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Here’s what you should know today.

1. Migme prepares scenario to sell the company

As migme struggles to secure new investors, the company is extending the deadline for its search to April 17, 2017 as part of transparency requirement at the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX).

The company is looking for an investment of AU$6 million (US$4.5 million) convertible note. Its stock price has slipped to 4.4 cents and the company had requested ASX to suspend its share transactions.

According to its Q4 2016 financial report, by the end of December 2016 migme only had US$400,000 left in its account, and was in the process to reduce operational costs by refocussing the organization –and quite possibly by laying off employees.

Read the rest of the story here.

2. Zalora to stock Abercrombie & Fitch in Asia 

American retailer Abercrombie & Fitch has entered into a wholesale agreement with Zalora. Starting next week, the fashion ecommerce will stock Abercrombie & Fitch in Asia.

“This partnership will provide Abercrombie & Fitch access to more than 600 million of Zalora’s online customers,” said Fran Horowitz, CEO of A&F.

The deal puts authentic Abercrombie & Fitch products into 11 Asian markets including Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, the Philippines and Taiwan.

“We are looking forward to partnering with Zalora to build on our strong base of loyal customers across Southeast Asia. We work hard to connect with customers wherever, whenever, and however they prefer to shop and we continue to invest in relationships and innovation to support that.” added Horowitz.

Read the rest of the story here.

3. Recommended Reading: Marketers Direct Mobile Ad Efforts Towards Social in APAC

Consumer’s preference for mobile in Asia Pacific is having a big impact on ad spending in the region, with paid social campaigns on popular platforms like Facebook shifting increasingly toward mobile channels.

A survey conducted by Hakuhodo in August 2016 found that more than half of respondents accessed social media using their device. The findings align with eMarketer’s November 2016 forecast predicting that more than 90% of Facebook users in Asia-Pacific will log on to the site via their mobile device this year.

This growing preference for mobile access to social networks in Asia-Pacific hasn’t been lost on the region’s advertisers. According to January 2017 data compiled by Nanigans, mobile’s share of Facebook ad spending in Q4 2016 in Asia-Pacific was 88%, at least 10 percentage points higher than any other geographic region worldwide.

Read the rest of the story here.

 

Thailand’s COL, a subsidiary under Central Group held a shareholders meeting Wednesday and made significant announcements regarding the future of its online business. The group is planning to sell its B2C online businesses to its parent company to focus on growing online B2B operations.

COL has three key businesses:

  1. B2S books and stationery stores
  2. OfficeMate stationery stores
  3. Online platforms Central.co.th, Robinson.co.th and Zalora.co.th.

According to an attendee of COL shareholder meeting, originally posted on LongTunMan blog, the following took place:

The most significant moment of the meeting came after a reflection of last year’s performance. Management explained why they were “taking a step back from online business”. The main reasons being:

  • Market leader and new competition within the ecommerce landscape
  • Unlikely to be profitable in the near future (subsidies too high)
  • The online business requires more monetary investments at a large scale

Source: COL business plan presentation at the Annual shareholders meeting

“Currently, ecommerce in Thailand is a cash-burning race. The top performing player, LAZADA, is losing billions of baht. Central is not ready to experience losses of that scale in order to participate in the online race. All B2C online businesses under COL will be sold to Central Group, which has significantly more resources to fight the competitors,” wrote the attendee of the meeting.

COL business plan* shows that in 2016 the net loss of its digital & online business was 330 million THB (9.5 million USD).

That is almost double the net loss of 185 million THB (5.3 million USD) in 2015. Stepping out of online business will significantly improve COL profits.

Source: COL business plan presentation at the Annual shareholders meeting

The attendee of the shareholder meeting noted that as soon as the management made their announcement, shares went up 22% to 39.5 baht. What do shareholders think about this?

“Some may be disappointed that COL is pulling out. However, shareholders prioritize a company’s profitability. If we were to study performance results from 2016, it becomes clear that by removing its online businesses, the company will gain 86% in profit,” says the LongTunMan post.

Next steps for COL

In its business plan, COL has defined that one of the key strategies to continue sustainable growth is to develop a new online B2B platform that matches vendors and potential customers in various industries.

By focusing on B2B operations, it will serve as a quicker win for COL. The company already has a strong consumer base in that area.

Source: COL business plan presentation at the Annual shareholders meeting

According to LongTunMan, “management has announced that COL will now be an abbreviation for “Central Omni Logistics”, as the company will shift its focus to B2B.

This is where the company’s expertise lies, and remains a market leader. COL currently claims 80% of market share for office supplies.

“This decision shows that in some cases, it is better to take a step back in order to move forward and focus on where your business’s strength lies. Simply put, it is not worth it for COL to put all of its resources into fighting with other players, who have more resources to burn,” says the LongTunMan’s blog post.

In addition to moving to B2B online operations, COL also wants to step up its logistics game and in the future sell third party logistics and fulfillment services to other market players.

Source: COL business plan presentation at the Annual shareholders meeting

These changes in COL are aimed to turn the company into “the region’s leading business solution center”. The company is moving away from loss making activities to focus its efforts in the B2B area in hopes of a more profitable business model and where it has significant strengths.

Source: COL business plan presentation at the Annual shareholders meeting

Find the COL business plan presentation from the annual shareholders meeting in English here.

The original version of COL shareholders meeting attendee was published in Thai, and can be found on LongTunMan’s blog here.

* NOTE: The original version of presentation from the COL shareholders meeting, accessed by ecommerceIQ on April 7, included the slide which detailed how big company’s net profit would be without its Digital & Online business. This slide, however, is missing from the latest version of its business plan’s presentation available on their website.

BY: NIKI CHATIKAVANIJ AND AIJA KRUTAINE

Indonesia is projected to capture 52% of Southeast Asia’s total ecommerce value by 2025.

Total revenue from ecommerce in Indonesia only this year is predicted to reach $6.96 billion, and projected to rise to $14.47 billion by 2021, meaning that total revenue will double in four years.

Statista data shows us what businesses looking at the Indonesian market should keep in mind for the next few years.

Fashion is a leading vertical in ecommerce

Fashion consistently dominates as the country’s top selling vertical in online retail and is predicted to increase in revenue every year until 2021.

Fashion 2016: $1.99 billion total revenue

Fashion 2017: $2.47 billion total revenue

Fashion 2021: $5.32 billion total revenue

Current key players in fashion ecommerce:

Matahari Department Store, Salestock, Zalora, Lyke, Berrybenka, muslim fashion store Hijup, and Kuki

Source: eIQ ECOMScape Indonesia

Food and personal care to experience slow growth

The total revenue for online food and personal care in 2016 was $0.49 billion, and predicted to reach $0.71 billion by 2018. By 2021, food and personal care online revenues are projected to reach $1.07 billion, trailing behind verticals such as electronics, fashion and furniture but still expected to double.

Furniture and appliances to experience steady rise

The graph suggests that more Indonesians will be jumping online to buy couches and chairs. A few first movers in the furniture industry such as Fabelio will be a part of the market that is expected to bring in a total revenue of $1.18 billion and  predicted to rise to $2.39 billion by 2021.

Looking ahead

Indonesia’s ecommerce market as a whole is  set to grow.All verticals ranging from fashion to toys are all poised to experience 2X growth by 2021 as internet penetration is going to jump from 13% to 21% by 2021.

Welcome back from the weekend. Here’s what you should know today.

1. Viva Republica raises $48M to boost p2p money, eyes Southeast Asia expansion

South Korea-based fintech startup Viva Republica has raised a US$48 million in a Series C round led by Goodwater Capital. Viva will use the newly-raised capital to acquire users and launch new products.

Going forward, the platform plans to introduce three new services: loan brokerage, overseas transfer, and micro insurance and foreign exchange. Viva also has plans to expand to Southeast Asia through an M&A but said that it would not disclose specific plans.

Read the rest of the story here.

 

2. Zalora invests $4.2mil on regional e-fulfilment hub in Malaysia

The e-fulfilment hub handles thousands of orders per day, approximately 4.5 million items and serves as the company’s sole fulfillment hub for Malaysia, Brunei, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. It also provides stock support for Indonesia and the Philippines.

Why Malaysia? One of the main things Zalora looked at in deciding the location for its e-fulfillment hub was the geographic density of orders and customers. The highest density comes from West Malaysia and Singapore. The hub is located in Shah Alam, an industry-heavy city accessible by seaport and airport, and close to Kuala Lumpur.

Lower cost markets such as Indonesia and the Philippines were not picked because of higher risks and complexities in dealing with customs controls.

Read the rest of the story here.

 

3. Recommended Reading: Why Alibaba’s latest Paytm buy proves Amazon is playing a losing game in Asia

Alibaba’s latest investments into Paytm is a clear signal of its growing investment presence. Fintech is one of Alibaba’s domineering tentacles into the region. Then there’s Lazada with its recent investment in Redmart.

 We need to see Alibaba in the context of Chinese investors’ overarching trend of divestment from the mainland and heightened interest in the global economy.

But Alibaba’s tech investments and acquisitions are not the only parts of the whole. With Jack Ma personally advising Malaysia’s digital economy, it’s hard not to see how Alibaba can potentially become a regional champion.

Read the rest of the story here.

For those in Bangkok, it’s almost impossible not to notice the red banners splashed across the city’s skytrain stations. Right in the heart of Bangkok’s mall district are surfaces covered in ads for Korean e-marketplace 11street, which made it’s long awaited launch in February.

11street advert at Bangkok’s skytrain stations

11street ads are even on Rabbit cards – the card passengers use to tap in and out of skytrain stations

The Korean e-marketplace has gained high website traffic following its launch, high enough to be catching up to leading B2C site Lazada in Thailand. Although 11street’s 7.6 million visits in January is still very modest compared to Lazada’s 41.6 million, the Korean giant has managed to reach traction where other players such as Central online or Zalora have not managed.

Below are search results for 11street and Lazada, for comparison:

Google search results for 11street. Source: Foundamatic

Google search results for Lazada

“This year alone we plan to invest over a billion baht on our marketing campaigns to attract buyers with even better products, promotions and prices,” says Hong Cheol Jeon, CEO of 11street Thailand.

The marketplace is planning to spend one billion baht or $28,522,540 USD on only marketing.

Well, it seems to be working as the website reportedly saw 14 million visits within 42 days and plans to become the no.1 marketplace within four years, if not earlier.

11street’s expensive marketing efforts also include signing famous brand ambassadors for the marketplace as Thai’s especially are still influenced by celebrities. Thai actress Nittha Jirayungyurn and Korean actor Song Joong-Ki, can be seen holding up the iconic 11street handle signal in skytrain stations.

 

The ecommerce market in Thailand is big enough for more than one dominant player and the company’s efforts in making an entrance is expected. After the PR buzz dies down, it is really down to which platform can provide the best customer experience and grab more market share.

This means reliable delivery, active customer support, wide selection of products and easy payment options.

Let the games begin.

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.