Recovering from the weekend? Here are the ecommerce news you should know

1. Fujitsu partners with DHL to target wearable technology, IoT

The two companies plan to jointly develop IoT solutions designed to improve safety for emergency services. Japanese ICT firm Fujitsu announced a strategic partnership with DHL Supply Chain U.K. to develop new services based on wearable technology and the “internet of things.”

The use of wearable and IoT technology such as Fujitsu Ubiquitousware is said to enable emergency services to track the health of individuals in the field through a dashboard showing their status and location.

Read the rest of the story here.


2. Indonesian bookstore chain buys ecommerce startup Scoop

Kompas Gramedia, a Jakarta-based bookstore chain, announced that it was buying ecommerce startup Scoop. This was a move to complement Kompas Gramedia’s ecommerce marketplace that sells lifestyle products such as stationary and books.

Kompas Gramedia is a traditional retail outlet making a strong push towards digital, so this kind of acquisition to bolster its ecommerce offerings is logical.

Read the rest of the story here.


3. CIMBT launches first 7-Eleven sub-branch

CIMB Thai Bank (CIMBT) is pushing deeper into consumer banking by opening its first sub-branch at 7-Eleven to better reach retail customers. The small bank aims to open 20-30 such sub-branches at 7-Eleven. The sub-branch offers a span of financial services, including account opening, cash deposits, foreign currency exchange, money transfers and acceptance of applications for personal loans, credit cards.

As the retail banking business has been digitised via mobile phone apps and internet banking, physical branches are being forced to adapt.

Read the rest of the story here.


Read more about the key takeaways from Thailand’s ecommerce landscape here.

Here’s a wrap up of what ecommerce headlines you should know.

1. Thailand is launching a stock exchange just for startups; no revenue required

The new exchange will be unlike Thailand’s two existing stock exchanges — SET and mai — which are tightening regulatory rules and other criteria amid a surge in listings, in part due to second- and third-generation family businesses seeking to go public. The proposal for the new exchange is still being drafted, but the expected rollout will be in the third quarter of 2017.

Startups can list on the new exchange even if they have not earned any revenue. They can choose to issue equity and non-equity products including bonds and options. Investment may, however, be limited to accredited investors, but that detail has not been finalised.

Read the rest of the story here.


2. DHL introduces fully customized digital freight platform CILLOX

DHL Freight introduces CILLOX, a virtual marketplace for enterprises with transportation needs. The fast and seamless solution helps companies to match their full truck load, part truck load and less than truck load offerings with transport providers’ capacities and find the appropriate provider according to their needs.

Read the rest of the story here.


3. Recommended reading: How companies can cater to the unbanked in Southeast Asia

Emerging markets in APAC such China, India, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Philippines and Indonesia are more dependent on account-related revenues.

This stems from the fact that a sizeable demographic in these markets are unbanked; people without credit cards and bank accounts. According to a 2015 report by McKinsey, the unbanked in Indonesia number at 116 million; Vietnam, 49 million; Philippines, 46 million; Thailand, 12 million; and Malaysia, 4 million.

Read the rest of the story here

Wrapping up for the day? Read today’s key stories here.

1. Go-Jek is focusing on its e-payment platform, Go-Pay

It’s been available for a while, but a recent campaign successfully drove usage to a tipping point.

Whenever you pay for a ride or service in cash, the Go-Jek driver will ask you if you want to store the change in the form of Go-Pay for future use. If you agree, the driver gets a bonus and you get discounts on your upcoming rides.

Read the rest of the story here.


2. Cashless society push will speed smart city development in Malaysia

Malaysia’s Malaysian Global Innovation & Creativity Centre (MaGIC), smart city enabler Cyberview and Mastercard have signed an agreement to support the Malaysian government’s push towards a cashless society.

Read the rest of the story here


3. DHL taking part in drone tests

In addition to assessing the drones’ suitability for delivering parcels in urban areas, the project will examine if Deutsche Telekom’s mobile network can be used to connect unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) to the mobile internet.

Read the rest of the story here.

One of the most interesting parts of my job is going on regular courier rides with some of my employees. A few months ago in Thailand, I sat in one of our DHL courier vans as it made its rounds at speed. As the week progressed, my time in the van with my front line employees and customers reinforced my thoughts on the growing complexity and huge upside of ecommerce in the region.

Southeast Asia is a hotbed for online trade. By 2020, more than 480 million people in the region will be online. At the moment, 3.8 million new users get connected to the internet every month.  Ecommerce in the region is expected to be worth US$88 billion by 2025.

There are high volumes of deliveries across the countries: Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam have more than 150,000 B2C parcel deliveries a day and still only represent between 3-5% of all retail sales in their respective countries.

It is a huge and growing ‘pie’ for new and existing e-tailers. Whilst it is a great time to be an e-tailer, the opportunity also comes with some challenges. Customer requirements are becoming more complex as are the channels that merchants have to keep up with them.

One of the biggest signs of this trend is the way Southeast Asian customers interact with brands.

Among digital shoppers, 80% use social media to research products and interact with sellers. Shopping via mobile devices has also become the norm, especially for those who live outside metropolitan areas, 85% outside the major cities use their mobile phones for online purchases.

As ecommerce becomes more prevalent, customer expectations will continue to rise. They will have less tolerance for delays and be frustrated at lack of choice.

When I spoke recently to one of our partners, Hans-Peter Ressel, CEO of Lazada Malaysia, he remarked to me: “When customers buy from us today, they are looking for a seamless shopping experience. As e-tailers, we can’t afford to skimp on our logistics capabilities.”

It’s important to continuously offer fast, convenient, and reliable delivery options, because this is what customers are expecting today.

So, let’s take a step outside and consider what exactly is it that Southeast Asian customers wants after they hit the ‘check-out’ button. What makes them tick? What do they like? What frustrates them?

From my journey walking the ground in our facilities, to sitting in our delivery vans, I’ve noticed three things that customers in the region want from their e-tailers today:

1. Variety to match their diverse needs

The ‘on-demand’ economy has given customers many options and their expectations have changed considerably as a result. Not only do customers want faster delivery options, but a pre-determined and agreed delivery window. Customers also expect payment options catered to their needs because payment preferences vary across different countries depending on their maturity. In several developed cities like Singapore, customers can pay via credit card. However, when it comes to the 60–70% of people in Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam who are “unbanked”, cash on delivery still reigns supreme.

Customer demands have diversified, and so should the services e-tailers offer. They must become more sensitive to on-the-ground feedback from customers to be able to adjust their offerings to suit their needs.

Don’t treat deliveries as a cost center: in the long run, a great delivery experience will pay dividends.

Brewer’s Top Tip: Approach the delivery process as part of the value chain. A variety of payment and service options, coupled with excellent service, can create ‘raving fans’, or emotionally engaged and loyal customers who drive up repeat visits and basket size.


2. Hassle-free deliveries

Today’s busier and multi-tasking lifestyles mean that customers have little time to spare and short attention spans. Deliveries have to suit the consumer’s schedule, not the e-tailer or delivery company. One of the best ways e-tailers can add value to their customers’ lives is to offer a variety of delivery options.

Apart from the traditional home or office deliveries, they can make use of what is now the fastest growing delivery method in Europe: parcel lockers, service points, and convenience stores. These facilities are located in areas that customers frequent, so they don’t have to be stuck waiting for delivery staff to arrive. More pick-up options will make the collection experience much less disruptive to their daily lives.

Brewer’s Top TipPartner with a delivery company that can provide alternate delivery options (and not just one), without skimping on order visibility for customers.


3. Tools for more control

When it comes to deliveries, customers want to be empowered. They want the best experience possible—from the moment they make their purchase to the point of delivery when they receive their package. 60% of digital shoppers in Southeast Asia rank “experience” as a bigger factor than “price”, which only influenced 45% of those surveyed.

It is important for e-tailers to provide a sense of control and comfort if they want customers to keep returning. They can empower customers with the ability to track and trace their purchases every step of the way. This capability can be performed via a variety of methods, such as online portals or SMS notifications that allow customers to access updates on the go.

Brewer’s Top Tip: Give consumers control as part of your operational process flow. To really go the extra mile, ensure your partners have the IT capability to allow customers the flexibility to change their minds about where and when to receive their order.

At DHL eCommerce, we have already helped hundreds of e-tailers circumvent the challenges I have described. There’s never a better time to build choice, convenience, and control into e-tailer offerings that both e-tailers and consumers can delight in. These demands will continue to grow as ecommerce expands.  Our passion is in knowing more about the diverse consumer needs across the region and tailoring ecommerce logistics solutions that fit the requirements of each market.


Welcome back from the weekend, here are the ecommerce headlines you might have missed:

1. Payments startup raises $5M Series A from popular investors

They include Wavemaker Labs, Global Brain, BeeNext, Rebright Partners. The round is led by Accion Frontier Inclusion Fund. Coins has created an alternative banking system to serve people who don’t have access to traditional banking in Southeast Asia and other developing markets.

According to Coins, 5% of the region’s 610 million-strong population is unbanked. 

Read the rest of the story here

2. Alibaba’s share of the worldwide mobile ad market to increase. Why?

Alibaba will report earnings next week, will capture 4.6% of the $194.60 billion global digital ad market; that represents a decrease from 5% in 2015. However, Alibaba’s share of the $108.88 billion global mobile ad market is expected to increase to 10.9% in 2016, up from 8.7% in 2015.

Increased numbers of mobile shoppers using its affiliated Alipay payment app to buy goods and services both online and offline, rural market demand, and cross-border shopping via Tmall Global will also be key sales contributors

Read the rest of the story here

3. DHL opens $104M hub in Singapore

To accommodate the rapid growth of regional volumes fuelled in part by ecommerce, the world’s largest international express services provider launched its new €85 million DHL South Asia Hub in Singapore.

“The exciting thing about ecommerce is that it’s not just the big players, DHL Express CEO Allen said. It’s not just about to Amazon, Alibaba or eBay, because every retailer in the world can put a website up to a global audience. “Every brick and mortar retailer is also getting in on the act and a lot of our big customers our traditional brick-and-mortar retailers.”

Read the rest of the story here

ecommerceIQ shares the latest ecommerce news in Southeast Asia every morning and afternoon so you can find all the highlights in one place at one time. Sign up for our newsletter for more!

1. Pandora goes online in China on Alibaba’s Tmall

PANDORA announced that the Company has launched on Alibaba Group’s business to consumer platform,, providing a further avenue for Chinese consumers to purchase PANDORA jewelry. Read the rest of the story here.


2. StanChart, Uber launch multi-market partnership

Standard Chartered Bank and Uber announced a partnership that offers all Standard Chartered credit cardholders in six markets (Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, India and the United Arab Emirates) across two continents up to 25% cashback for all global Uber rides. Read the rest of the story here.


3. DHL leverages on China’s Belt and Road

Broadly, combinations of multimodal services can reduce transport costs by up to six times and up to 90% reduction in carbon footprint as compared with air freight, making it an increasingly attractive option for SME and MNC customers alike. Read the rest of the story here.