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

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, 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


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


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 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.

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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

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?


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


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.

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Jack Ma appeared in front of 300 Thai attendees at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Monday 11th October in a talk titled “Global Trade Revolution: Building a New e-Trade Platform for SMEs”. His talk could be broken up into six key points:

  • The Alibaba mindset
  • Advice for the new generation and how to improve the education system
  • His outlook on technology
  • Advice for entrepreneurs
  • His opinions and advice for Thailand
  • Jack Ma’s life philosophy

Watch Jack Ma’s talk here:

The Alibaba mindset

  • “I never planned for Alibaba to become an empire. From the history lessons we took as students, it was clear that all empires eventually fall. My philosophy was for Alibaba to be an ecosystem. We want SMEs to use our platform.”
  • “If you ask how we measure success in Alibaba, I can tell you honestly that we measure three clear criteria”

Our company has created countless of jobs for the country
We have helped SMEs using our platform and many have grown and succeeded
Our platform has assisted and serviced many across the globe

Numbers and profits are not what I use as metrics in calculating success.

 Advice for the new generation

  • “To me, whether you are a teacher, a parent or a manager, no one can be better at your job. You are the one who has to work at improving your craft. The way to do this is through gaining knowledge and wisdom. Knowledge is what you can learn, and wisdom comes from life experience.”

For the young generation, one quality you should possess is bravery. The younger you are, the braver you should be.

  • “Don’t be whiny, I used to be whiny but I changed myself. My life changed with it. Life’s opportunities are embedded in these mindsets, if you have the determination to change, opportunities will come.”
  • “I think the education system needs to be reformed. The education system often looks for those who are smart, but in the new world, machines will be smarter than people. I think the education system should encourage kids to be imaginative and innovative. These things cannot be taught to machines.”

His outlook on technology

  • “My prediction for the future is that many jobs will become obsolete. There will also be a handful of new jobs, we shouldn’t be afraid of machines, but instead embrace machines.”

Jack Ma on the future of e-money

  • “What you get from electronic money is data collection and transparency because all information can be collected, therefore its transparent.”
  • “The benefit is that people in general and SMEs will find it easier to ask financial institutions for help. Once everyone has credit history attached to their profile, they’ll be more inclined to trust you with loans.”
  • “When we talk about data collection, people often ask about privacy. What I want to say is, we have less privacy nowadays in society. But I think that has become the norm, and if you ask me, giving away information to machines is scarier!”
  • “Before the age of banks, people distrusted them and were reluctant to open accounts. Later on, people learned that putting money in the bank is safer than hiding it under your pillow. What you should do then, is to adjust and make yourself familiar with e-money.”


Advice for entrepreneurs 

When asked how SME owners will be able to convince consumers, Jack Ma said:

“Don’t convince the big players who are already successful. But convince those who wish to succeed. When I started Alibaba, the big players didn’t buy what I was selling. My strategy was to target the younger generation and new target groups. I think schools and MBA cannot teach you to become an entrepreneur. ”

Entrepreneurship can be discovered and developed, but not educated.

“Consumers don’t come in one day. It takes time to build. My approach to this is to not build your team to be marketers and salespeople, but build them to service your clients. It will be an additional weapon to the sales and marketing team.”


His advice for Thailand

  • “Farmers may not know how to operate a computer, but these days, they are very capable of using mobile phones. Therefore, I don’t think it’s too difficult to teach them how to navigate an ecommerce platform.”
  • “I think these things have to go hand-in-hand with other components such as e-payment and a support system for exports. The [Thai] government should support this initiative and create an infrastructure to support it.”
  • “I think agriculture is a big selling point for Thailand. Chinese consumers also have a big penchant for Thai fruits.”

Currently, we see B2C business models in the market, but in the future, we’ll be able to see C2B, which refers to regular people being able to sell to the business sector.


Jack Ma’s life philosophy

“Suddenly, so many books were being written about me. You don’t need to read the book I wrote, but some people have only chronicled my successes, and I am someone who has failed many times.”

  • “I have been rejected for over 30 jobs. This makes me susceptible to rejection.”
  • “I didn’t have high education, and I’m not attractive (laughs), but this has made me some very good and loyal friends, because they really like me for me.”
  • “Even if we don’t have investors or have been rejected from loans, we should not borrow from our parents or friends. Our parents are older, they have bills to pay. Our friends are young, so they need to save up for their futures. My team and I struggled ourselves, if the money ran out, we would go to look for new things together.”

I’m always excited to be talking to SME owners. Every time I meet them, I learn a lot of things. Their eyes often show a lot of passion. But when I talk to people in big companies, their eyes are different, it’s more about money and competition for them.

  • “Always use your brain. Do not just follow what others are doing or saying.”
  • “Think positively about the world.”
  • “Find a good partner. You will never be able to succeed on your own.”
  • “Of course, finding a good partner takes time. The different components of working takes time to see results. Take it slow, and you’ll see results.”
  • “Even now, I still have a fear of public speaking, which is why I only choose to talk about what I know.”
  • “To me, power and money do not mean more than experience.”
  • “I’m not impressed by those who say, if I have money, I will build…but I admire those who say, I don’t have money, but I will find a way to build.”

I want to die peacefully in a classroom or at the beach, not in my office – Jack Ma

For the original write-up of Jack Ma’s talk, visit Tech Sauce here