliveries and in turn, expanding their networks with existing infrastructure or building small counters across the country to meet the demands of clients.

Examples of this in Bangkok include SKYBOX pickup and dropoff kiosks, located at the city’s public train stations and Zalora Thailand that uses 7-Eleven as return points.

Logistics providers are also introducing collection points at existing locations such as shopping centers or office buildings in second and third tier cities as seen by DHL Ecommerce’s recent nationwide expansion in Thailand. The company’s aim is to decrease the time SMEs take to ship parcels.

According to a DHL survey, 55% of SMEs cite logistics as a time killer.

It’s resource heavy to build new hubs and roads and companies can’t afford the time needed to see infrastructure improvements and capture market share. By turning to a light model, logistics services can provide efficient, speedy services without big investments.

Adapting to (on) demand

Southeast Asia’s increase in delivery expectancies could be attributed to the fact that mobile subscriptions are ahead of the global average with 854 million mobile connections. These mobile first users can easily request for on-demand groceries, t-shirts and hot meals on the go with their phones.

Next day delivery account for 95% of existing logistics services in Thailand, while the remaining 5% is filled by on-demand delivery services. There’s still a vast opportunity for logistics players to service ecommerce companies that require speed and efficiency.

In Indonesia, there are PopBox lockers designed to make last mile more convenient for shoppers and merchants. According to William Tanuwijaya, CEO of B2C marketplace Tokopedia, “courier businesses will grow as they are needed to deliver products sold on marketplaces. The promise of fast delivery is also appealing to locals.”

In order to fully serve Southeast Asia’s growing customer demand for faster deliveries, logistics companies need to offer localized, out of the box solutions such as pick-up points in parcel shops, partnerships with convenience stores, lockers or risk being left behind.


Here’s what you should know today.

1. DHL ecommerce helping Singaporean retailers reach the US market

Singaporean businesses ranging from pure online retailers, ‘brick and mortar’ retailers, manufacturers or ecommerce giants are set to benefit from new international shipping platform launched by DHL which sends parcels to the US within 4-6 days. The platform is called ‘Parcel International Direct US’.

Cross-border ecommerce is projected to grow at a rate of 25% annually between 2015 and 2020.

Read the rest of the story here.


2. Singapore fintech startup OOjiBO raises $3.6m

Singapore-based fintech startup OOjiBO has raised $3.6 million in a pre-series A round led by Centurion Private Equity.

The mobile payments platform plans to use its investment to launch into Indonesia and Thailand.

It will also begin cross-border remittance within countries where OOJiBO has a presence. Currently, OOjiBO is only available in Myanmar (but based in Singapore).

The app offers a full suite of services from p2p transfers, retail payments, interest bearing accounts to ecommerce payments and more.

Read the rest of the story here


3. Alibaba to generate 30% of jobs in China’s digital economy

By 2035, the “Alibaba economy” could generate about 30% of all the jobs available in China’s digital economy, according to a new report published by management advisory firm Boston Consulting Group.

If Alibaba-generated employment has the same share of China’s digital economy in 2035 as in 2015, the platform will create 112 million jobs.

If Alibaba’s emerging businesses, play a strong future role as well, we can expect another 10 million jobs by 2035

The report looked at the larger impact that technology would have on employment and talent over the coming two decades, estimating that China’s digital economy would make up 48% of the country’s total economy in 2035, accounting for $16 trillion in spending.

Read the rest of the story here.

Here’s what you should know today.

1. Singtel and Lazada collaborate to get Singaporean SMEs online

Local telco Singtel announced its partnership with Lazada. The two companies are launching an online marketplace called 99% SME, through which small businesses in Singapore can have an online presence and make their products readily available online.

The marketplace will be part of Lazada’s website, so users will be served ads about these small businesses and will be able to buy from them using Lazada’s infrastructure. The initiative is part of the 99% SME program by Singtel, Singaporean bank DBS, and media company Mediacorp.

Read the rest of the story here.

2. DHL ecommerce expands in Thailand-targets SMEs

DHL has extended its services to small ecommerce merchants, tapping into Thailand’s 2.7 million SMEs. This will mean greater convenience and a quicker delivery process, which means that merchants can focus more on growing and running their business, instead of spending more time on last-mile.

Read the rest of the story here.


3. Angel-eQ invests in Indonesian sport booking platform Doogether

Founded in 2016 by Fauzan Gani the platform enables users to book venues for 20 different kinds of sports, from badminton, basketball, to billiards and zumba in one platform.

Since its launch in 2015, Angel-eQ has invested in seven to eight startups.

Read the rest of the story here.

As the year closes, ecommerceIQ has reflected on  what has been achieved, and therefore we are sharing with you our most read stories of the year.

ecommerceIQ’s goal for the next year remains the same, to continue serving Southeast Asia’s ecommerce industry and to provide insightful market research so professionals around the world can take action to capture the region’s growing opportunity. We hope you come back in 2017!

#1 Indonesia’s Ecommerce Landscape: 6 Takeaways from Indonesia’s Online Battle Field

Indonesia is on track to become the biggest ecommerce market in Southeast Asia. The ecommerce boom has produced several start-up unicorns, such as the popular ride-hailing, food delivery and payments app Go-Jek, Indonesia’s most popular C2C marketplace Tokopedia and travel marketplace Traveloka. Yet, there are many more players in the ecommerce field in Indonesia, and that is what ecommerce landscape maps. This is our most read article of the year.

#2 The Evolution of Ecommerce Business Models in Southeast Asia

Ecommerce in Southeast Asia is still relatively young, with only 1% of total retail gross merchandise value being generated online compared to 7.1% and 15.9% in the US and China. However, the region is already widely being touted as the next frontier of ecommerce opportunity. As Southeast Asia’s ecommerce businesses have the opportunity to learn from the industry’s best, this article looks into how business models have evolved in the region and what’s to be expected next.

#3 Why Everyone is Wrong About Southeast Asia’s True Ecommerce Potential

Little data exists on the current and projected size of the ecommerce market in Southeast Asia, which is still a nascent, fragmented industry. As several reputable organizations have taken a stab at assessing the size of the ecommerce in the region, this article dives to explain why the actual potential of the market could much bigger.

#4 DHL Ecommerce CEO: What Today’s Southeast Asians Expect From Their Last Mile Experience

Southeast Asia is a hotbed for online trade as more than 480 million people in the region will be online by 2020 and there are high volumes of deliveries across the countries. Whilst it is a great time to be an e-tailer, the opportunity also comes with some challenges. DHL Ecommerce CEO Charles Brewer in this article explains what exactly Southeast Asian customers wants after they hit the ‘check-out’ button.

#5 Thailand’s Ecommerce Landscape: 5 Takeaways from Siam’s Online Gold Rush

Thailand, while not the most populous nor richest of the Southeast Asian nations, is currently the fourth largest ecommerce market in the region. Thailand’s ecommerce landscape sets to provide a quick snapshot of the the country’s ecommerce players and identify industries which provide opportunities for new businesses.

#6 ecommerceIQ SPARK 40 – Top Individuals Shaping Southeast Asian Ecommerce in 2016

“SPARK 40” is a compilation of the top ecommerce professionals who have contributed to shaping the industry in Southeast Asia. It’s not only about funding. These businesses are solving long-term problems and hoping to be the ‘spark’ needed to clear roadblocks that restrict ecommerce growth – whether that be serving the unbanked, evolving their business models to cater to customer demands or being the first to tackle a new sector.

#7 Philippines’ Ecommerce Landscape: 5 Key Takeaways From Philippines’ Online Runway

The Philippines, although part of Southeast Asia’s growing ecommerce family, is quite the odd cousin. With over 10 million overseas Filipino workers and 3 million of them in the United States, Philippines’ online shopping behavior has been heavily influenced by the US, paving the way for innovative cross-border logistics businesses and digital payments solutions. While the ecommerce market in the Philippines currently is the second smallest in the region, it is expected to lift off and this article explores where the opportunities lie.

#8 Singapore’s Ecommerce Landscape: 5 Key Takeaways from the Lion City’s Online Scene

With 83% of its population connected to the internet, Singapore holds the title as the most mature ecommerce market in Southeast Asia. Despite its small population, Singapore accounted for 25% of Southeast Asia’s 2013 online retail value, larger than the region’s largest market, Indonesia that contributed 20%. Singapore’s ecommerce landscape provides a quick overview of the most developed ecommerce market in Southeast Asia.

#9 After All the Chatter, the First Chatbot Finally Launches in Southeast Asia

Chat commerce or conversational commerce is the intersection of messaging apps and shopping and is already a very familiar concept in the West. Southeast Asia has largely mirrored the West and particularly China in development of its ecommerce maturity. Yet, current chatbot growth has been stuck at the ‘idea phase’ – a lot of chatter and buzz about its revolutionary importance but no product. This article tells the story of Sale Stock, the mobile first shopping platform widely popular among Indonesia’s young females, which has become SEA’s first company to launch a chatbot that can handle end-to-end transaction on Facebook’s Messenger Platform.

#10 The Impending Death of Traditional Retailers

Amazon’s dominance and stock value will only keep increasing with the ongoing global structural shift from offline retail towards ecommerce. Ecommerce penetration in the US today is “only” 7.7%. As ecommerce is booming not only in US, but also in Southeast Asia, traditional, offline retailers are lift with few choices when it comes to ecommerce adoption. This article explores those options for regional businesses.