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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.

Originating from China, Singles’ Day online shopping festival has become Asia’s official Black Friday and Cyber Monday since 2009. Taking place on November 11th of every year, it was initially set up to celebrate the individualism of Chinese consumers but became an annual online shopping extravaganza that Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales combined cannot even touch.

Southeast Asia’s very own Singles’ Day, nicknamed the Online Revolution, happens on the same day.  For the last class in the Leadership Ecommerce Accelerator Program, students learned how knowledge was put to action through a practical look at ecommerce operations in a 21,000 sqm fulfillment center handling B2B and B2C orders for 11.11.

Project Management is the Backbone of Your Fulfillment Center

Lai Tze Siung (TS), Operations Director aCommerce Thailand

Lai Tze Siung (TS), Operations Director aCommerce Thailand

Whether you are preparing for 11.11 or beginning to set up a fulfillment center, frequently asked questions often revolve around the capacity and resources needed to run the warehouse efficiently.

So how do we answer such questions?

Proper project management.

At aCommerce, TS explains there are 5 stages: Initiate, Plan, Execute, Control/Monitoring and Closing. Some vital areas to watch out for is demand forecasting, which requires active communications with clients to plan for upcoming promotions and campaigns equating to high influx of orders.

For special sale periods such as 11.11, the warehouse floor is re-adjusted to increase efficiencies for the shortest process cycle time. Customer expectations during the holidays are much high than normal and must be managed.

Other tips? Ensure to call COD customers before arriving at their doorsteps to collect cash because many times they aren’t at home or don’t have the exact change.

Over the years, the entire ecommerce landscape has changed and shifted the way our warehouses are built. The packing tables, shelves and racks need to accommodate larger items as more consumers become comfortable with ordering items such as refrigerators and TVs online.”

After the presentation, TS and the operations team led the class through the fulfillment center to understand how customer service reps answer product questions.

More people are using social media to connect with their brands. We have seen the number of phone calls declining drastically over the years.”

The class was also showed how high-value items are stored in a secure location, which operations technology systems were running the backend and the entire picking and packing process.

The flow of our fulfillment center

A quick introduction of the safety measures and the fulfilment center operations.

The tour started at the inbound station, where goods are delivered to be stored according to brand. Items are also categorized according to its popularity. The fast-moving items are placed near outbound for quick pick-and-pack and delivery.

A walk through the large, bulk item section where 50” television, refrigerator, air conditioning units, etc. are stored.

aCommerce uses movable workstations to bring the labels and processing to the large items.

aCommerce staff explains the information each employee needed to complete the process. This includes the identification the location of the items or what are the items ordered in a basket.

At aCommerce’s pick-and-pack stations, where the items are being packed into boxes and the system will automatically choose suitable logistics supplier to complete the delivery.

As we come to the end of the first Leadership Ecommerce Accelerator Program, we look forward to celebrating the success of our senior executive class as they move forward in their companies with the new knowledge gained.

Thank you to all of our lecturers from leading industry players such as Lazada, Pomelo, eatigo, Kerry Express, honestbee and aCommerce. Thank you to Sasin Graduate Institute for the support and input. And congratulations LEAP graduating Class 2017 for the completion of Southeast Asia’s first ecommerce executive program!

For those interested in learning more about upcoming classes and workshops, please send us a message here.

If you haven’t had a chance to catch up on the past nine highlights from the 10-week program, here are the links to the past insights:

[LEAP Week 1] eIQ Insights: The New Ecommerce Opportunity in Thailand

[LEAP Week 2] eIQ Insights: Refinement of an Ecommerce Channel Strategy

[LEAP Week 3] eIQ Insights: Market-Product Fit First Before Anything

[LEAP Week4] eIQ Insights: Central Marketing Group’s Shares Phase II of Digital Strategy

[LEAP Week 5] eIQ Insights: Startups Need to Have an Independent Source of Income to Survive

[LEAP Week 6] eIQ Insights: In Mobile Commerce, App Install is Only the Starting Point

[LEAP Week 7] eIQ Insights: Logistics and Fulfillment, The Other Side of The Ecommerce Coin

[LEAP Week 8] eIQ Insights: Looking to Succeed in Fulfillment and Logistics? Start with Data and People

[LEAP Week 9] eIQ Insights: Thailand Must Do More With Less to Achieve a Digital Economy

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.

“Set up a website and sell goods online.” Having an ecommerce business is not as simple as it sounds. In addition to running effective digital marketing to create demand, a user friendly webstore and great customer service, what’s more important is getting the package delivered to the hands of consumer in one peace.

In this seventh week of LEAP, we introduced an overview operations of ecommerce from hiring the right people and technology to being the right leader for your organization.

1. Customer Experience is Key to Pomelo’s Brand and Customer Loyalty

SALISA LANDY, POMELO REGIONAL VP MARKETING AND PR

For leading fast fashion brand in Southeast Asia like Pomelo, it’s not trends and celebrities that drive returning shoppers but prioritizing customer experience. This doesn’t simply mean only answering customers’ questions  but taking care of even the smallest details, such as the packaging.

“Our packaging was something that got our customers excited. It [packaging] is edgy and instagram-able. It’s what our customers can post on their social media and from there, word of mouth spread.”

Ecommerce Logistics and Fulfillment

Pomelo Packaging

Another winning point for this online fast fashion brand is how Pomelo addresses the most painful point of online shopping – sizing and returns. Because selling goods online, especially fashion items, requires a good fit.

Ecommerce Logistics and Fulfillment

Salisa Landy, Pomelo Regional VP Marketing and PR

Pomelo offered a 365-day free return policy to break the online purchasing barrier of not being able to touch and trial.

Ecommerce Logistics and Fulfillment

2. A Checklist to Ecommerce Operations: Making Your Business Ecommerce Ready

MITCH BITTERMANN, GROUP CCO ACOMMERCE

When building your ecommerce backend, the frequently-asked questions often involve: Where do we start? Or what do I need to have in order to operate my ecommerce business effectively and efficiently?

Ecommerce Logistics and Fulfillment

Mitch Bittermann, Group CCO aCommerce

Mitch shared a checklist of items to make the organization ready for ecommerce.

Ecommerce Logistics and Fulfillment

3. To Lead is To Achieve Something Great Together

CARLOS FRANCAIS, COO LAZADA THAILAND

According to  the Chief Operating Officer of Lazada, to lead an organization, the leader must be able to influence and persuade his team members – especially blue collar workers – to work towards the same goal.

Ecommerce Logistics and Fulfillment

Carlos Francais, COO Lazada Thailand

In this interactive session, Carlos shared this framework to create a shared vision within the company, encouraging the team to fully address its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

“People populate your behaviour. When employees are inspired by what you do, and in return, they are productive at their work. This is where innovation begins.”

Ecommerce Logistics and Fulfillment

The next class is on Thursday November 2nd and will dive into how to run a fulfillment center efficiently and explore the right delivery methods in Southeast Asia by the industry expert Kerry Express. Stay tuned for next week’s takeaways!

[LEAP Week 1] eIQ Insights: The New Ecommerce Opportunity in Thailand

[LEAP Week 2] eIQ Insights: Refinement of an Ecommerce Channel Strategy

[LEAP Week 3] eIQ Insights: Market-Product Fit First Before Anything

[LEAP Week4] eIQ Insights: Central Marketing Group’s Shares Phase II of Digital Strategy

[LEAP Week 5] eIQ Insights: Startups Need to Have an Independent Source of Income to Survive

[LEAP Week 6] eIQ Insights: In Mobile Commerce, App Install is Only the Starting Point

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.

Ecommerce, as the name suggests, is the process of buying and selling a product over the internet. The ability to shop online is not confined to only laptops and PCs, but more and more, being conducted on smartphones and tablets in developing regions.

Opportunity is where the people are; in Thailand alone, mobile social users make up 42 million out of the country’s total 68.22 million population making the smartphone an important channel for retail companies.

The sixth week of LEAP looked at the potential of mobile commerce, introduced the fundamentals of app marketing, and illustrated how an omni-channel strategy is possible in even Thailand’s oldest, highly reputable, retail players – Central Group.

1. Three Mega Trends of a Mobile-Driven Economy

NATHANIA CHRISTY, TRENDWATCHING INSIGHTS & COMMUNITY LEAD APAC

Brands often ask, “what do customers want next?”, the truth is that many of them don’t really know what they want.

Instead of watching customer behavior for trends, it’s better to watch innovative businesses.

LEAP Ecommerce Course

Nathania Christy, TrendWatching Insights & Community Lead APAC

According to TrendWatching, brands must create something that serves the basic needs of humans as well be aware of how these needs will evolve. This is how to achieve what Nathania calls the “sweet spot”.

LEAP Ecommerce Course

She discussed three mega trends during her lecture and how businesses can integrate them into core products:

1. Helpfull – contextualizing a brand’s omni-presence to serve convenience-oriented consumers. It does not have to be online or involve with sophisticated technology.

Example: In Indonesia, government officials employ WhatsApp to allow Indonesians to schedule appointments with government agencies. Effectiveness does not require fancy technology, your goal can be achieved as long as it answers a basic need – convenience.

2. Infolust – information is everywhere, today’s consumers want to be informed in real-time.

Example: Japanese supermarket “U” proves that its produce is fresh by launching an official Snapchat account and filming the journey of its fish through “Stories”.

3. Joyning – there are various types of connections made possible through a mobile-driven society:

  • Instant Encounters are about making direct, face-to-face contact to create relationships
  • Middlemen Removal becomes the new business model where intermediary is eliminated and in return, brands are able to produce goods of better quality and price
  • Digital Detox is much needed as more consumers are glued to their phones and less people are connecting in real life
  • Mass Mingling offers an activity for consumers to get together and do meaningful things in groups

Example: KLM Royal Dutch Airlines brought strangers together during Christmas time by preparing a Christmas feast that was only accessible if every seat around the dinner table was filled. Take a look at the heart-warming application of Mass Mingling by KLM here.

Want more mega trends? We’ve shared the TrendWatching deck here.

2. App Installs Do Not Translate into Success  

JONAH KADISH, APPSFLYER CUSTOMER SUCCESS MANAGER

For brands that offer a mobile application, getting consumers to install the app may be a main objective but it doesn’t guarantee success.

Why? Because consumers uninstall applications all the time. Thailand has a 34% rate of uninstalls for Android app users.

LEAP Ecommerce Course

Jonah Kadish, AppsFlyer Customer Success Manager

So how can brands measure app success? Rather than focus on driving installs, focus on in-app events. They include:

App usage – Is it frequent within a week?

Session length – Is it long enough to make a purchase?

LEAP Ecommerce Course

3. The Importance of Omni-Channel in the View of Central Group

BHUMSARAN (TOP) AMTHONG, CENTRAL ONLINE SVP HEAD OF COMMERCIAL

As the world of commerce evolves, so does a customer’s’ expectation.

LEAP Ecommerce Course

Selling goods is no longer defined by the famous 4Ps (Product, Price, Place and Promotion) but rather the experience that consumers are expecting to get. Khun Bhumsaran shares a private case study regarding Topshop’s success moving into an omni-channel strategy.

LEAP Ecommerce Course

Bhumsaran (Top) Amthong, Central Online SVP Head of Commercial

The next class is on Thursday October 19th and will take a look at logistics and fulfillment, from industry leaders include Lazada and Pomelo. Stay tuned for next week’s takeaways!

[LEAP Week 1] eIQ Insights: The New Ecommerce Opportunity in Thailand

[LEAP Week 2] eIQ Insights: Refinement of an Ecommerce Channel Strategy

[LEAP Week 3] eIQ Insights: Market-Product Fit First Before Anything

[LEAP Week4] eIQ Insights: Central Marketing Group’s Shares Phase II of Digital Strategy

[LEAP Week 5] eIQ Insights: Startups Need to Have an Independent Source of Income to Survive

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.

While buying search keywords and having attractive content are almost crucial for modern-day marketing, quite often companies ignore an equally important aspect of content marketing/communications – Public Relations.

During this week’s class, lecturers unveiled effective ways to increase brand awareness using the media with ‘smart’ communications and how to achieve positive unit economics.

1. Treat media relations like dating

CYNTHIA LUO, ACOMMERCE HEAD OF COMMUNICATIONS AND ECOMMERCEIQ PRODUCT MANAGER

Not all companies can afford to have a communications team but this doesn’t mean they should neglect  “free publicity”. According to Cynthia,

“You, the executives, are the walking-talking mascots of the brand. If I run a Google search for your name, what does the audience learn about you?”

LEAP startup course

Cynthia Luo, aCommerce Head of Communications and ecommerceIQ Product Manager

To make things easier, she compared the procedure of creating a relationship with a media to dating and baseball games.

  • Home Base: Similar to dating, you want to get to know the person that will be eventually writing about you. With journalists, introduce yourself by reaching out on Twitter or email, something as simple as complimenting their work. Twitter remains a popular social media platform among journalists.
  • First Base: Establish meaningful conversation. It can be done by finding out what the journalist is interested in, tweet interesting articles to them and ask for their opinions.
  • Second Base: Getting “physical”. With journalists, initiate a meet up, this can include a media visit to your office and/or a press event. This is also where a press release with newsworthy news should be shared.

Below are some headlines that typically make news:

LEAP startup course

  • Third Base: In romantic relationships, it can be healthy to be exclusive. When your news is published, make sure you don’t damage the relationship with the media you created.

Common mistakes that would irritate journalists include spamming their inbox, using an unnecessary amount of buzzwords, and a delayed response to requests for comments.

2. Positive unit economics is the only way to be profitable

MICHAEL CLUZEL, EATIGO CO-FOUNDER AND CEO

As a marketer, economist and founder of the popular dining application, eatigo, Michael doesn’t believe in businesses that don’t profit.

LEAP startup course

Michael Cluzel, eatigo co-founder and CEO

It’s common for a startup to depend on investors for financial injections but a startup should eventually be able to survive on their own if they choose to ‘break free from the aquarium’.

“Startups need to be independent from investors. Instead of relying on external financial sources, create your own source of income and be profitable.”

How? Ensure that Lifetime Value (LTV) is higher than Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) is reduced.

LEAP startup course

3. Student case studies

SHEJI HO, ACOMMERCE GROUP CMO

The insurance sector in Thailand is the second largest in the Asean Economic Community, and accounted for 5.5% of GDP in 2016. However, direct premiums purchased through online channels have a YoY growth of 25% in 2016.

The students wanted to know how could they launch financial services online successfully and  what kind of marketing tools could be best leveraged?

According to Sheji, the real opportunity in this industry lies within the product, not distribution channels.

LEAP startup course

Sheji Ho, aCommerce Group CMO

The local market is already saturated and mature with many fintech players moving into the space. What is missing is actually the innovation of insurance products and pricing.

LEAP startup course

“There is wide open space to disrupt this industry as you can create micro-insurance products to sell online.”

Traditional companies should look to China for examples of different types of financial products such as insurance for kidnapping, mobile phones, ecommerce returns, etc.

The next class in the 10-week program is on Thursday October 12th and will take a look at the fundamentals of app marketing, as well as learning from an omni-channel case study of Central Online. Stay tuned for next week’s takeaways!

[LEAP Week 1] eIQ Insights: The New Ecommerce Opportunity in Thailand

[LEAP Week 2] eIQ Insights: Refinement of an Ecommerce Channel Strategy

[LEAP Week 3] eIQ Insights: Market-Product Fit First Before Anything

[LEA{ Week4] eIQ Insights: Central Marketing Group’s Shares Phase II of Digital Strategy

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 fourth week of LEAP explored the digital marketing tools that companies can use to increase the impact of their channels online.

Facebook and Google Analytics may not be new but many businesses aren’t utilizing their full capabilities. This week, LEAP lecturers take a look at digital marketing strategies to maximize business objectives and understand how it can be applied in a Central Marketing Group case study.

Here are some of last week’s LEAP highlights:

1. Capture Consumer attention with ‘Thumb Stopping Content’

VANITCHA (RY) WANKAWISANT, ACOMMERCE SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING LEAD

It is undeniable that social media has become a vital marketing tool for businesses around the world,. In Thailand alone, these are the latest statistics:

  • Facebook: 47 million active users, with a YoY increase of 15%
  • Instagram: 11 million active users, with a YoY increase of 41%, Thailand ranked #13 in the world in terms of the number of users
  • LINE: 41 million active users, with a YoY increase of 24%, Thailand ranked #2 in the world
EcommerceIQ Sasin LEAP Course

Vanitcha (Ry) Wankawisant, aCommerce Social Media Marketing Lead

Given the popularity of these social channels, how can brands capture consumer attention when there is so much content to digest? Social Media Marketing Lead at aCommerce recommends brands to create what he calls ‘Thumb Stopping Content’.

Capturing an online audience requires captivating images and catchy headlines but be mindful of becoming  too intrusive. For example, when it comes to video content, always leave the sound off to avoid annoying the end user.

EcommerceIQ Sasin LEAP Course

Facebook users spend on average 1.7 seconds reading a post on their newsfeed via mobile and 2.5 seconds on desktop before they stop browsing.

This means that whatever content you are posting, make sure it is interesting enough to catch their attention within 1.7 seconds.

2. Giving credit to only the most effective marketing channels

WATASIT (BOOK) CHINDAKAWEE, ACOMMERCE ASSOCIATE INTERNET MARKETING MANAGER, ANALYTICS & MARKETING TECH TEAM LEAD

Google Analytics is a popular tool that is able to tell marketers which customer touchpoint should be maximized by identifying which channel led to the highest conversion rate.

In reality, customers end up buying because they are inspired by the effect of multiple marketing efforts across different channels throughout their purchasing journey.

For example, a browser may see an ad for a juicer on Facebook but only decide to buy in the afternoon by going directly to the webstore after reading a sponsored article about the benefits of juicing.
EcommerceIQ Sasin LEAP CourseBut how can online marketers give credit to channels that actually lead to sales?

The Google Analytics’ Attribution feature offers three models to allocate credits to each marketing tool – the more credits, the more effective the channel. These are the three common models:

EcommerceIQ Sasin LEAP Course

Last Click Model: credits are only given to the last touchpoint where purchase happened and ignores all the other marketing campaigns. To simply explain this, Khun Watasit compared it to his favorite sport:

“This process is like soccer. The guy who scored gets all the credit and those who passed him the ball are ignored.

Linear Model: the model tracks the customer journey until purchase and evenly distributes credits to each online channel.

Data Driven Model: this model is considered the most accurate to understand a customer’s entire purchasing journey before check out. Google’s unique Model Explorer (available in a paid Google Analytics 360 service) shows you the weighted average credit for the path positions prior to conversion for each channel.

EcommerceIQ Sasin LEAP Course

Watasit (Book) Chindakawee, aCommerce Associate Internet Marketing Manager, Analytics & MarTech Team Lead

When asked which model is best to implement, Khun Watasit said it depends on the marketing objective and budget because this feature informs marketers which channel should they invest in more in order to maximize the Return on Investment (ROI).

He suggests the brand to experiment with all models for at least 30 days.

3. There is no offline versus online

NITTHAKORN (BIRD) WONGWAN, CENTRAL MARKETING GROUP GENERAL MANAGER E-BUSINESS
EcommerceIQ Sasin LEAP Course

Nitthakorn (Bird) Wongwan, Central Marketing Group General Manager E-business

Thailand’s retail giant Central Group understood from an early point that the company needed to adapt to new consumer habits, especially after “The Four Big Shifts”:

  1. Aging society
  2. Urbanization
  3. Rise of China and India’s digital society
  4. Digital revolution

“Central Group no longer targets to grow our business only at malls, but we will be wherever our targets’ eyeballs are at.”

In order to do so, Khun Nitthakorn shared that the company combined the best of both online and offline by redesigning its organization’s structures and goals.

EcommerceIQ Sasin LEAP Course

When Central Marketing Group shifted to an O2O (offline to online) transition in 2017, it went beyond assigning a person dedicated to online marketing. Each brand, such as Dyson and Clarins, had to adopt a holistic retail strategy – there is no division between online and offline platforms.

“The KPI for marketing is no longer defined by online and offline sales, instead it sets a co-KPI towards brand sales.”

Khun Nitthakorn shared that the company already integrated online and offline promotions as well as Click and Collect at Central malls. Phase II of the company’s retail strategy will consist of consolidating inventory and CRM systems.

The next LEAP class is on Thursday October 5th, 2017 taking a look at content marketing and how to achieve positive unit economics for your business by the founder and CEO of eatigo. Stay tuned for next week’s takeaways.

[LEAP Week 1] eIQ Insights: The New Ecommerce Opportunity in Thailand

[LEAP Week 2] eIQ Insights: Refinement of an Ecommerce Channel Strategy

[LEAP Week 3] eIQ Insights: Market-Product Fit First Before Anything

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 third week of LEAP dove into a session disproving what most marketers still commonly think of as the “magic dust of strong sales” and introduced digital marketing concepts such as SEO, SEM and retargeting tools to students looking to grow their customer base.

Here are some of last week’s LEAP highlights:

1. “Growth hacking is bullshit, there is no shortcut to growing your business”

SHEJI HO, GROUP CMO, ACOMMERCE
ecommerce growth marketing

Sheji Ho, aCommerce Group CMO at LEAP 2017

The biggest takeaway from Sheji’s two hour lecture on digital marketing is that companies should ask themselves “if the market needs their product” before spending money on Google and Facebook ads. Popular businesses like ofo, Seekster and Blue Apron, may run into trouble because they lack what Brian Balfour refers to as “market-product fit”.

Examples below:

ofo – Thailand’s roads are the second deadliest in the world, does it make sense to have bike sharing in Bangkok?

Seekster – home service on demand started in the US but churn rate began increasing because once a user finds a suitable cleaner through the platform, most home owners would take the transaction offline.

Blue Apron – once people learned what ingredients to buy and how to cook the meals, would they continue ordering expensive meal kits?

ecommerce growth marketing“Before you spend money at your product, does your business make sense in this time and this market? Because if not, people won’t use your product regardless of how much money you throw at it.”

2. Ok Google, teach me about SEO

KORAVUT PAVITPOK, HEAD OF GROWTH MARKETING, ACOMMERCE
ecommerce growth marketing

Koravut (Bom) Pavitpok, aCommerce Head of Growth Marketing

What is Google’s market share in Thailand?

A whooping 99%.

It’s almost essential then to understand how Google search can drive quality online traffic to your website through proper SEO (search engine optimization), SEM (search engine marketing) and dynamic retargeting.

Based on factors such as search volume and intent, companies can bid on keywords to capture the attention of Thailand’s most likely buyers.

ecommerce growth marketing

The more accurately you can target users on the lower end of the funnel, the more likely to see conversions on your ecommerce channels.

Think of Google search like street names,” says Bom Pavitpok. “You want to be on the most popular street for your particular category.”

The next LEAP class is on Thursday September 28th, 2017 taking a look at social media marketing, Google analytics and a Central Marketing Group case study. Stay tuned for next week’s takeaways.

[LEAP Week 1] eIQ Insights: The New Ecommerce Opportunity in Thailand

[LEAP Week 2] eIQ Insights: Refinement of an Ecommerce Channel Strategy


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