News

Ecommerce Insights

Fears of Virus Outbreak Open the Door to the New Adoption of Online Shopping

As people are trying to stay healthy and escaping virus outbreak, Ecommerce industry strive to its best to ensure that we are all kept virus free.

Amids COVID-19 crisis that wreak havoc to the world’s economy, one industry is standing above all to help people escape deadly virus and might change landscape of Ecommerce forever.

COVID-19, the official name for the latest emerging Coronavirus dubbed by World Health Organization (WHO), is feared to become a new pandemic. As of the beginning of March, the number of infected rises above 95,000, with more than 200 identified in Southeast Asia, particularly Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand. Southeast Asia economy is inevitably driven by China where trades, transportation, and excursion are unavoidable from the alleged origination COVID-19, and unfortunately, we are expecting numbers of confirmed patients to grow significantly.

Impact of the outbreak on Southeast Asia

BrandIQ investigate the growth rate of the epidemic in various regions and found that Southeast Asia numbers are fairly suppressive. From the 1st of February to 5th March 2020, numbers of the confirmed patients only increase by 372% while in China, South Korea and Europe numbers are 582%, 47950%, and 19127% respectively.

Southeast Asian culture seems to involve limited human to human contact whilst westerner greetings are either handshake or kiss on the cheeks. Countries like Thailand and Singapore are also absorbing East Asian habit of wearing a mask in public (despite the main reason is to battling the region’s pollution level). This coincidentally helped slowing COVID-19 dissemination.

If you live in Southeast Asia, it is impossible to not notice the thinning visitors in malls these days, public transportations are also less crowded, and food delivery service such as GrabFood and Foodpanda are flourishing. GrabFood recorded 4 million orders in the first month of 2020 comparing to a total three million orders in 2019, supporting our hypothesis that consumers are preferring to stay home amidst the outbreak.

Online marketshare insights are provided by digital shelf on BrandIQ

BrandIQ dives into our Digital Shelf to determine reflective factors on Southeast Asia’s top marketplace from the first week of the outbreak until the beginning of March to see the impact on people’s purchase behavior. As anticipated, every category regards to self-cleaning, healthcare, virus protection has massive growth in sales.

BrandIQ is the first Ecommerce Analytics Platform to launch in Southeast Asia. The platform covers data collection from top regional marketplaces, spread over 6 countries.

We are responding to the outbreak and try to stay healthy

Thermometers revenue is growing 705% prior to outbreak period. It resonates consumers responsibility to ensure their safety and staying on offence. Hand Care including sanitizers & soup also experienced significant uplift. Overall every product related to virus prevention and protection are on positive Dollar Growth side.

When look closely we will see inverted Unit Growth on Groceries and Body Wash. This could be articulated by two plausible explanations; (1.) customers are willing to pay premium for better/high-end product during the outbreak period (to ensure cleanliness & safety) or (2.) sellers and merchants are taking advantage of the situation by raising and speculating price.

Dollar Growth vs Unit Growth (%) from Southeast Asia’s top marketplace during virus outbreak.

Mask & Filter Dollar Growth are undermined due to stock and product distribution backlog. The real reason behind significantly higher Unit Growth than Dollar could be explained by average order value. Southeast Asia, especially Thailand and Indonesia, has been the victim of PM2.5 since November 2019. The order value of filters is monstrous compared to a piece of mask. Prior to the outbreak, the filter is a dominant product, while during the epidemic – mask became a survival tool. Therefore, Unit Growth value is over-representation while Dollar Growth reflects production and distribution problems (Dollar Growth does not catch up to Unit Growth).

As of now, we are starting to see some level of surgical mask shortage whereby there are several news outlets reporting mask scarcity on both public & private health organization including hospitals and clinics. Some local SMEs aggravated and worsened this incidence by price speculating this lifesaving item. However, ecommerce leaders such as Lazada & Shopee have taken a step of responsibility to not condone such actions and began to take out, ban, and off-board sellers who taking advantage of this global catastrophe.

We put our health first and budgeting other expense

BrandIQ indexing outbreak period online shopping growth by selecting the categories that performed well during normal circumstances (Electronics, Beauty, Petcare, and Fashion) to compare growth index against Healthcare and Groceries products.

The number speaks for itself; Southeast Asian consumers are tightened up their personal expense. Both categories yield positive growths are COVID-19 preparation and protection item (food, medicine, health accessory). Extravagance items, for instance, beauty and fashion are inverted whilst unnecessities such as Mobile, Laptop & other electronics are receding to hibernation. Nevertheless, Alkaline batteries, as a subsidiary to Electronics, are growing 38% (Index +0.76) during the outbreak.

Online Shopping growth index during COVID-19 outbreak

Pet food and medical is expected to yield positive index

Through recent breaking news from Hongkong, a Pomeranian is tested to have “weak positive” immune for novel coronavirus.

“The Pomeranian’s owner was infected with COVID-19 but the dog itself was not showing symptoms,” authorities said.

Hong Kong has said residents should not kiss their pets after a dog tested ‘weak positive’ for coronavirus. Photograph: Jérôme Favre/EPA

However, the famous news outlet also warns the readers to adopt good hygiene practices for both humans and pets, therefore, we are also anticipating incline of pet care products sales via online channel.

Southeast Asia’s commercial landscape as we know might forever altered when consumers, who has been negligence of online shopping, has been forced to step into Online Shopping world. BRANDIQ team hope this crisis resolve quickly but until that time, please stay conscious, stay safe and follow official announcement from WHO.

Need assistance on locating market opportunity, gaining more insight on where you rank against your competitors?

Reach out to [email protected] to know how you can improve your ecommerce presence.

Company Update, Press Release

aCommerce raises US$15m from Indies Capital Partners

Bangkok, 14 January 2020: Leading ecommerce brand enabler aCommerce today announced the closing of a US$15 million funding round from Indies Capital Partners.

The US$15 million funding from Indies Capital Partners follows a US$10 million funding round from existing shareholders in July 2019. That round was subsequently upsized, signaling investors’ continued confidence and support in the Company’s strategy and vision.

This latest funding round also builds on aCommerce’s momentum following its announced “aCommerce 2.0” initiative to deliver greater value to enterprise brand clients. 

“Today’s announcement is another terrific example of a high-caliber, institutional-grade investor throwing their support behind aCommerce and our mission to become Southeast Asia’s leading ecommerce enabler company.  This is truly a milestone for aCommerce, and we look forward to working with the Indies team and benefiting from their value-add and expertise, especially in markets like Indonesia,” said Paul Srivorakul, aCommerce Co-Founder and Group CEO.

“We appreciate that aCommerce is putting itself ahead of the curve in terms of driving its business to cash flow generation, and only pursuing economically sustainable growth. It is a rare combination of a technology company of scale in Southeast Asia on the path to profitability, whilst still exhibiting strong growth prospects,” said Harold Ong, Managing Director of Indies Capital Partners.

The funding round follows the Company’s announced “aCommerce 2.0” strategic plan in July 2019 to (i) better support global enterprise brands; (ii) recruit, develop and retain key talent; (iii) focus on core markets; and (iv) achieve group profitability. The company is pleased to announce solid progress on each of these fronts.

“With the upsized July 2019 financing from existing shareholders, and this US$15 million funding from Indies Capital Partners, we are now fully-funded to continue executing on our ‘2.0 strategy’ to reach group profitability and become cash-flow positive in 2020” added Paul Srivorakul.  

****

About Indies

Indies Capital Partners is an alternative asset manager focusing on private credit and equity in Southeast Asia.  Established in 2009, it has invested more than US$1 billion across multiple strategies and on behalf of institutional and private investors.  Indies holds a Capital Markets Services license from the Monetary Authority of Singapore. For more information, please visit www.indiescp.com

About aCommerce

Headquartered in Thailand, aCommerce is the largest brand ecommerce enabler in Southeast Asia for global brand clients such as Samsung, Unilever, Nestlé, L’Oréal, Philips, Adidas, Mars and many more.  Founded in June 2013, aCommerce provides the full end-to-end suite of Ecommerce technologies and solutions including omni-channel retail, performance marketing, channel management, webstore design and operations, content production, order fulfillment and warehousing, delivery and logistics and localized customer care.  For more information, please visit www.acommerce.asia.

Press Contact: [email protected]

Company Update, Press Release

A path to profitability: aCommerce’s updated strategic plan to build a marquee Southeast Asian Ecommerce enabler company

Executive Summary:

aCommerce announces “aCommerce 2.0,” a new strategic plan that will deliver greater value to enterprise brand clients, accelerate the company’s path to profitability in the next 12 months, and position the business for long term sustainable growth as the leading Ecommerce enabler company in Southeast Asia. Key elements of the plan include: 

  • Prioritizing and enhancing end-to-end Ecommerce services for enterprise brand clients to build and strengthen long-term relationships. 
  • Focusing on aCommerce’s existing core markets – Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Malaysia. 
  • Transitioning away from providing piecemeal or single service solutions to clients that are commoditized and where there are other service provider partners already in place. 
  • Continued funding and support from existing investors, including over US$10 million from existing major shareholders.
  • Achieving group profitability during the next 12 months by growing profitable core Brand Ecommerce End-to-End business and streamlining operations.

Letter to the aCommerce Community from CEO Paul Srivorakul:

Introduction 

On August 20, 2018, we celebrated our five-year anniversary as a business. Five years can seem like a long time. For us, it represented a rapid journey from startup to a more mature business – from US$0 in revenue to well north of US$100 million. It was a major milestone for myself, our founder team, and the 1,000+ employees who work so hard to support our 200+ brand clients. 

As a business, we marked the occasion with a celebration. As an individual, I marked the occasion with reflection, on our milestones, goals, and the state of the market in which we operate. I recall a sense of uneasiness – uneasiness about the rapidly changing market, concerns about how we could maintain our market position and the existence of some competitors willing to enter into unsustainable business practices, and wariness over whether we were doing everything possible to best service our clients and motivate our employees.

Acting on these concerns, over the past twelve months my team and I, along with our board and investors, have spent time reflecting on what can make our company great and what, ultimately, needs to change if we wish to be the next great home-grown Ecommerce business in Southeast Asia.

We are therefore pleased to unveil our new strategic plan, aCommerce 2.0.  Under this plan, we will position aCommerce to deliver sustainable profitable growth, great products and services to our clients, value to our shareholders and employee shareholders, and a bright future with more opportunities for our dedicated employees.

Market Perspectives 

In many respects, the continued evolution of the Ecommerce markets in which we operate served as the catalyst for us to take a critical look at our business. Southeast Asia Ecommerce continues to grow rapidly, and at times, the evolving ecosystem of partners, service providers, and go-to-market channels can create challenges. 

In recent years there has been a rise of marketplaces, social, omni-channel logistics and demanding “24-hour” consumers. While these trends make aCommerce’s end-to-end services even more important for brands looking to effectively manage their resources and implement successful Ecommerce strategies to reach Southeast Asian consumers, the same dynamics have created inherent challenges for the Ecommerce services industry.

Our Business As It Stands 

Since our founding in Thailand in 2013, we have built one of the first truly regional Ecommerce businesses in Southeast Asia. We are now fortunate enough to serve over 200+ global brands as a true omni-channel partner in five of the largest markets in the region.

In addition to geographic expansion over the past six years, we have also expanded our services and capabilities to support a broad set of clients in Southeast Asia’s fast-moving and rapidly-expanding US$23 billion Ecommerce industry. We have grown into a business that will generate well north of US$100 million in revenue this year, and our most mature market, Thailand, is already profitable on a standalone basis.

Our business continues to experience rapid growth, with revenues from our core Brand Ecommerce solutions business (the vast majority of our business today) growing at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 188% over the last 2 years to exceed US$90 million for the calendar year 2018. We are proud of our many accomplishments but believe we have only just laid the foundation for what could be a long-term, sustainable technology company.  In order to continue building we need to ensure that our growth going forward is executed on sustainable economic terms. As the “first mover” of scale in this space, we have a responsibility to help steer away from unsustainable loss-making practices that are to the detriment of brands and all service providers in the long run.

Retooling to Build “aCommerce 2.0”

Over the past 12 months, we have conducted a thorough strategic review of our business to determine the best path to delivering greater value for our brand clients while also achieving sustainable long-term growth. In short, we want to figure out how to leverage our core business and figure out “what comes next.” After careful consideration, the company has decided to sharpen its focus on the following strategic priorities which we believe will accelerate aCommerce’s path to profitability:

  • Better supporting our global enterprise brands with end-to-end Ecommerce services, including scalability, security, interoperability and data ownership, by enhancing aCommerce’s services and technology.
  • Recruiting, developing and retaining key talent is a top priority and important for supporting our fast-growing enterprise brand clients and channel partners 
  • Focusing on aCommerce’s core markets – Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Malaysia  – to provide new and existing brand clients with distribution channels, enterprise platform & data insights and local expertise.
  • Achieving group profitability during the next 12 months, including by growing the profitable core Brand Ecommerce business and implementing a series of cost-cutting measures.

Our Path Forward

Achieving sustainable business economics will secure aCommerce’s position as a market leader in Southeast Asia’s Ecommerce services sector and enable the company to better serve its clients over the long term. Having worked hard to build an organic growth engine with strong topline growth, a core focus for the company will be to achieve profitability and become cash flow generative during the next 12 months.

While the company continues to invest in its people, core services and technology, aCommerce is implementing a series of initiatives to streamline operations, reduce loss-making business and optimize margins which will accelerate its path to profitability and sustainable growth, as well as supporting its strategic priorities. Many of these changes have been underway for some time, and others will be implemented in the coming days and months.

Some of these decisions will affect a portion of our employee base – while this is a very difficult decision and not one I enjoy as the CEO, it will allow us to become a more sustainable and profitable business. On behalf of the entire company, I want to personally thank each of these colleagues for their hard work and service. 

These specific initiatives include: 

  • Focusing on core Brand Ecommerce and scaling back single service clients for stand-alone services such as web development, marketing, and account management.  These changes in strategy and services will impact approximately 60 employees across the 5 markets we operate in, which equates to around 8% of our total workforce.
  • Working with trusted and experienced service providers to outsource some of our non-core operations including call center, fulfillment, and delivery. This will allow aCommerce to focus our resources on the core Brand Ecommerce services and key markets, as well as become more effective in cost management. As a result of this change, up to approximately 170 blue-collar employees, or 13% of our total workforce, will be impacted by the above-mentioned initiatives.
  • Ensuring all contracts are on sustainable economic terms and stick to our first principals for all trusted Brand clients.  We are proud that the majority of our cohort of Brand clients provide us with a path to profitable growth, however, we may more actively cease doing business with those that are uneconomical and/or willing to work with competitors on unsustainable terms.

Our Future

We as a company must continue to invest in our future in order to stay ahead of the curve and relevant with our clients. Accordingly, we are pleased to announce a new financing round of over US$10 million, led by existing investors Blue Sky, Emerald Media, DKSH, and SMDV, as well as plans to raise up to an additional US$5 million. The funds will be used to enhance the Company’s demand generation solutions, optimize logistics operations and balance its resources to increase efficiency across the business to better support enterprise brand clients. We are confident this fundraising will fund our operations until the group reaches profitability in 2020.

The new funding, labor rationalization, and focus on Brand Ecommerce will allow aCommerce to innovate and dedicate more resources to support growth for our enterprise brands. We will need to invest more in recruitment, training, and development of our staff as the Ecommerce industry matures and gets more technical and sophisticated. We are committed to building a long-term business, and will not be distracted by chasing near-term, vanity metrics.

I know that aCommerce employees are committed to relentlessly focus first and foremost on delivering amazing results for our clients, teams, partners, and shareholders. To achieve this, we will continue to innovate, optimize, and be sustainable such that we remain best positioned to serve our stakeholders for the long term as the market matures.  

To all our staff, I thank you for your incredible dedication and contributions to aCommerce. I am deeply grateful for all you’ve done; we would not be where we are today without you.  Thank you #aTeam.

Sincerely,

Paul Srivorakul, CEO


About aCommerce

Headquartered in Thailand, aCommerce is the largest brand Ecommerce enabler in Southeast Asia, delivering localized online retail, distribution, and marketing solutions for global brand clients such as Samsung, Unilever, Nestlé, L’Oréal, Philips, Adidas, Mars and many more.  Founded in June 2013, aCommerce provides end-to-end Ecommerce technologies and solutions including performance marketing, channel management, webstore design and operations, content production, order fulfillment and warehousing, delivery and logistics and localized customer care. For more information, please visit www.acommerce.asia.



product information management ecommerce
Case Study, Ecommerce Insights

What is PIM and Why Should Brands in Ecommerce Care?

When your brand decided to start selling on online channels, whether it’s brand.com or official store on e-marketplace — or both, uploading the product information on the channel is a crucial step for this venture and a lot of information need to be included to make up the product detail page.

For example: technical information about the product size, color, weight, and materials; usage information as to where to use, how to use, and instructional videos; as well as enriched emotional information to set the scene and lifestyle of the product’s users, including stories and imagery to help create an emotional connection with potential buyers.

Reebok website - PIM

A product page on Reebok’s website shows multiple angles of the product on the user and a brief description to help consumers establish an emotional connection with the product. Source: Reebok Thailand.

All of the above are what we called “digital assets” and you can imagine the mountain of digital assets you have to store somewhere in the cloud the wider your product selections are. Not to mention if your brand is selling on more than one online channel or if there are multiple teams from different markets needing to reuse the same materials for different purposes.

These are the scenarios many global brands can relate to and PIM is the solution to make sure brand’s ecommerce process is optimized.

What is PIM?

PIM is the acronym for Product Information Management or the process of managing product data, its information, and materials that are needed to sell and distribute your product.

Having a good, centralized PIM system provides you with a single place to collect, manage, enrich, merchandise, approve, and distribute information to multiple sales channels easily.

It’s an important aspect of scaling ecommerce business because it improves the product catalog management process and ensures the quality, accuracy, and completeness of your product information across all channels are the same.

Here is a way to visualize how PIM works:

How PIM system works

Does your brand need PIM?

If your brand is in the business of selling products online, needing to grow, as well as customizing and localizing product in different markets — while doing it all quickly and efficiently — you should be looking at PIM solution to prevent any further struggles while scaling the business.

Take a look at the quick calculation of product assortment below:

Assuming the administrative task of 1 SKU per channel per year is 46 minutes. If your brand is selling each 100 SKUs on three different online channels (a website and two e-marketplaces), you need 232 hours just to do product assortment per year.

(PIM) can automate up to 80% of the manual tasks, reducing the previous example of 696 hours per year down to 139 hours.

If you have a presence in three different markets, it reaches a total estimation of 696 hours (assuming all SKUs are active that year). Imagine if your brand is a fashion brand that releases hundreds of new SKUs each season.

PIM has the ability to boost product team productivity because, without it, your team will be spending most of their time going between multiple applications and platforms doing manual, repetitive tasks to keep up with the pace of growth and success.

It can automate up to 80% of the manual tasks, reducing the previous example of 696 hours per year down to 139 hours, clearing up your product team’s time to finally do what they were hired to do: which is to create new desirable products and sell them across different channels.

PIM also speeds up the time to market, as the product enrichment process can often be a busy flow between suppliers, offices across multiple geographies, and an intricate approval process workflow. Enabling a clear guide in a PIM system can offer each of the working teams a visible next step, improving productivity and collaboration between product information creation, approvers, departments and countries.

Why is PIM so hot right now?

PIM software market is growing at a rate of 25.3% annually and it’s estimated to reach $15.8 billion USD by 2021. The top reasons for adopting PIM are addressing customer expectations through the accurate distribution of product images and digital media.

Today shoppers are tech-savvy, attention-short, and cash-rich. Success in retail is all about the detail and if shoppers can’t find what they want or don’t see the information they need from one retailer, they will go to another website — and it might not be yours. An investment in making it fast and easy to collect then distribute information will ensure accurate product information and keep your consumers engage with your brand.

How to choose the right PIM?

Now that we established the importance of PIM for scaling an ecommerce business, there are few considerations that can help your brand determine the right PIM platform based on your business’ needs and make sure it helps them sustain your ecommerce business.

1. How many sales channels my products listed and published on?

If your products are solely on your own webstore then you possibly do not need a PIM system. But if you are selling on other sales channels (e.g. marketplaces, social media) then you need to have a centralized place to store, maintain and manage consistent information across all sales channels. More points to consider is how data are extracted and what are sales and marketing channels connected to drive impressions and sales?

2. How complex is my product information, taxonomy and relationship management?

It is not always about how many SKUs do you have, but also how many types of product information do you have? How they are structured, categorized and the hierarchy relation?

How can related products be associated (e.g. accessories, replacement parts, upsell, cross-sell, components, substitutes)? These factors need to be addressed and handled when choosing PIM.

3. Does the PIM offer the customization options?

Your PIM platform should be flexible enough to support content information that matched to your supply chain, exchange data with your ERP, system workflows and be able to present analysis data available to indicate the effectiveness of the product information.

4. Does the PIM workflow adaptable with your working process?

How easily can product information be tracked to maturity for approval and visibility of tasks to each department along the approval process. Which roles are allowed to create new content, approve content etc. How easy is this to administer ?

5. Where is the product content source for PIM to get from?

Generally, product information is generated internally in the company but there may be a case where it is from external source. PIM system should be able to handle all of your sources without manual intervention. How do we get product information into the PIM and how easy is this to do?

Want to learn more about choosing the right ecommerce platform and PIM system? Contact [email protected] for more information.

aCommerce Group Executives
Company Update

Thai Ecommerce Enabler aCommerce to raise over $200m in 2021 IPO, says CEO

DealStreetAsia: Bangkok-based ecommerce enabler aCommerce is looking to raise over $200 million in an initial public offering (IPO) scheduled for 2021, its group CEO and co-founder Paul Srivorakul told DealStreetAsia.

The startup plans to hit the bourses by the first half of next year.

Founded in June 2013, aCommerce helps brands such as Samsung, L’Oréal, and Unilever sell their products online across Southeast Asia by providing services from web store design, distribution, and marketing to warehousing and delivery.

The startup plans to use part of the IPO proceeds to spruce up its technology platform and develop its enterprise-grade SaaS offering. It will also allocate capital for international expansion.

“We plan to list on a recognised stock exchange and do a fully marketed international offering. We may list on the main board of the Thai SET (Stock Exchange of Thailand), but are still finalising options,” said Srivorakul.

The company, he claims, is growing at around 40-50 per cent year-on-year, and is open to the “inorganic growth route” to strengthen its presence in the international market.

“We have had a number of smaller domestic players contact us and our shareholders more recently,” said Srivorakul.

The company had earlier said its 2018 revenue grew 73 per cent to more than $100 million, and operations in its core market of Thailand had turned profitable. The company is also present in Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore and Malaysia.

Earlier this year, the company raised $15 million from Singapore-based investor Indies Capital Partners to finance the execution of its’ 2.0 strategy’ to reach group profitability and become cash-flow positive in 2020.

“We are continuing with our aCommerce 2.0 plan announced last year. We have achieved several of those targets such as breakeven, but we obviously want to drive towards healthy long-run margins. We have made some great hires to help us with the plan,” said Srivorakul.

To date, aCommerce is understood to have raised a total of $119 million. Apart from Indies Capital, its backers include KKR’s Emerald Media, Australia-based Blue Sky Ventures, DKSH, Inspire Ventures, Indonesia’s Sinarmas and NTT Docomo.

As consumer spending shifts online, brands are also prioritising online commerce over offline, which in turn is sprucing up demand for digital infrastructure in the region, said Srivorakul. (Source: DealStreetAsia)


aCommerce Marks the One-Year Anniversary of Its “aCommerce 2.0” Strategic Plan, Announced COVID-19 Impact and Key Personnel Appointment

aCommerce Sales Growth across the region

Successful execution has cemented the company’s position as an industry leader that is driving the development of Southeast Asia’s Ecommerce ecosystem. The company also strengthens leadership team to drive long-term growth and provides key operational updates

One year after its implementation, leading brand Ecommerce enabler aCommerce announced an update on its “aCommerce 2.0” strategic plan, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on its business, and key personnel appointments. Highlights include:

  • Group profitability achieved ahead of schedule through efficient cost management and realizing operating leverage off strong revenue growth;
  • Achieved an increase of over 120% in average revenue per client since Q1 2019 by remaining focused on portfolio of core clients, including Samsung, Unilever, Nestlé, L’Oréal, Philips, Adidas and Mars;
  • Supported enormous demand for online distribution through direct-to-customer channels as the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the migration of consumer spending to online platforms; and
  • Deepened its senior management team with the addition of proven executives who will help lead “aCommerce 2.0” into its next phase of growth.

Update on “aCommerce 2.0” and path to profitability

The Company’s successful execution of its “aCommerce 2.0” plan over the past 12 months cemented its position as an industry leader that will continue to help develop Southeast Asia’s Ecommerce ecosystem for decades to come.

As part of the plan, aCommerce has strategically invested in its core brand Ecommerce technology & services, driven protocols, enhanced its end-to-end Ecommerce platform, outsourced non-core operations, and scaled back less economical contracts and business areas.

As a result, the Company has far exceeded all internal targets of its “aCommerce 2.0” strategy, including achieving group profitability ahead of schedule.

Key elements of the plan include ensuring the Company:

  • Prioritizes and enhances end-to-end Ecommerce solutions for enterprise brand clients to build and strengthens long-term relationships;
  • Focuses on aCommerce’s existing core markets;
  • Transitions away from providing piecemeal or single service solutions to clients that are commoditized and where other service provider partners are already in place; and
  • Achieves group profitability in 2020 by growing profitable core brand Ecommerce end-to-end business and streamlining operations.

“Our ‘aCommerce 2.0’ plan enabled us to hone our focus to approximately 160 of our most valuable clients, significantly increasing our profitability and enabling us to grow our average revenue per client by over 120% since the first quarter of 2019.

We are especially pleased to deliver strong like-for-like organic revenue growth of over 40% year-on-year from our existing long-term clients. We achieved this by both increasing volumes and average order values.  Our average order value is growing at a rate of 15% year-on-year and currently stands at almost US$38. This, combined with our disciplined cost and working capital management, has enabled the Company to get close to cash flow positive. We are starting to look at long term shareholder options for the future,” said Piers Bennett, Co-Founder and Group CFO.

Impact of COVID-19

The outbreak of the pandemic in early 2020 presented unprecedented challenges for businesses across the globe, fundamentally changing corporate operations and consumer behavior. The pandemic is accelerating the migration of consumer spending to online platforms and is encouraging a more rapid digital transformation within companies themselves. Brands are fully embracing and prioritizing omni-channel Ecommerce over traditional offline distribution channels.  

This is a transformative time for the provision of all services digitally and Ecommerce in particular. As an Ecommerce enabler, aCommerce, with its integrated technology capabilities and ability to provide end-to-end data to brand partners, has managed to successfully navigate this new landscape and accelerate its “aCommerce 2.0” strategic plan.

“We have seen a very rapid and material change to our business resulting from COVID-19.

Certain segments, such as consumer staples and healthcare, are seeing year-on-year growth rates well into the triple digits, however non-discretionary luxury & fashion and consumer electronics segments are also seeing year-on-year growth of up to 40% as brands look to rapidly prioritize online distribution in the face of declining traditional offline.

We have also seen an increased share of sales volumes from direct-to-customer channels like social platforms, B2B, as well as company branded web-stores, or “brand.com”, which we operate – currently as much as 50% of sales, from around 20% to 30% a year ago. The decisive actions we took last year have yielded higher levels of operating leverage from our incremental revenues, which has rapidly brought forward our group profitability target,” said Paul Srivorakul, Co-Founder and Group CEO.

Key personnel appointments

The Company also announced several additions to the leadership team as it positions aCommerce for its next phase of growth:

  • Mr. Luca Altomare has been appointed Group Chief Operating Officer (“COO”). In this role, Luca will be responsible for managing aCommerce country heads and driving operational excellence. He will play an integral role in driving economically sustainable growth and long-term margin growth. He previously served as SVP of distribution for Southeast Asia at Li & Fung Group and worked at specialist consulting firm Value Partners. Luca will report to Paul Srivorakul.
  • Mr. Peter Kopitz, who is a Co-Founder and former COO, has been appointed Group Chief Commercial Officer (“CCO”). In this new role, Peter will leverage his extensive network and relationships across the region with brands and key channel partners.  
  • Ms. Phensiri Sathianvongnusar has been appointed Chief Business Officer (“CBO”). Phensiri has been instrumental in growing aCommerce’s Thailand business and driving operational and commercial initiatives across the region. She will be retaining her role as CEO of Thailand in addition to her new responsibilities and work with Luca to drive best practices across the Group.
  • Mr. Graeme Kingshott has been appointed Group Finance Director. Graeme has served as a CFO and Finance Director for companies around the world.  Reporting to Co-Founder and CFO Mr. Piers Bennett, Graeme will assist in maintaining aCommerce’s global best-in-class working capital management and will ensure compliance with the most robust standards of protocols and reporting.

“We are delighted to welcome a seasoned senior business executive like Luca and I look forward to working with him to achieve our goal of becoming the leading high growth and cash flow generative brand Ecommerce enabler in the region. The new appointments of Peter, Phensiri and Graeme are indicative of our ability to recruit, retain and develop a strong leadership team.

We have assembled a top-flight management team to continue the strong execution of ‘aCommerce 2.0’ and take us to the next level, creating lasting value for our partners, clients and employees,” concluded Mr. Srivorakul.

aCommerce Sales Growth across the region
Company Update, Press Release

aCommerce Marks the One-Year Anniversary of Its “aCommerce 2.0” Strategic Plan, Announced COVID-19 Impact and Key Personnel Appointment

Successful execution has cemented the company’s position as an industry leader that is driving the development of Southeast Asia’s Ecommerce ecosystem

The company also strengthens leadership team to drive long-term growth and provides key operational updates


One year after its implementation, leading brand Ecommerce enabler aCommerce announced an update on its “aCommerce 2.0” strategic plan, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on its business, and key personnel appointments. Highlights include:

  • Group profitability achieved ahead of schedule through efficient cost management and realizing operating leverage off strong revenue growth;
  • Achieved an increase of over 120% in average revenue per client since Q1 2019 by remaining focused on portfolio of core clients, including Samsung, Unilever, Nestlé, L’Oréal, Philips, Adidas and Mars;
  • Supported enormous demand for online distribution through direct-to-customer channels as the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the migration of consumer spending to online platforms; and
  • Deepened its senior management team with the addition of proven executives who will help lead “aCommerce 2.0” into its next phase of growth.

Update on “aCommerce 2.0” and path to profitability

The Company’s successful execution of its “aCommerce 2.0” plan over the past 12 months cemented its position as an industry leader that will continue to help develop Southeast Asia’s Ecommerce ecosystem for decades to come. As part of the plan, aCommerce has strategically invested in its core brand Ecommerce technology & services, driven protocols, enhanced its end-to-end Ecommerce platform, outsourced non-core operations, and scaled back less economical contracts and business areas. As a result, the Company has far exceeded all internal targets of its “aCommerce 2.0” strategy, including achieving group profitability ahead of schedule.

Key elements of the plan include ensuring the Company:

  • Prioritizes and enhances end-to-end Ecommerce solutions for enterprise brand clients to build and strengthens long-term relationships;
  • Focuses on aCommerce’s existing core markets;
  • Transitions away from providing piecemeal or single service solutions to clients that are commoditized and where other service provider partners are already in place; and
  • Achieves group profitability in 2020 by growing profitable core brand Ecommerce end-to-end business and streamlining operations.

“Our ‘aCommerce 2.0’ plan enabled us to hone our focus to approximately 160 of our most valuable clients, significantly increasing our profitability and enabling us to grow our average revenue per client by over 120% since the first quarter of 2019. We are especially pleased to deliver strong like-for-like organic revenue growth of over 40% year-on-year from our existing long-term clients. We achieved this by both increasing volumes and average order values.  Our average order value is growing at a rate of 15% year-on-year and currently stands at almost US$38. This, combined with our disciplined cost and working capital management, has enabled the Company to get close to cash flow positive. We are starting to look at long term shareholder options for the future,” said Piers Bennett, Co-Founder and Group CFO.

Impact of COVID-19

The outbreak of the pandemic in early 2020 presented unprecedented challenges for businesses across the globe, fundamentally changing corporate operations and consumer behavior. The pandemic is accelerating the migration of consumer spending to online platforms and is encouraging a more rapid digital transformation within companies themselves. Brands are fully embracing and prioritizing omni-channel Ecommerce over traditional offline distribution channels.  

This is a transformative time for the provision of all services digitally and Ecommerce in particular. As an Ecommerce enabler, aCommerce, with its integrated technology capabilities and ability to provide end-to-end data to brand partners, has managed to successfully navigate this new landscape and accelerate its “aCommerce 2.0” strategic plan.

“We have seen a very rapid and material change to our business resulting from COVID-19. Certain segments, such as consumer staples and healthcare, are seeing year-on-year growth rates well into the triple digits, however non-discretionary luxury & fashion and consumer electronics segments are also seeing year-on-year growth of up to 40% as brands look to rapidly prioritize online distribution in the face of declining traditional offline. We have also seen an increased share of sales volumes from direct-to-customer channels like social platforms, B2B, as well as company branded web-stores, or “brand.com”, which we operate – currently as much as 50% of sales, from around 20% to 30% a year ago. The decisive actions we took last year have yielded higher levels of operating leverage from our incremental revenues, which has rapidly brought forward our group profitability target,” said Paul Srivorakul, Co-Founder and Group CEO.

Key personnel appointments

aCommerce Senior Leadership
aCommerce Group Executives. Front left-to-right: Paul Srivorakul (Co-Founder & Group CEO), Phensiri Sathianvongnusar (Group CBO);
middle left-to-right: Luca Altomare (Group COO), Tom Srivorakul (Co-Founder & Group CRO), Shishir Bharti (Group CPeO);
back left-to-right: Graeme Kingshott (Group Finance Director), Peter Kopitz (Co-Founder & Group CCO), Mark Rachelski (Group CTO), Piers Bennett (Co-Founder & Group CFO)

The Company also announced several additions to the leadership team as it positions aCommerce for its next phase of growth:

  • Mr. Luca Altomare has been appointed Group Chief Operating Officer (“COO”). In this role, Luca will be responsible for managing aCommerce country heads and driving operational excellence. He will play an integral role in driving economically sustainable growth and long-term margin growth. He previously served as SVP of distribution for Southeast Asia at Li & Fung Group and worked at specialist consulting firm Value Partners. Luca will report to Paul Srivorakul.
  • Mr. Peter Kopitz, who is a Co-Founder and former COO, has been appointed Group Chief Commercial Officer (“CCO”). In this new role, Peter will leverage his extensive network and relationships across the region with brands and key channel partners.  
  • Ms. Phensiri Sathianvongnusar has been appointed Chief Business Officer (“CBO”). Phensiri has been instrumental in growing aCommerce’s Thailand business and driving operational and commercial initiatives across the region. She will be retaining her role as CEO of Thailand in addition to her new responsibilities and work with Luca to drive best practices across the Group.
  • Mr. Graeme Kingshott has been appointed Group Finance Director. Graeme has served as a CFO and Finance Director for companies around the world.  Reporting to Co-Founder and CFO Mr. Piers Bennett, Graeme will assist in maintaining aCommerce’s global best-in-class working capital management and will ensure compliance with the most robust standards of protocols and reporting.

“We are delighted to welcome a seasoned senior business executive like Luca and I look forward to working with him to achieve our goal of becoming the leading high growth and cash flow generative brand Ecommerce enabler in the region. The new appointments of Peter, Phensiri and Graeme are indicative of our ability to recruit, retain and develop a strong leadership team. We have assembled a top-flight management team to continue the strong execution of ‘aCommerce 2.0’ and take us to the next level, creating lasting value for our partners, clients and employees,” concluded Mr. Srivorakul.

Ecommerce Insights

How Indonesian React to Work from Home Policy

WFH: IS WORKING FROM HOME A NEW NORM?

On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) officially declares the latest evolving novel coronavirus or COVID-19 as a global pandemic.

Earlier on March 2, Indonesian authorities had identified the first case within the borders, resulting in the Government’s responding policy to rapidly evolve whilst recommending “work from home (WFH)” policy along with other preventive measures such as temporary cease of business, taking leave, travel restriction, etc.

As of March 31, with the number of positive cases has reached 1,528 and the total death toll of 136, President Jokowi has declared COVID-19 a health emergency and imposes large-scale social restrictions.

From the previous BrandIQ report, we discussed how the COVID-19 situation shines the light on certain Ecommerce categories such as Health & Homecare, Groceries, etc. Southeast Asia shopping behavior has been shifting fast during the virus outbreak and staying home seemed to be the only way to get around it.

With WFH policy seems to be encouraged and enforced in Indonesia, we will walk you through the preparation of Indonesians we saw from their shopping habit.

ADAPTATION: INDONESIANS ARE GETTING REALLY GOOD ON WORK-LIFE BALANCE.

We use BrandIQ as a tool to collect data from 1st November 2019 – 26ht March 2020 on top categories related to work-life balance essentials to WFH. The variables include 11.11, 12.12 sales campaigns to display growth during the WFH period. However, Lazada Birthday on 27th March 2020 is excluded to reflect customer purchase behavior without steep discount influence.

Laptop is definitely not an everyday purchase; in fact, some might only buy a new one every half a decade. Nevertheless, growth in February purchase is fascinatingly reflective of the preparation of WFH policy. As essential as a laptop is for everyday operations, nevertheless, not every firm or business offers a laptop as personal equipment. One of our assumptions is small businesses making purchases for their employees to smoothen out the operation and maintain efficiency.

COVID-19 makes people read!! Yes! We finally crack the code on how to make people take up reading. Books sold massively in consecutive months. Staying home left us with not much to do so most of us find a way to occupy ourselves. Some buy recipe books, some read novels, and for those who can’t seem to relax with more time on their hands may have bought books for self-development in order to brush up new skills or further their careers.

Month-on-Month growth of categories related to WFH (period 1st Nov 19 – 26th Mar 20).

Working from home means you also have extra 2-3 hours a day. Yes, that is your daily commuting time from home-work-home if you live in the Greater Jakarta Area. This actually provides one essential life element, work-life balance, which we doubt Jakartans ever enjoy much. Some spend their leisure time shopping, some play games; and it seems to us that Indonesian loves to do both. Digital Games & Software and Digital Shopping Voucher have positive growth for consecutive months. Games top-up in March have dropped 100% Month-on-Month but this number is irrelevant when huge growth in February, 6900%, is the denominator. Online Game Top-up is a big thing.

Ultimately, working from home means you have to stay home. With the tropical climate in Indonesia, Air-conditioner has become a necessity. Most of the time, Indonesians can get away with the daylight heat because the office has an air-conditioning system or escape to the malls on weekends. COVID-19 eliminates our options and forces us to be at home on a wet-hot summer day. We see the growth from February and March for those who need a replacement for newer models or never had one installed.

BrandIQ is the first Ecommerce Analytics Platform to launch in Southeast Asia. The platform covers data collection from top regional marketplaces, spread over 6 countries.

STEREOTYPE: MEN CARE LESS ABOUT SKIN WHEN STAYING HOME.

BrandIQ also found distinct behavior between women vs men during WFH. The chart below displays the sales index of Skincare categories on both genders. We clearly see a trend of panic buying in February where everyone foresees the inevitable of COVID-19. However, buys of Men Skincare drastically drop in March while Women Skincare performs slightly better than in January. It rather resonates with gender stereotyping whereby men generally do not take care of their body and skin as much when they aren’t leaving the house.

Sales Index of Women vs Men’s Skincare from 1st Jan 2020 to 26th Mar 2020.

GROWTH: RAPID BEHAVIOUR SHIFTS INDUCE NEW REVENUE

As mentioned in our previous report, COVID-19 coincidentally promotes Ecommerce. However, in retrospect, the Ecommerce community is also making a tremendous effort to grow in this unfortunate event. The bubble chart below displays the share of new products – that has never been listed in a month before, against total sales of their own category. The recognition must be given to the community as they are very well responded to the situation by introducing brand-new products to the market in disastrous hours. 81% of Air Conditioner sales in March are new products as well as 60% and 93% of books in February and March, respectively.

Revenue Share of new product to shelf on 1st Jan 2020 to 26th Mar 2020.

There are lots of new brands and sellers emerging in Marketplaces during January to March 2020. “Gross” column displays total sales of new brands against the total of categories in the aforementioned period. Nonetheless, the nature of Laptop and Game Console & Software are very difficult to produce in pressing time hence, meager the growth.

DELAY THE INEVITABLE: New product listings strategy is possible in Indonesia because of the delay in the penetration of novel coronavirus. Neighbors such as Thailand, Singapore, and Malaysia had identified their first patients in late January, therefore Indonesian sellers are already running the business with anticipation when they have been hit and the outcome is as we’ve seen.

Until this moment, we should all accept that COVID-19 will change the way of life as we knew. Working from home could potentially become the new social norm. Work-life balance will no longer be just a word everybody takes for granted. Home entertainment might be the next big thing in the Ecommerce ecosystem.

Need assistance on locating market opportunity, gaining more insight on where you rank against your competitors?

Reach out to [email protected] to know how you can improve your ecommerce presence.

Company Update

aCommerce Partners with Jumper.ai to Unite Social Commerce Front for Brands in Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia’s ecommerce enabler aCommerce announces strategic partnership with Jumper.ai, a Singapore-based multi-channel conversational commerce platform. The partnership is aimed to unite the best of breed solutions for Social Commerce; from conversational commerce through messaging apps to brand advocates by social sellers, and many more.

In a social-media driven internet society like Southeast Asia, social media platforms have long evolved beyond the space for communicating, sharing, and online networking. The shifts have seen customer behavior changed for the users, treating it not only as a mechanism for customer service or advocacy but a channel to make direct purchases, flattening the conversion funnel and blurring the line between social, content, and commerce. 

“We’ve seen the trend of customer inquiries in social media to our customer service team during our preliminary research and identified the opportunity to facilitate sales for customers who might have been on the fence about buying online. Partnering with Jumper.ai allows us to accelerate our efforts by adding a sophisticated middle-layer between social, chat, and voice to our unified SocialIQ platform strategy,” explained Mandy Arbilo, Regional Director of Partnerships and Business Development at aCommerce. 

On average, a typical shopper has had 11 engagements before it’s converted into an order, most of which happens in social media platforms. Enabling the transaction directly on the social channel amplifies marketing spend efforts without having to heavily invest in a brand ecommerce website as 85% of social media shoppers in the region already plan to shop more through social platform.

The partnership will see more capabilities being rolled out for social commerce solutions from aCommerce, including:

  • Improve social engagement for posts, ads and live streams by helping brands identify high intent consumer comments and privately message them to drive product consideration
  • Guided shopping with options for brand advisors to share products and personalised advice for customers in real-time or for customers to self-discover and purchase products through automated conversations. 
  • Frictionless checkout and payment capabilities within Messaging apps – integrated with regional payment processors   Inventory, order management and shipping capabilities through real time sync from back office
  • Social CRM to manage customer profiles across channels in a single view to gather first party data and valuable consumer insights
  • Automated Notifications for order updates, cart recovery and customer reactivation through popular messaging channels. 
Unified Social Commerce platform by aCommerce

The partnership will open opportunities for brands to build an Omnichannel presence and convert customers seamlessly on the platforms of their choice. 

“Joining forces with aCommerce was imperative for us to extend our ecommerce capabilities with full service provider. By evolving the social commerce market together, we want to grow and unlock opportunities for our mutual clients by providing them with rapid deployment across multiple channels and geographies. We’re excited to bring this synergy which is still unique in Southeast Asia,” said Nyha Shree, Co-Founder at Jumper.ai.

Currently, aCommerce is working with leading FMCG and Consumer Electronics brands to expand their social commerce and social selling capabilities. Together with Jumper.ai, aCommerce will offer the services on Facebook, LINE, WhatsApp, Google AdLingo (Conversational Display Ads) and iMessage in Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, and the Philippines.

##

About aCommerce 

aCommerce is the largest regional brand ecommerce enabler that provides end-to-end and ala carte ecommerce solutions for global brands in Southeast Asia, such as Samsung, Unilever, Nestlé, L’Oreal, Philips and Mars. Founded in May 2013, aCommerce has over 1,000 staff, spreading across 4 offices and 7 fulfillment centers in Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines. The company provides end-to-end ecommerce technologies and solutions including performance marketing, channel management, webstore design and operations, content production, order fulfillment and warehousing, delivery and logistics and localized customer care.

About Jumper.ai 

Jumper.ai is the world’s first conversational commerce platform that equips consumer businesses of all sizes create messaging-first customer experiences across popular social messaging services like WhatsApp, Messenger, iMessage, Twitter, SMS, Line, Google Ads, blogs and brand website.
Headquartered in Singapore, Jumper.ai provides a suite of products that businesses can use to personalise customer experience, increase conversions from ads, offer guided shopping, process orders and payments within messaging apps, and gather enriched customer insights through first party data- contextually for thousands of customers globally including companies like Disney, Lakme, Closeup, Dove, Huawei. 

For more information, please contact:

Business opportunity: [email protected]
Media inquiry: [email protected]

Ecommerce Insights

Lazada Hidden Gems Allows Big Brands to Boost Followers

As the trailblazer of ecommerce in Southeast Asia, Lazada is serving 560 million customers in the region, including 264 million Indonesian population.

How are Indonesian giants latently leveraging Lazada’s category listings to bolster LAZMALL fanbase.

At this moment in time, if you are not selling on Lazada, you should be. Ecommerce in Southeast Asia (SEA) has been soaring fast and the competition is fierce. Some sellers might find themselves depleting resources on counterproductive advertisements while some might have a better idea of how to spend money smartly. Whichever way, one of the most imminent and visible money printing machines in Southeast Asia is Lazada.

Inevitably, product visibility is key to success in Lazada as “Visits”, the alpha metric from Ecommerce 1.0 day, leads to conversion ergo…sales. The good news is LAZMALL sellers algorithmically gifted such privilege to boost Visits on Lazada automatically.

If you’re already a LAZMALL participant but you still feel like your Visits are low, this piece of research is for you.

The importance of store followers

When you think about it, follower manifests fanbase. A fan culture typically reflects credibility, popularity, and also act as social proof to influence others to follow you. Fame is measured by visibility, retention directly proportional to credibility, social proof would spread the word organically, and when people trust your products, your revenue will increase substantially.

Seller performance data points are captured daily to offer marketplace store analysis on Brandiq.asia

Traditionally, there are several ways to acquire more followers. You can either join the promotional campaigns set up every day, week, month by Lazada. By participating in this type of campaign, your store visibility will be increased.

Another way is to try to be creative and pump out attractive offers outside of Lazada’s ecosystem. Gamification or voucher giveaway to drive users towards the store and picking up followers.

Chart A: Top categories in Lazada.co.id against the number of followers of most followed brand in category.

Some might take an unorthodox approach and buy followers. It’s the fastest way towards building a fanbase. However, to assure that purchased followers will always be active to browse and buy (low churn rate), it’s advisable to only recruit followers from a site with a solid background and good reviews.

BrandIQ is the first Ecommerce Analytics Platform to launch in Southeast Asia. The platform covers data collection from top regional marketplaces, spread over 6 countries.

How big boys fishing for followers

The aforementioned techniques demonstrate tactics on how you & I, small practitioners, acquire our followers but brands do it differently.

Before we get to that, let us look at the number of store followers on each category leaders on Lazada.co.id obtained from Brandiq.asia.

Chart A: Top categories in Lazada.co.id against the number of followers of most followed brands in the category.

The graph exhibited arrays of the category with an equivalent number of followers; for instance, Mobile Phones, Camera & Drone, Home Appliances, Smart Devices, and Stationery & Craft had oddly display exactly 532,794 followers. Data Storage and Monitor & Printers’ numbers precisely match in second class, Bedding & Bath, Kitching & Dining were in the third group, and so forth.

We investigated thoroughly and detected some level of dependencies between product assortment of categories in the same class of arrays, e.g., Mobile Phones has some degree of relationship with Smart Devices so does Bedding & Bath together with Kitchen & Dining.

This peculiar finding has revealed to us the hidden gem of how Lazada accidentally gave big brands the upper hand on followers’ acquisition.

BrandNumbers of FollowersCategory listings
Xiaomi532,7945
Samsung394,7885
Realme272,1011
Converse206,5451
Planet Sports199,8262
OPPO199,7701
Eiger171,7664
Apple143,4555
Watsons132,3554
Megan by Sophie Paris122,9755
Philiips110,1022
MOJOYCE OFFICIAL STORE106,7361
Miniso Indonesia102,5809
Huawei100,3733

Chart B: Brands in Lazada.co.id with the number of followers > 100,000 against the number of categories that brands are listed on.

Chart B displayed the top 14 brands in Lazada.co.id with followers more than 100,000. 10 out of 14 (71%) have been listing their products at least on two or more major categories. The party consists the likes of Fortune 500 companies [Apple, Phillips], Chinese technology titans [Xiaomi, Huawei], and local dominant players [Planet Sports, Eiger]. By nature, these companies are furnished with massive resources to produce, distribute, price and promote more products. Subsequently, they dominate share of shelves whereby chance of being seen or discovered is induced.

Lazada categories are constructed by 12 main categories and enabled product tagging up to four subcategories. Mathematically, this is represented by a forest of twelve polynomial trees with maximum altitude of 5. Fortunately, a product (SKU) must commit to complete and unique path of a tree. Therefore, ‘the probability of product being view’ has simplified to a full path comparison. To Illustrate, a brand with extensive resources covering 3 paths, assuming one product placed on each category, will have probability of being viewed as high as 11x of a single-category seller (because product can either be tagged on 4 or 5 categories hence maximum probability is 5 times 3 subtracted by 4).

A forest of 12 Polynomial trees represents Lazada category structures.

Stepping closer to reality, these colossus ventures also facilitate favourable number of commodities. It cultivates the gap of product being viewed as opposed to smaller enterprises. For simplicity, a calculation can be expressed by the difference between number of products of the two and multiply by ‘probability of being view’. As brands’ PageViews growth exponentially combining with classic acquisition tactics (voucher, promo code), they are unstoppable. Imagine behemoth like Tesco with inundate product lines to cover all 12 categories, their probability of product being view is almost immeasurable.

Up to this point, we are uncertain whether companies and sellers are cognizant of such artifice. However, we as an advocate to data analytics community wishes to collectively share our fact and findings to flat out the playing field and takes retail analytics to the next level.

Benefits when working with store followers

1. Improve customer relationship

By signing up followers, Lazada allows store owners to communicate with fans through the newsfeed. One should capitalize on engagement with followers and convert them to long-term customers.

2. Increase product visibility

This is a chicken and egg issue, really. By signing up followers, you can guarantee Pageviews and vice versa.

3. Organically grow more followers

Everybody had to go through the pain when trying to grow user-based from zero to thousands because credibility is everything when it comes to social. Once the reputation is adequately established, you can expect a snowballing effect on subscriptions.

4. Run exclusive promotions to fans only

In this day and age, online retail has come down to “finding excuses to discount.”. Customers are price-driven and have become a promotion seeker. When you have to discount you might as well only do it for the fans.

5. Prepare for the future

Ecommerce has yet ceased to develop, including platforms like Lazada. We can undoubtedly anticipate a significant amount of support technology to improve features to assist sellers. Having followers is equivalent to owning customers. The future is imminent; make sure you communicate with them.

Need assistance on follower acquisition, want to know where you rank against your competitors and how you can improve your ecommerce presence? Reach out to [email protected].

Ecommerce Insights

What is the Dollar Value of Your Follower?

Find out how much store followers are really worth. BRANDIQ reveals the dollar value of brands’ fanbase in top marketplaces, which one you should invest, and why.

By signing up followers, Marketplace such as Lazada & Shopee allows a store owner to communicate with fans through the newsfeed. One should capitalize on engagement with followers and convert them to long-term customers.

Marketplace analytic is rather circumvented. Data scientist often finds themselves scarce of a necessary piece of the puzzle to analyze or build competitive analysis due to limited access to third party data. BrandIQ always advises our customers against using traditional Ecommerce metrics and practices whereby you will find an analytic journey full of missing bits and pieces.

In the previous issue, we reveal how big retailers are exploiting product category listings to boost the number of followers. This issue, we will figure out the underlying value of each and individual store subscribers.

Benchmarking follower’s performance against every competitor including greymarket seller on BrandIQ

Some might take an unorthodox approach and buy followers. It’s the fastest way towards building a fanbase. However, to assure that purchased followers will always be active to browse and buy (low churn rate), it’s advisable to only recruit followers from a site with a solid background and good reviews.

BrandIQ is the first Ecommerce Analytics Platform to launch in Southeast Asia. The platform covers data collection from top regional marketplaces, spread over 6 countries.

Sample Size

More than trillion bytes of Marketplace data are commuting day in day out ubiquitously. One of the common, and in this case – impractical, approaches often starts with taking a shot to try to interpret a galaxy of dataset all at once. On the other hand, Marketplace consists of a multitude number of products offered by blended seller’s quality, attempting to galvanize too many variables on the left-hand side of the equation could sometimes derive to unpleasant and skew results.

In this analysis, we choose four large-fanbase anonymous brands to each represents Health & Beauty, Electronics, Mom & Baby, and Fashion categories on two Southeast Asia’s marketplace leaders as our research subjects. This perspective enables us to compare two angles between marketplaces and categories. The findings are demonstrated in the following infographics.

It’s worth noting that each marketplace has its own characteristics and we did not anticipate customer/follower behaviors to be identical or comparable. Before proceeding to action, we suggest readers read the findings with caution.

Dollar value is key to understand market opportunity.

Regarding follower acquisitions, Marketplace B has dominated Mom & Baby, Fashion, also slightly edging on Health & Beauty categories whilst Marketplace A wins on Electronics.

Brand representatives’ gross dollar (total merchandise value) is overshadowed by Marketplace A for $46m to $18m. Merchandise value of Electronics products outshines other categories, yielding bigger basket size despite carefully selected comparable brands (in terms of size, wealth, company status).

However, when we look closely at the store follower dollar value, Electronics come second to Mom & Baby due to a significantly higher number of followers (store dollar value is the division between category gross value and number of followers). It could be interpreted as either most of Electronics followers have not yet converted to customer or Electronics followers are low quality and will not become spender.

Mom & Baby society is by far the finest of all. They produced substantial dollar value by just shy of a moderate number of followers. This group is the prime example of the real world’s simulation where mothers are inevitable top spenders above other demographics regardless of household income.

Fashion’s performance in marketplace B is terrifying. It translates blood-red ocean market where the follower’s dollar is descending to the floor and return on investment could be very limited.

The heavyweight Health & Beauty fight could not come to a unanimous winner, but if we have the last 10 dollars in our pocket, it’s a no brainer to put the money on marketplace A because of follower dollar value.

All in all, we are in the opinion that balancing between marketplace follower and brand.com (first-party platform) acquisition is critical to success in 2020 Ecommerce. We would highly recommend everyone to take into account the bigger picture of the business. And should you need further assistance, BRANDIQ professionals are always ready to support you.

Need assistance on locating market opportunity, gaining more insight on where you rank against your competitors?

Reach out to [email protected] to know how you can improve your ecommerce presence.

LINE partnered with aCommerce
Company Update

aCommerce Partners with LINE to Help Brand Enterprise do Social Commerce

LINE has announced the partnership with aCommerce last week at LINE Converge Thailand event, the company’s largest showcase of the year. As the new Retail Solution Partner, aCommerce will work together with LINE to help more brands using LINE platform as their online sales channel.

To mark the occasion, Chief Executive Officer of aCommerce Thailand Phensiri Sathianvongnusar joined Norasit Sitivechvichit, Chief Commercial Officer of LINE Thailand on the stage during the presentation to unveiled a range of LINE’s professional solutions for business.

The new partnership is in line with aCommerce’s commitment to deliver greater value for our brand clients and accelerate their growth through great products and services.

“This innovation will help consumers to shop online much easier on LINE. In addition, it will help bridge the gap between consumers and brands with data that could be used to improve customer experience on the platform.

Phensiri Sathianvongnusar, aCommerce Thailand CEO

The importance of social media for brands to reach their consumers only increases overtime, notably in Thailand where the social media penetration is above the region’s average at 71% of the population and LINE’s penetration in the country is the second highest in the world with 44 million monthly active users.

The widespread usage of LINE in the country has it evolved from a platform where people connect with their friends and family into a convenient tool to navigate their everyday lives. The company’s new vision ‘Life on LINE’ showed the commitment to bring the best experience for their users as mentioned by the Senior Vice President of Global Business at LINE, Eunjung Lee:

“LINE is committed to bringing truly ‘Wow’ experience to all its users. Under the theme of ‘Life on LINE’, we believe our three key strategies can help fix people’s common pain points and make daily life more fun and convenient for all our Thai users.”