acommerce 11.11

How aCommerce Indonesia Preps For The Year’s Biggest Sale

aCommerce Indonesia worked with 11 retail and beauty brands to prepare for Southeast Asia’s own version of Alibaba’s 11.11 annual sale. To prepare for the event that targets over 18 million online buyers in the country, aCommerce set up team war rooms to oversee operations in fulfillment centers and marketing campaigns.

This year, data shows shoppers were more inclined to buy everyday items such as cosmetics, which saw a 27X spike in orders, over pricier items such as electronics, even though they were discounted.

Here is how aCommerce prepares for the big sales campaign

Operations Team

It’s not an over-exaggeration when aCommerce calls the preparation room for 11.11 ‘the war room’. The operations team at Halim FC gathers one month before D-day to discuss influx of products coming in, restructuring of warehouse flow to accommodate larger orders, sync products with special campaign discounts and integrate contract workers. The room comes alive for 10 days where snacks and drinks are passed around while channel management team, project heads and brand commerce coordinators shuffle in and out. This is base camp.   

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In the last week of October, aCommerce hires daily contract workers to clean up aCommerce operation hubs stationed across the country to shorten the last mile process and cut down cash-on-delivery reconciliation by half. 13 new hires were made during this time, on top of 3 existing staff members to align administrative tasks for store operations.

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With a tight window and some categories like Beauty experiencing surges in orders as high as 27X, cross-departmental collaborations are needed and a top down approach is taken in order to successfully operate and launch a successful campaign.

Brand Commerce Team

Approximately three weeks prior to 11.11, the brand commerce team studies the sales performance of participating brand ranging four months back. This is done to understand which products are in high demand, which sold best in a bundle under what campaign and which need a boost.

It also allows the brand commerce team to accurately anticipate order volumes and allocate inventory to ensure that stock does not run out during the campaign.

Brand commerce and channel management work together to test the functionality of each webstore to ensure the system works, and that all product images and descriptions are aligned.

Approximately 10 days prior to 11.11, aCommerce’s operations team begin preparations at Ponduk Ungu fulfillment center. Pathways are cleared within the center for products to be picked efficiently and the team creates a dedicated campaign line and inbound space so no process is delayed when orders begin pouring in.

Digital Marketing Team

In tandem, aCommerce marketing team also rolls out online campaigns to boost awareness and drive traffic to a brand’s own website or popshop if they are selling only on a marketplace. A popshop is a landing page dedicated to collecting  insightful consumer data that would otherwise be collected by only the marketplace. The popshop then leads customers to a shoppable page for the brand (i.e. a marketplace).

Through data-driven analysis, as strengthened by recent Google Analytics Official Partnership, the team is able to understand what drives traffic, what content consumers engage best with, which demographic reacted favorably and create a benchmark.

The marketing team also places emphasis on the days leading up to the campaign, otherwise known as the ‘teasing’ period. During this time, digital newsletters are sent out to each brand’s customer database highlighting the products that will be discounted and colorful banners with special dates and reminders to shop on 11.11. All marketing efforts are monitored on a live dashboard to track and store progress and engagement.

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Tech Developer Team

aCommerce marketing department works closely with the tech team for all web based implementations on mobile websites or apps to cover all client platforms. Multi-channel management platform ChannelSquid and multi-shipping management platform SmartShip are both relentlessly tested to handle higher activity and input.

Final Steps

Before wrapping up preparations, a stress test is carried out to assess the speed of the platforms. This is a vital component to a successful sales campaign, as slow website speed can ultimately harm a brand’s chance of sale.

The collaboration and dedication that goes into creating, planning and pushing out a sales campaign of this scale will drive the growth of ecommerce in Indonesia forward. As more individuals have positive online experiences, behaviors will shift to favor ecommerce and trust online transactions. 11.11 and other sales campaign will be vital to help Indonesia reach its targeted value of $130 billion by 2020.