As the global e-commerce revenue is set to hit $1.2 Trillion in 2013 we see Asia leading the way. Indonesia is expected to experience greater ecommerce growth, proportionately speaking, than any other country this year. Collectively, the Asia-Pacific region is expected to generate $388.8 billion in online sales in 2013, up nearly a quarter from 2012. By 2014, the Asia-Pacific region is expected to become the largest ecommerce market in the world.
As we see this monumental increase in digital sales we see the leading retailers focussing on Asia as their next opportunity. eTail Asia 2014 is primed to deliver insights from the leading retailers operating in the region on how to be successful in the region.
In 2014 over 70 speakers will take the podium to discuss their best performing e-commerce strategies at the leading e-commerce event in Asia.
The world’s most senior gathering of retail leaders will take place in Singapore from the 19-21 March 2013 offering you global retail intelligence with an Asia market focus and insights into where growth lies for the retail sector. Where does that retail opportunity lie for you? The World Retail Congress Asia Pacific brings together 600+ of the most senior retailers from across Asia, leading international brands and multinational retailers.
You can also hear from the CEOs, Presidents and Board Directors of retail powerhouses such as:
Rakuten – Tesco - Dairy Farm International - The Future Group - Cold Storage - Royal Sporting House – Gap - The Gucci Group Asia - Matahari Food Business - Aditya Birla Retail - Chow Tai Fook – LVMH - 7-Eleven - Guardian Health and Beauty - Golden ABC– Sephora – Robinsons - Mahindra Retail - adidas
Today’s World is Full OF Digital Opportunities – Are you playing to your Digital Strengths?
Having problems ensuring your digital strategy & planning:
Translate into effective, memorable, & measurable campaigns?
Reflect positive ROI?
Turn audiences into voluntary brand ambassadors?
How do you keep up, understand, plan, execute & measure successful digital campaigns?
Join Daniel Rowles (Econsultancy’s UK Trainer of the Year 2012) in this 1 day intensive Best Practices session applied for Asian/Global markets, and the insightful delivery of variables determining effective Digital Strategy & Planning!
About Daniel Rowles (Highlights)
Econsultancy Trainer of the Year 2012
14 Years Experience in Digital Marketing
Chartered Institute of Marketing Course Director
Co-Host of The Digital Marketing Podcast – top 10 iTunes business podcast
Judge of the CIM Marketing Excellence Awards 2010/2011/2012
Delivered hundreds of in-company and public courses to a wide range of international audiences around the world
How to purchase tickets at a special 20% discount rate for ECAS members:
Digital Cream Singapore is a unique moderated roundtable forum for the most senior client-side digital and brand marketers to discuss and explore the latest best practice on emarketing procurement, business cases, investment, ROI and supplier selection. Attendees will also discuss their future online strategies and compare these with like-minded peers.
The key to the event for senior buyers is to learn about gaining more budget and CFO commitment in digital marketing, better selection and short-listing of partners as well as suppliers and maximizing ROI longer term. There are 11 roundtable topics and each delegate chooses three table topics of their choice, each session lasting about an hour and fifteen minutes. Each roundtable is independently moderated and focuses on a particular topic with the roundtable attendees proposing specific questions or challenges they wish to discuss on that topic in the time available. The specific agenda for each topic roundtable will depend on the input of the delegates.
Digital Cream has been devised by the analysts and editors at Econsultancy in consultation with the most senior digital buyers in the world and runs in London, Dubai, New York, Chicago, Shanghai, San Jose and now Singapore.
Each Digital Cream Singapore attendee will receive three months free trial to Econsultancy Silver membership, which provides unrestricted access to 400+ best practice guides, stats compendiums and surveys.
Attendees pick three tables from the following topics:
Today’s consumers want to know how a brand or product fits into his or her lifestyle and values, and know it fast, regardless of whether the product has a brick-and-mortar presence. Online buying has arrived, while social media, offering the advantage of personal “trust”, is helping to spread it like wildfire. For online buyers, it’s the immediacy, convenience and painlessly fast transactions that have proved so compelling. Does eCommerce + social media benefit only small, nimble retailers? How can big brands capitalise on this game changer to work in their favour?
Is your lack of knowledge about social media marketing hindering you from reaching out to a global audience?
Can you determine which social media platforms will effectively complement your online website?
Do you know how to combine social media with eCommerce to drive profitability?
Join us at this two-day conference to equip yourself with innovative strategies to incorporate social media into your online business. Discover how brands like Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Samsung, Singapore Post, GlamGirl and more have revolutionised their business models and successfully created vibrant communities, conversations and connections to turn followers into buyers. Determine how social commerce can apply to your business. Learn how to effectively manage online and offline channels and pick up critical social media metrics to measure the return on your investment!
Exciting Case Studies, Strategic Insights & Practical Techniques for
Successful Social Media & eCommerce Implementation
Incorporating social media into your online website
Best practices in approaching social commerce
eCommerce market entry strategies for B2C brands
Analysing the key outcomes driving the overall campaign eCommerce process
GlamGirl, BeeCrazy, Glamabox
Utilising social media to improve branding & increase eCommerce conversion rates
Tackling the challenges in social commerce implementation
Trends & Outlook
Evaluating trends, opportunities & challenges in social media & eCommerce
Social Media Platforms & eCommerce
Exploring the various social media platforms & appropriate content [Panel Discussion]
Applications to Businesses
Using social in eCommerce to deliver quality experiences
Leveraging social media to drive brand preferences & purchase behaviours
Creating a mobile experience for businesses
Executing effective lead generation strategies to increase traffic to webpage
Developing digital content to engage consumers across channels & markets
Devising multi-channel strategies to create multiple touchpoints with customers
Building a holistic social media measurement strategy
China holds the most e-commerce potential among emerging markets, but still suffers from a lack of reliable transportation options and relatively low Internet availability, two problems that could dampen growth, according to a new report from consultancy A.T. Kearney.
Its inaugural e-retail index of emerging markets, entitled “Online Retail: The New Frontier for International Expansion,” puts China at the top of a list of 10 countries with potential for big e-commerce growth. The company calculated growth potential by assessing such factors as overall market attractiveness, online infrastructure development, digital laws and regulations, and retail development. China beats out such countries as Brazil, Russia, Chile and Mexico (see below for the rankings).
That’s mainly because of what the report calls “China’s vast online retail markets—at $23 billion, second in the world behind the United States.” E-commerce has increased by a 78% compound annual growth rate since 2006, the report says, and will reach $81 billion over the next five years. (The report’s spending figures do not include business-to-business e-commerce, but only “consumers purchasing goods in key categories,” a spokesman for A.T. says, explaining the differences between the report’s projections and those offered by other analysts, which are often higher.) The report goes on to say that China has 513 million web users—the largest online population in the world—along with 164 million online shoppers—who tend to spend their money most often on consumer electronics, apparel and beauty products.
But size doesn’t insulate China from challenges that affect the country’s e-commerce potential. Consumers living in the country’s rural areas use the Internet less often than do shoppers living in cities. Additionally, deliveries of products bought online can be hampered by poor roads and transportation outside of metro hubs, the report says.
“China’s infrastructure challenges hinder the realization of the country’s full e-commerce potential,” says Mike Moriarty, A.T. Kearney partner and report co-leader. “Delivery infrastructure varies outside of [urban areas] and inhibits the efficiency and effectiveness of the ‘last mile’ of online retail product delivery.”
Following are the rest of the top 10, along with notes from the report:
2. Brazil. Online consumers there will spend $18.7 billion by 2017, up from $10.6 billion this year, the e-commerce spending boosted in large by the country’s growing middle class, and by shoppers visiting group-buying sites that operate similarly to Groupon. Still, the country faces challenges related to logistics and online payment security.
3. Russia. The largest online population in Europe will create a $16.3 billion online retail market by 2016, up from $9.1 billion now. Only about 20% of Russian households possess a credit card, and the reliance on cash, along with relatively slow delivery times, remain challenges. Online retailers also have to work to win over the trust of consumers who are poorly protected by consumer-advocacy laws, and who suffer regular Internet censorship.
4. Chile. Unlike shoppers in Russia, Chilean consumers have embraced non-cash payments that make online purchases easier, with the average household having four credit cards. The online retail market there is set to double to $1.5 billion over the next five years.
5. Mexico. Its online retail market will triple to $4.4 billion by 2016, though relatively few consumers have Internet access, and those shoppers who enjoy web access often struggle with slow connections. But retailers are trying out what the report calls innovations, such as enabling shoppers to select products online, print out a voucher and then pay for goods in person at stores.
6. United Arab Emirates. The federation has a 76% Internet penetration rate and a strong retail presence, factors that will lead to growth in the U.A.E’s $227 million online retail market.
7. Malaysia. The Asia state can boast that half its households own computers and that 56% of its population connects to the web. That, plus the relatively high use of credit and debit cards, and the “high-quality logistical infrastructure,” will help to double the $250 million online retail market there.
8. Uruguay. With the highest Internet penetration rate in Latin America—48%—and 70% of its Internet users making online purchases, Uruguay’s online retail market of $46 million will double by 2016.
9. Turkey. Straddling two continents, the country offers relatively quick delivery of online goods and an Internet base that spends 30 hours per month online, and benefits from relatively strong consumer protection laws.
10. Oman. Perched along the edge of the Arabian Peninsula, the country may be small but has computers inside half of its households and 62% of its population connected to the Internet—including through mobile devices, as most citizens own more than one phone.
Mobile shoppers make a purchase 59% more often than desktop PC shoppers and over a two-year cycle will bring in 32% more profit, according to a new study by Custora Inc., a web and mobile analytics firm that specializes in retail.
Custora examined data from five of its clients with annual sales ranging from $50 million to $150 million. Clients included retailers in housewares, daily deals and digital goods. Data on a total of 8.2 million customers were examined, the firm reports. All five retailers have m-commerce web sites and mobile apps.
Smartphone and tablet customers are 18% more likely than desktop shoppers to buy on the weekends, the study finds. But the order size during the entire week of the average mobile customer is 12% smaller.
Looking at mobile sales over the course of an average week, the proportion of mobile sales increases 60% on weekends. Monday through Friday, mobile sales as a percentage of overall web sales averaged 15%, the study finds. On the weekend that figure jumped to 24%.
When the data is examined retailer by retailer, there are stark differences. Custora compared three metrics for three retailers and found diverse results.
A Custora housewares merchant client can expect 97% more profit from mobile customers than from desktop customers over the course of a two-year cycle, or lifetime value, the study finds. Mobile customers of housewares order 105% more often than desktop shoppers and their average order size is 13% greater. A daily deal retailer client can expect 10% less profit from mobile customers, who order 12% more often than desktop shoppers and have an average order size 22% lower. And a digital goods merchant client can expect 38% more profit from mobile shoppers, who order 66% more often and have an average order size 10% lower.
“We all know mobile commerce is growing, but there’s no easy way to categorize mobile customers—they behave differently for every retailer,” says Corey Pierson, co-founder and CEO of Custora. “To develop a mobile strategy, it’s critical to understand what mobile means for your specific customers.”
China is poised to become the biggest online marketplace in the world within the next few years, according to multiple estimates.
Online retail generated $121 billion in sales in China last year, up 66% from 2010, according to Barclays Capital. The size of China’s ecommerce market is expected to more than triple over the next three years, with sales reaching $420 billion by 2015. That’s 20% more than what the U.S.’s ecommerce market is forecast to bring in that year.
China has an estimated 193 million online shoppers, more than any other country. By 2015, those consumers will be spending $1,000 per year online — the same amount that U.S.’s 170 million online shoppers currently spend annually. By that time, ecommerce could account for more than 8% of all retail sales in China, Boston Consulting Group predicts.
A number of factors are driving the growth. One is the increase of China’s middle class, which is expected to balloon from 200 million to 800 million people over the next 20 years, according to Acquity Group. The spread of government-subsidized, high-speed Internet access and Internet-connected cellphones have widened the pool of potential shoppers to 513 million — or about 40% of the population. Broadband Internet access costs around $10 per month, compared to $30 per month in India and $27 per month in Brazil.
Shipping prices and reliability have also been improved, particularly in urban coastal cities: Shipping costs Chinese corporations about a sixth of what their American counterparts pay, according to BCG. Impressively, China’s major online marketplace, Alibaba-owned Taobao, is estimated to account for half of all packages shipped in China.
People in China shop online for three main reasons, according to an Acquity Group survey conducted among 1,000 people across roughly 150 cities last year. One, greater product selection. (A separate survey by BCG found that a quarter of Chinese shoppers buy online because they can’t get the products they want at brick-and-mortar stores.) Two, the ability to compare prices across vendors: 65% of respondents said they compared retailers before making a purchase. Three, convenience.
Still, ecommerce is a young industry in China. Although more people are shopping online in China as the U.S., penetration is much lower, relative to the population; only 14% of China’s 1.3 billion residents shop online, compared to about 54% in the U.S. Chinese shoppers are also gravitating towards lower-priced items.
What’s holding them back? Trust appears to be the primary issue. As was the case with other markets, including the U.S., the early days of online shopping in China have been plagued by credit card fraud and counterfeit goods — some of which are swapped out for genuine articles during shipment. These two issues have been addressed, in part, by the introduction of PayPal-like payment services, including Alibaba-owned Alipay, which allows users to make purchases without sharing their credit card details with individual vendors. As an extra security measure, Alipay only transfers payments to vendors after clients have received and expressed satisfaction with their goods.
Poor return policies are also thwarting growth. Fifty-nine percent of respondents in Acquity’s study complained that it wasn’t easy to return goods to online stores.
And although shipping infrastructure is improving in China, it still has a long way to go, particularly outside major cities. “Literally thousands of Tier 3 and Tier 4 cities do not have the logistics or supply chains to make products easily available locally,” Simon Cousins, CEO of public relations firm Illuminant, told Fast Company.
Apparel is the most popular buying category, making up roughly half of all online sales in China. (By comparison, apparel makes up about a fifth of online retail sales in the U.S.) And while sales of physical goods are increasing quickly, digital content is growing at a slower rate, making up about one-third of all online sales, says BCG
E-commerce in Singapore is booming. Emall.sg is testimony to the popularity of e-businesses in Singapore. It lists over 4,000 active local businesses including blog shops, coupon deal sites, grocery stores and education portals.
Livejournal alone reports it has 1.2 million Singaporean users and over 50,000 blogshops, generating more than US$72 million worth of transactions in Singapore in 2011. Livejournal blogshops transacted 6% of Singapore’s forecasted e-commerce volume of US$1.2 billion in 2011.
Despite the advantages of e-businesses above bricks-and-mortar retail, running an e-business is no cheap affair.
A survey conducted in Singapore in 2010 highlighted some significant challenges facing e-business owners in Singapore. Issues included under-capitalisation, high running costs and skills gaps.
To ensure an e-business survives past year one, there are three kinds of expenses e-business owners should consider when preparing a business plan.
60% of e-businesses spend less than $5,000 per annum in online advertising. Only 10% spend between 10,000 and 50,000 per annum. A spend of $5,000 per annum works out to $415 per month, making it difficult to measure if this level of ad spend has any effect on sales.
Marketing spend per annum (S$)
Percentage of e-business owners
Source: 2009-10 e-commerce survey initiated
by the E-Commerce Alliance of Singapore.
Given the depth of products e-businesses sell, and the dilution of online spend between customer acquisition and retention, $415 per month is a drop in the ocean.
An aggressive market entry would see marketing spend S$4,000 per month in online marketing, slowly reducing over time as the firm optimises online spend, and drops marketing channels which yield poor return on investment.
A typical spend pattern would see marketing dollars allocated to several online marketing channels, including mobile advertising (admob), social media ads (facebook ads), search engine marketing (adwords) and email marketing (mail chimp).
E-business owners under-estimate future capital expenditure. Building the initial website and brand is a one part of the investment. After receiving customer feedback, more dollars are needed to be spent if the website is to build a critical mass of users.
If entrepreneurs have not planned for this cash spend, they will be hemmed in. Unable to evolve their product, their competition will gain an advantage. They won’t have enough cash to introduce new types of technology not planned for at initial build.
The technology bill alone to keep up with user feedback could be as high as S$30,000 per annum in year one. This spend is enough to cover the front-end of the site. Additional spend may also be necessary to develop the back-end business functions, including inventory control, billing, sales analytics and hosting.
The report highlighted e-business owners have technical and marketing knowledge gaps that hindered the growth of their business. An online business will need up to three fulltime professionals. These specialists include a technician to continue improving the website, an online / social media marketer to get reach and a finance person to monitor spend and revenue.
This kind of talent can provide strategic direction. A technician can advise an owner whether to build on Ruby, or use an off-the-shelf solution like Magento. Or help the firm save money by outsourcing the webserver to cloud providers like Amazon.
A proficient online marketer could advise the owner on making the most of Facebook commerce.
The message from the research is clear. New market entrants into the e-commerce space will need more capital to steal market share from existing players, and offer new types of products and services to differentiate the brand.
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About the author
Anthony is the founder of Futurebooks Pte Ltd. Anthony is obsessed with helping start-up companies incorporate, conduct industry analysis and develop brand positioning. He has ten years experience in media and marketing, and was founder of Firestarter, a digital marketing agency.
Firestarter was acquired by Novus Media in 2010.
Recently Paypal is experimenting a new mobile commerce app in train stations in Singapore. The mobile app allows smartphone users to shop via their phone by scanning a QR code.
The campaign is ongoing in 15 SMRT train stations and will display products from 8 retailers, with special discount for Valentine’s day.
Mobile payment and commerce is not yet popular in Asia countries because the penetration rate of smartphone is not high and credit cards are not widely available. Clearly Singapore is an exception by being the country with the highest smartphone penetration rate, out of which the most market share goes to iOS devices. In addition, the transfer rate of mobile internet is also very high with nation-wide data network coverage, plus free WIFI network. These two points make Singapore the ideal location for Paypal’s mobile commerce experiment.
Smartphone users just need to download Paypal’s QR code reader and scan the products, after which Paypal login or credit card information should be provided to complete the shopping process.