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January is generally a slow month for retail as people are tightening belts after splurging during the holiday season. End of year campaigns are also allocated large marketing spend to drive more traffic to Southeast Asia’s November 11/11 sales period and the 12/12 “Online Revolution” driven by Lazada, the region’s largest marketplace.

Looking at SimilarWeb web traffic – a sum of all (non unique) visits both on desktop and mobile –  for Indonesia’s most popular B2C marketplaces shows a decline of around 3 to 20% from December to January. Lazada Indonesia experienced a 3% drop in the number of monthly visitors.

But it was MatahariMall,  the country’s biggest department store chain, who noted the largest staggering drop of 62% in visitors to its online marketplace.

The two-year old online venture, MatahariMall.com, raised $100 million in October last year to bolster its share of Indonesia’s ecommerce market. A look at the company’s online traffic shows a buoyant performance in terms of its visitors – spikes in traffic from roughly 7M to 24M shows the difference in organic traffic and the effects of a marketing push.

A more stable performance this year might provide a better indication if it will manage to live up to its ambitions to become the “Alibaba of Indonesia”.

Two players that continuously capture a steady audience are Lazada and Blibli.com, a six year old e-marketplace owned by Djarum Group and BCA, one of the largest banks in Indonesia.

Not surprisingly, the best performing ecommerce sites are the best-funded, making it harder for smaller players to compete unless targeting a niche audience.

Meanwhile, most C2C marketplaces saw site visitors in January increase by 3 to 8%. Jualo, an online marketplace for secondhand goods, saw the biggest lift in web traffic with 8% growth.

Web traffic, of course, doesn’t automatically equate conversions, it’s only one metric in tracking an online company’s traction. The data, however, is useful for marketers, advertisers, merchants, etc. to understand which marketplaces can provide an opportunity to tap into a large pool of existing customers.

eIQ will be updating the numbers every month. Find out the statistics for Indonesia | Thailand | Malaysia | Vietnam | Philippines

Here are today’s top ecommerce news.

1. Alibaba’s biggest investments of 2016

The company posted record-breaking sales numbers, of course, but it also spent the year splashing cash on investments all over the world. From Lazada to DiDi Chuxing. check out this list to see how much Alibaba spent on the biggest companies.

Read the rest of the story here.

 

2. Hong Kong based Easyship expands to Singapore

Easyship integrates with more than 80 different shipping services including those from leading couriers such as DHL, FedEx and UPS, at prices discounted up to 70% compared to retail. This helps buyers to choose the best available option for a particular destination based on item specifications (type, weight and dimension) and provides visibility on delivery time, cost, reliability, and tracking.

After a rapid growth in Hong Kong, it is now expanding its operations to Southeast Asia with Singapore as its first location.

Read the rest of the story here.

 

3. Amazon calls 2016 holiday season its best ever

Amazon.com Inc said it shipped more than 1 billion items worldwide this holiday season, which the top online retailer called its best ever, and its shares rose 1.6 percent in afternoon trade.

The Amazon Echo home assistant and its smaller version, Echo Dot, topped the best-sellers list, said Jeff Wilke, chief executive of Amazon’s worldwide consumer division, in a press release.

Alexa and Amazon Dash, a one-button ordering service, are making it easier for shoppers to “skip the trip,” and will put more pressure on rival retailers as they try to garner in-store and web traffic.

Read the rest of the story here

Here are today’s top ecommerce news.

1. Community commerce takes center stage during Taobao’s 12.12 sale

Alibaba Group is blurring the lines between social media and e-tailing during the company’s annual 12.12 online sale held by giant C2C shopping website Taobao Marketplace.

Taobao shopping channels and the site’s mobile app have been lit up with blogs, live-streamed videos and other promotional content, much of it generated by ordinary Taobao users. It’s all part of Alibaba’s ongoing drive to help Taobao retailers engage Chinese consumers through social media, in what company officials call “community commerce”.

Read the rest of the story here.

 

2. Zalora Philippines is benefitting from holiday season

‘Sales momentum started to pick-up as early as October, a few weeks earlier than last year. And the peaks and highs are even higher than last year. But I can tell you in December we’re averaging more than double the traffic last year, or more than 100 percent,’ says Paulo Compos, CEO of Zalora Philippines.

He observes that buyers have been spending more time on the net, especially when the holiday season peaks. From browsing an average of 10 minutes in previous years, consumers are now spending 13 to 14 minutes per browse on the net. As sales grow brisk, operations are also expected to keep up with the volume. Zalora is beefing up its delivery system, hiring more riders on top of the current fleet of 400.

Read the rest of the story here.

 

3. Recommended Reading: Alibaba to tighten its hold on Thailand’s ecommerce

Despite their intention, Alibaba faces two potentially significant challenges in Thailand. One is that Thailand still lags behind developed markets in terms of internet usage. eMarketer estimates only 49.8% of the population of Thailand uses the internet as of 2016.

The second challenge for Alibaba is the other 800-pound gorilla in the global ecommerce sector: Amazon, the only competitor with the budget and will to battle Alibaba in a Southeast Asia turf war.

Read the rest of the story here.

Here’s what you should know.

1. Japanese ecommerce giant Rakuten has launched a subscription service, Raxy

Each month, subscribers will receive boxes of assorted cosmetics and beauty products. Through partnerships with such brands as Revlon and SK-II, these boxes will contain three to seven items of cosmetics, hair care products, make-up accessories and beauty supplements. Subscribers will also have access to new content each month, from Youtube videos to articles. Read the rest of the story here.

 

2. ServisHero partners with Grab to expand services

ServisHero, Southeast Asia’s mobile marketplace for local services, has joined hands with the region’s leading ride-hailing app Grab to provide its network of service providers to book a ride for their jobs directly within the ServisHero platform.

ServisHero, launched in June 2015, offers a tailored marketplace for clients to hire service providers for their home and office needs. Read the rest of the story here.

 

3. Amazon to Hire 120,000 Temporary Workers for Holiday Season

Meanwhile, other US retailers are more cautious about the holiday season.The US National Retail Federation earlier this month forecast a 3.6 percent rise in holiday sales this year, with online sales expected to climb 7-10%.

Retailers are keeping sales expectations and inventories low and hiring light ahead of the holiday season to avoid a repeat of last year, when unusually warm weather hit sales and piled up unsold goods. Read the rest of the story here.