A curation of the latest news in e-commerce, logistics, and tech in Southeast Asia and beyond.
As we end off the first quarter of 2019, we see more development in e-commerce gamification in Southeast Asia, China’s continued expansion plans, and the rise of omnichannel retail in Malaysia.
Southeast Asia is entering the age of ‘shoppertainment’, with major platforms like Lazada introducing a live streaming feature in lieu of its 7th anniversary. Chinese platforms under Alibaba already have live streaming and video features, such as Taobao’s online video demo for merchants, and Tmall’s “See Now Buy Now” fashion show. Meanwhile, Indonesian e-commerce platform Bukalapak has some live channels and movies in its BukaNonton feature, further blurring the line between shopping and entertainment.
On top of that, Lazada shows off marketing prowess by adding branding capabilities for merchants. This includes the ‘shoppertainment’ features they’ve been pushing aggressively, such as an image search function, consumer engagement games, and in-app live streaming. The e-commerce giant wants to become more than just a ‘simple buy and sell platform’ and is offering branding, marketing, and sales solutions for merchants and businesses.
Cainiao, AliExpress team up with Spain’s Correos to provide cross-border logistics services for AliExpress in Spain. The partnership with Correos, Spain’s postal service, and Cainiao will be a boon to AliExpress to ship their e-commerce goods into the European country, while also boosting Spanish SMEs on AliExpress. This move seems complementary to China’s One Belt, One Road initiative, as Spain is not a region within the Silk Road Economic Belt.
Additionally, China’s e-commerce giants are expanding to small cities to target a growing consumer base known as “Lower Tier Living Large” (LTLL). 5% of them are of the same income level of an average American, and Alibaba claimed that LTLLs account for over 70% of its user growth. This new target market follows the recent economic slowdown in China as growth plateaus in big cities like Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen.
Retail Players Resilient amid E-commerce Boom (Malaysia). In fact, physical retail stands to gain from online commerce as more merchants look towards incorporating omnichannel strategies to capture new market segments. Malaysian retail brands like Mr DIY and Old Town White Coffee are adopting these quickly but still face issues like poor logistical infrastructure that takes away from the shopping experience.
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