Source: e27

Ecommerce will be dominated by female consumer and it’s crucial for companies to fine-tune their marketing strategies if they wish to remain relevant and profitable says Melissa Senduk, Group Creative Director of female-centric ecommerce portal Orami.

In Southeast Asia, women contribute to 80% of all household purchases, out shop men by 20%, and spend 40% more time on online retailers presenting an untapped market of $2.4 trillion US.

“Today, it is the woman in the household who makes a lot of purchase decisions, and this goes beyond traditional categories such as groceries and personal care, and extends to cars, financial services, insurance services and bank products,” said Senduk.

How do you reach her?

Senduk advises ecommerce players not to think about the woman as just an individual, but also the people in her social and family circle as women leverage one another for advice when making purchasing decisions.

Brands also need to focus on the visuals and the UX. Increased smartphone and mobile ecommerce penetration have made it imperative for brands to design the user experience to be mobile-first, as opposed to desktop.

Research finding shows that 80% of women put their trust in blogs and 60% actually purchased the products after reading reviews.

Brands committed to social responsibility, or seek to inspire consumers, would be more appealing to her.

Female consumers are expecting more today

A one-size-fits-all approach no longer works for them. You need to carefully craft your branding and social media message; find out the language female consumers are using and what trends appeal to them.

While all millennial consumers generally are more demanding, the major difference that separates the male and female is women consumers see shopping as a form of entertainment, while men a necessity.

Women consumers are the gatekeepers of the households of today, so it is important for brands to inspire and share the values of women.

A version of this appeared in e27 on June 21. Read the full article here.

According to Daniel Tumiwa, the Chairman of the Ecommerce Association of Indonesia (IDEA), Amazon is coming to Indonesia with $600 million US (Kompas).

Tumiwa did not know exactly when Amazon would begin operations in Indonesia but said that the company’s first rumored entry into the region would probably follow the same pattern in other large countries.

The pattern, like in India, consists of one year of testing the waters followed by a decision on whether to stay in the game or not.

The IDEA chairman mentioned that Amazon was able to take over 50% of the Indian ecommerce market within one year, despite well-established local competitors like Flipkart. However, he also noted that they bowed out of China after one year, conceding the market to Alibaba. There are no ecommerce companies in Indonesia with the same kind of dominance that Alibaba has in China, which is why it would make sense for Amazon to enter the Indonesian market now.

Indonesia’s rapidly growing middle class, which is slowly becoming more comfortable with online shopping, makes the market potential huge. With an estimated worth of around $300 billion US, Amazon can burn through plenty of money to find solutions to Indonesia’s ecommerce problems.

A version of this appeared in Coconuts Jakarta  and Deal Street Asia on June 20. To read the full story, click here and here.

Ensogo halts share trading


Ensogo, the struggling daily deals ecommerce company, saw today its trading suspended on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) pending an announcement.

Formerly known as iBuy and founded by entrepreneur Patrick Grove, Ensogo owns a network of ecommerce websites in Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Thailand. The company has been experiencing a decline in share price down to nearly zero this year.

The trading halt follows the resignation of two Ensogo directors (Thomas Baum and Frederique Covington) as well as the selloff by a big shareholder. On May 24, The Australian reported that Macquarie offloaded 2.3 million shares in Ensogo for A$0.50 apiece, marking a 50 percent discount to its closing price at the time.

Ensogo has been embroiled in controversy after its merchants complained about delayed payments starting in April this year.

The Australian bourse said the suspension would remain in place until the opening of trade on Tuesday, June 21 or when the announcement is released to the market. The news comes less than a year Groupon shuts down in 7 countries including Thailand and Philippines in Southeast Asia, signalling the start of ‘deal fatigue’ among consumers that lowers re-purchase rates and thus customer lifetime value.

A version of this appeared in Tech in Asia on June 17. Read the full article here.

Much has been published about ecommerce barriers in Southeast Asia. This article on PaymentsJournal emphasizes the need for developing ecommerce markets, but acknowledge the complexities within the region. Using Colombia and Thailand as key case studies and insight from A.T. Kearney’s research, it highlights the opportunities for cross-border sellers who should be looking to developing upcoming markets as mature ones are experiencing a slow down.

Offshore merchants have an opportunity to infiltrate a market such as Thailand, if they can jump through the ecommerce barriers in Southeast Asia. The ability to localize offers, support local payment methods and cope with the changes in developing markets will take companies a long way. For example, Thais are very comfortable with shopping on mobile, so a business would do well if they optimize mobile commerce.

Thailand Overview

According to the research published by A.T. Kearney, Thailand’s ecommerce value is projected to grow at 25% year over year through at least 2017. With Thailand’s young population (47% between age 25 and 54), nearly 1/3 of the population is under 25 which means a large influx of future online consumers waiting to enter the market.

ecommerce barriers in ASEAN

Over half of digital buyers in developing countries distrust online payment systems

Ecommerce barriers in Southeast Asia

Industry analysts have projected high hopes for Southeast Asia, with the recent Google and Temasek Report predicting the region’s internet economy growth to reach $200 Billion. There is a lot of buzz surrounding the industry’s potential, but there has also been a surge of commentary which points out regional roadblocks.

The three main roadblocks are:

  • Difficulty surrounding online payments
  • Logistical complexity, especially in Indonesia
  • Compliance to local laws and regulation for global companies

Solving ecommerce barriers in Southeast Asia

Increase broadband access: Use state-aid funding if needed. Cross-border connectivity needs to be stronger.

Support the local players: Improve funding access so that startups have cash flow to scale, not just start. Encourage local partnership with global companies, especially in logistics and fulfilment. Raise awareness of local marketplaces.

Improve and promote e-payments and e-wallets: Startups that are facilitating other businesses with new payment platforms, such as Indonesian credit based startup FinAccel and India based Paytm are helping to disrupt the payment industry, coming up with solutions to encourage consumers to purchase goods through e-payment, rather than use the trusted method of cash-on-delivery, which is harder for businesses to manage.

Improve logistics and trade efficiency: DHL recently published research about trade possibilities in Southeast Asia, ASEAN opens up various trade opportunities, which goes on to impact cross border ecommerce. Supporting e-retailers by forming logistics partnership would also be beneficial, especially in terms of assisting in regulation compliance.

Download the Report Here

Innovation and Disruption: Industry experts weigh in on what it means

For those working in ecommerce, or are followers of tech related news, seemingly abstract buzzwords such as ‘innovation’ and ‘disruption’ often come up in research articles or in speeches. This article weighs in on what ‘innovation’ really means in relation to retail. Although peppered with US retail references, a lot of the content can be transferred to the Southeast Asian retail commerce landscape as well.  Read more

The Wall Street Journal recently published an opinion article on the fragmented boom of Southeast Asian ecommerce. There has been a recent influx in opinions regarding the setbacks that the region has experienced due to the fragmentation of our landscape, but this has not hindered the growth of the online retail market.

With the recent acquiring of Lazada in Thailand by Alibaba,’s entry into Indonesia and investments in Tokopedia, Indonesia’s biggest online marketplace, the list keeps growing.

However, Southeast Asia’s online retail penetration level is only at 3%, representing $6 billion in sales. Comparisons keep being made to the US and China, but Southeast Asia is made up of very different smaller countries and is in a league of its own. Read more