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eCommerce

Three Tips Retailers Can Use To Reach Southeast Asian Consumers

With a whopping population of 600 million people, Southeast Asia has been a hotbed for the e-commerce industry. This Asian region consists of young consumers with demands that local retailers cannot satisfy, which tempts foreign e-commerce companies to take risks and enter its market. But what are some tips foreign retailers can use to introduce their brand in this fast-growing Asian market? 

Mobile is king 

When entering a certain market, it is a requirement to know who your audience is, and by entering this region, you should already know that a large number of its population are young, demanding, and spend most of their time using their mobile phones. 

This is what makes having a website that would provide an easy and seamless mobile shopping experience important. And as we all know, customer satisfaction is what keeps a business alive and growing. 

Understanding logistics

In doing business with online shoppers in Southeast Asia, foreign brands should also find a solution to shorten the time of delivering and transporting goods from their hub to their customers’ doors. The region is known for having heavy traffic, poor motorways, and poorly planned urban development projects which all contribute to a longer duration of delivering customer orders. 

It has been proven that factors such as cost, quality, and delivery time helps a business stand out from its competitors. This is why excellent planning when it comes to logistics should be made to ensure consumers that they will get what they paid for as soon as possible. 

Provide flexible payment options

An easy payment process plays a crucial role in the overall customer experience. This means that in completing a purchase, your business must offer a variety of payment options for your consumers to choose from, especially Southeast Asian consumers. This is because these consumers have different ways to pay for something and it primarily depends on what is the most convenient for them. Some use cash thru cash-on-delivery options, some pay using credit and as the region has already embraced FinTech (Financial Technology), a lot of consumers tend to pay using their e-wallets. 

To successfully enter the Southeast Asian market, one must know what works for a business and what doesn’t. These tips are just “tips” that can make it easier for you to achieve your goals, and don’t guarantee to meet expectations. But these tips together with a lot of patience, dedication, and hard work, can make the chances greater to find the path to success.

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Cross-border

Top Five Countries For Doing Business in Southeast Asia

If you are a business trying to look for places where you can have your business achieve growth and generate lots and lots of profit, then you might want to consider entering the Southeast Asian market. It became an attractive market to be in after it has witnessed economic growth for the past years and still has a lot of untapped market opportunities waiting to be grabbed. But what are some countries that do well when it comes to business? 

Here are the top five countries you may want to do business with.

Singapore

Who would wanna miss the opportunities behind the “Lion City”? The abundance of skilled workforce and resources, a robust economy, and an attractive tax system, plus a simple and straightforward procedure when starting a business that is fast and easy make it a pot of gold for people looking to start a business within the country. This makes it easy to be a “Zai” in the industry you’ve chosen in no time.

Hong Kong

Another opportunity-packed country at the heart of Asia, Hong Kong can also be a great country to start your entrepreneurial endeavors. As the country offers a plethora of advantages such as an easy incorporation process, a business-friendly environment, and a place where people can speak and understand the English language. This makes it easier to communicate with your target audience and deliver the message your brand is trying to convey.

Malaysia

With a pro-business government and a market-oriented economy, there’s no doubt that Malaysia is a good country to do business with. The country also provides a robust and conducive business environment that promotes and encourages growth, profitability, and healthy competition within businesses of all industries. This makes doing business in Malaysia a profitable country to do business with, as it can get you profits as high as the Petronas Tower.

Taiwan

It is indeed easy to do business in Taiwan, in fact, it ranked 15th out of hundred and ninety economies in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Survey in 2020. It can also serve as a strategic location whenever you have more plans on expanding as it is near some of the world’s biggest economies such as China. And unlike other countries, Taiwan allows foreigners to have full ownership of their companies, without any minimum paid-up capital requirements.

Thailand

Although language barriers can be a problem when doing business in Thailand, the country still offers one of the most promising workforces in the world. This just means that any foreign business can benefit from a large pool of skilled workers to work for their companies. With steady growth, strong exports, and a vibrant economy, there’s no doubt that Thailand can lead your business to success.

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eCommerce

Five of the Biggest E-Commerce Sites in China

E-commerce has really been a part of our everyday lives, it enhanced the creativity of companies to come up with unique and innovative products on the market, and also helped a lot of people have a great shopping experience. And speaking of e-commerce, there are hundreds to thousands of e-commerce websites waiting for you to visit and make your first purchase.

Today, we’ll show you five of the biggest e-commerce sites in the world’s biggest e-commerce country, China. 

Taobao
Year Founded: 2003
Estimated Monthly Traffic: 300 million

Taobao has been the biggest e-commerce site in China since then. This status has been achieved all thanks to the great competition given by eBay an American multinational e-commerce company that is also now continuing its colossal operations across the world. Taobao was also responsible for the existence of Alipay — one of China’s major payment systems. 

Pinduoduo
Year Founded: 2015
Estimated Monthly Traffic: 280 million

Despite not being exposed for too long in the e-commerce scene, Pinduoduo has made its way to becoming one of China’s biggest e-commerce companies of all time. Pinduoduo has also been a great playground for innovations in the e-commerce industry such as team purchases, social commerce programs, and the C2M business model. 

JD
Year Founded: 1998
Estimated Monthly Traffic: 170 million

Another challenge when it comes to the e-commerce industry. This e-commerce giant has been in the scene for almost 30 years. JD has been on the lookout for the latest advancement in technology such as AI-driven vehicles and drones. And although these are still in development, JD has already owned the biggest drone delivery infrastructure in the world. 

Tmall
Year Founded: 2011
Estimated Monthly Traffic: 100 million

Probably the youngest on the list, Tmall may have been the latest to start but it was never a hindrance for this e-commerce giant to become China’s most popular e-commerce site, while it ranks third in the world. It also became the biggest Chinese cross-border marketplace not long after it released its branch called Tmall Global. 

Xiaohongshu
Year Founded: 2013
Estimated Monthly Traffic: 50 Million

Founded 9 years ago, this e-commerce giant started as a community of people who discuss their thoughts and reviews about certain restaurants, places, and products bought online. This is where it became a very useful website for people that are still torn between buying a product or not. 

These companies truly have made our shopping experience easier, and for sellers, having e-commerce sites this big will give them time, effort, and energy looking for people who can buy their products. Instead, people will be the ones who will come for your product and have their first purchases with your business completed.

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Cross-border

Four Great Benefits of Entering Cross-Border E-Commerce

In the past years, cross-border e-commerce has witnessed significant growth. This is not surprising as this kind of business model has connected buyers and sellers better than ever. Expanding your business internationally might sound ambitious and difficult at the same time, but taking this step can be the path towards achieving your entrepreneurial goals. 

If you are still unconvinced about getting your business on the international scene, then here are four benefits of entering cross-border e-commerce.

Bigger market reach

Cross-border e-commerce has been proven to give businesses of all sizes countless opportunities. One of which is having your already healthy sales volume go higher by tapping some never before seen markets around the world. It also allows you to open your storefront to more untapped markets, exposing your brand to millions of potential customers who haven’t known about your business and what it offers. 

Increased sales and revenue

One of the goals businesses have is to generate profit, and this is one of the many benefits a business can get upon entering cross-border e-commerce. Because by taking your brand in the international scene, you are also positioning yourself into a much larger audience. And having a larger audience means a larger demand for your business to fulfill. 

An all-year-round demand

Businesses that have their operations limited in a certain country often get confined to the same peak and off-season every year. Businesses that engage in cross-border e-commerce on the other hand won’t have any problems with demand as they are operating in different countries, having different peak buying seasons throughout the year. Making each country’s seasonal surges keep your operations going. 

Brand awareness

This is another great advantage of entering the international scene, your business gets to have improved brand awareness. This familiarizes people with your brand and helps them distinguish your business from other competitors. This can lead to an increase in revenue as customers are more likely to buy from familiar brands which they trust compared to unknown ones. 

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eCommerce

The Difference Between E-Commerce and Brick-and-Mortar Stores

We may look at both e-commerce and brick-and-mortar stores as channels that don’t have much of a difference. As shoppers, we see these two have more similarities than differences. But that is not the case, because, in reality, there are a lot of differences between these two than selling online or offline. 

And here they are, starting with…

Location

E-commerce stores and brick-and-mortar stores are often conflated. But the difference lies in how the products are sold. E-commerce stores sell products online, putting items on storefronts, letting customers add them to their cart, and having those products delivered to their customers in a specific period of time. 

Brick-and-mortar stores, on the other hand, sell their products in physical stores, may it be a single outlet or a chain of stores where customers can purchase products personally and have them on the same day. 

Payment Method

With the advancement of technology, stores have adapted to various transaction methods. Cash, credit cards, and even e-wallets paying whichever way you want is possible. For e-commerce stores, paying using credit cards and e-wallets are the main methods of payment used. 

Brick-and-mortar stores accept cash, which e-commerce stores can’t do. This made it more convenient for customers who don’t have credit cards or even e-wallets to make cashless transactions possible. 

Business Strategy

A lot of the biggest names in the business industry have already adopted an omnichannel strategy. This is one great advantage of having an e-commerce store as this strategy can be efficiently used. It allows a business to do its advertising online, engage with customers through phone or chat, and accept a wide range of payment methods. 

While brick-and-mortar stores can use this strategy, they will still have a hard time effectively deploying this approach as they are limited by a lot of factors. 

These are just some of the differences between e-commerce and brick-and-mortar stores which may or may not be true, especially these days since there are already a lot of brick-and-mortar businesses adopting what e-commerce stores do. Merging different strategies to provide a seamless shopping experience for their customers on and offline.

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eCommerce

Five of The Best E-Commerce Tips You Need To Know

The e-commerce industry has been on the rise since the mid-1990s and has seen significant progress through the years. With the ongoing effects brought about by the pandemic, going digital and selling your products online could be a game changer for you and your business, this could mean success or failure. And the only way to know that is through one thing, and that is — to try. Entering the e-commerce industry might be scary, but we’re here to help.

So these are some e-commerce tips you can use when you decide to start your e-commerce journey.

Make the greatest first impression

In making a good first impression on your customers, you have to keep in mind that the first minute is the most crucial moment of your journey to winning lifelong customers. It has been given that customers take a minute or less to make a decision about whether they like your website or not. So make sure to bring out that creativity and build a website that will surely capture the interest of everyone.

Be customer-centric

Unlike brick-and-mortar stores, e-commerce websites are more remote and less accessible than physical stores. So customers have doubts because they can’t see, feel or try your products before buying them. But there’s a way to make up for this, by making promotions such as discounts, vouchers, and free shipping deals or making the purchasing process easier so that your customers can have a stellar customer experience that can make them buy your products again.

Make your e-commerce site mobile friendly

Nowadays, billions of people are using their mobile devices/smartphones to browse almost everything on the internet. Including e-commerce websites, so making sure that your website gives your customers easy access to your store can be a huge factor in achieving your entrepreneurial goals.

Utilize social media

Who doesn’t see social media as a huge opportunity to succeed? No one, right? Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and more allow your brand to build brand awareness and establish a great relationship with your customers. Posting regular content, daily updates, and engaging with your customers can be effective ways to help your business grow. There are lots of businesses out there that achieved success by using social media, and you can be one of them.

Assure your customers that their data is protected

Privacy is considered a basic human right, and it applies not only physically but also in the digital world. When making online purchases, people prefer to buy from stores that are secured and trusted, as they are giving their information on every transaction. So let your customers know that their personal information is protected means that you care about their privacy and makes them put their trust in your brand.

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eCommerce

Five Mind-Blowing Facts About Singles’ Day in China

The biggest shopping festival in China, or should we say the world, is fast approaching. And there’s nothing stopping it from happening. This shopping festival has been breaking sales figure records every year since it started and is often compared to the United States Black Friday. But aside from the crazy revenue, it generates year-by-year, here are some mind-blowing facts about the event you may want to know.

Fact #1: As  mentioned above, it is the world’s biggest shopping festival

For those who don’t know about singles’ day, you might think that the biggest shopping event takes place in the United States. But no. It takes place in China. It’s no surprise that they host such events since they are the world’s largest e-commerce country, and online shopping has been a hobby among Chinese consumers.

Fact #2: Singles’ Day began as an Anti-Valentine’s Day event

This event was celebrated by unmarried people in China, and the idea originated from the students of Nanjing University as a sort of Anti-Valentine’s Day. Because who won’t celebrate their singleness when there actually is a day for couples, right? 

Fact #3: Singles’ Day sales exceeded $139 billion in 2021

Ever wondered how big is $139 billion? That’s like buying 534 thousand Diamond Birkins, 1.3 Million Tesla Model S, or 92.7 Million iPhone 14 Pro Max — ITS. THAT. HUGE. 

Fact #4: Singles’ Day has grown 1,080,000% in just 12 years

Alibaba, China’s biggest e-commerce company has recorded a gross merchandise volume (GMV) of $7.8 million. That’s a lot of money for a single-day event right? But it gets better, as the same event held in 2021 gave Alibaba an all-time high gross merchandise volume of $84.54. That’s more than a million times higher than what it recorded in 2009. How much do you think will Alibaba make this year?

Fact #5: Bras sold on Singles’ Day stack up to three times the height of Mt. Everest 

Have you ever imagined how high Mt. Everest is? Now imagine three of these beautiful mountains stacking up, that’s how many bras are sold in just the first hour of Singles’ Day in 2015. That’s a lot of bras right there, right?

Well, these are just some of the craziest facts about this most awaited shopping festival of the year. And if you’re a business regardless of the size and you want to participate in the world’s biggest e-commerce shopping festival, let it be your first step to tapping the massive Chinese market.

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eCommerce

Four Greatest Myths About The Chinese Consumers 

Even though we’ve been talking a lot about the challenging market of China and its huge consumer base, there is still a lot to talk about and know about them. 

And here are some myths about the consumers behind the great wall:

Myth #1: They will buy anything from western brands
Even though Chinese consumers put great value on western brands and consider these as high-quality products. Chinese consumers have become mature when it comes to buying products. They don’t just purchase products because of their name or the hype it makes, because they value uniqueness and quality more than anything else. It’s not that they won’t buy western products, but it will take more than the name itself for them to patronize a certain brand. 

Myth #2: They don’t shop ethically

Gen Z and millennial consumers in China have become more environmentally conscious when it comes to shopping. People from outside the country might see them as people who don’t care whether their preferred brands are causing harm to the environment. But the truth is that Chinese consumers have been very vocal in their demand for environmentally friendly products. So if you’re wondering what to sell in China, then you might wanna consider having all-natural and nature-friendly products. 

Myth #3: They never shop around

Chinese consumers might probably be the most knowledgeable shoppers in the world. With a lot of stores both online and offline, the Chinese people have developed a culture of bargaining and negotiation. Unlike some western countries that sell at a fixed price, getting better deals and prices are more likely to happen in China. So if your business can have flexible prices on your products, then you have higher chances to succeed. 

Myth #4: They value efficiency more than innovation

In a country with a population this huge, efficiency is of great importance. The Chinese market is known for producing efficient and quality products but this does not mean that innovation has no place in the market. In fact, they become loyal to brands that they think are going the extra mile to give them better customer experiences. And this is one key to success in China, by showing that you care about your customers rather than just gaining profit from them. 

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eCommerce

Five of the Biggest Shopping Festivals in China Every Business Should Know

With almost one billion people using their smartphones to search, shop, and purchase items, there is no denying that China is the biggest and also fastest-growing e-commerce market in the world. And one reason for their countless shopping festivals that happens almost every month. These festivals are an important events not just for shoppers but also for businesses looking to boost their sales in an instant. 

Below are some of the biggest shopping festivals in China, and if you’re looking to have your sales go up, then you should read the following below:

Chinese New Year 
23rd day of the Chinese Lunar Month

This shopping festival also known as the “Lunar New Year” or “Spring Festival” is the most important festival in the country. This is when people gather and celebrate the day with their family and friends. During this festival, demand for food, drinks, snacks, and things used for gifts are very high. Making it a huge opportunity for a lot of businesses both locally and internationally to generate huge sales. 

520 Day
20th of May

Well, believe it or not, this festival is the third Valentine’s Day for Chinese people. The reason why it is considered another Valentine’s Day is that 520 and “I love you” sound similar in Chinese. For most young men and women, this festival has become a trend wherein they give each other gifts and eat at restaurants, which serves as an opportunity for businesses to make discounts, and promos to attract more customers. 

618 Shopping Festival
1st to 18th of June

JD.com, the second largest e-commerce company in China, started celebrating its anniversary on the 18th of June every year since 2010. And ever since, the company has been offering countless discounts, promotions, and sales that last for up to 18 days. This move has attracted a lot of customers and made other e-commerce companies do the same every June. 

Single’s Day
11th of November

Who would have thought that this shopping festival would be the biggest in the world?
It was first introduced by Alibaba in 2009 and has also been adopted by other companies. And since it was the biggest shopping event not just in China but in the world, companies have been coming up with various ways to promote their products to attract more customers and drive more sales.

Double 12
12th of December

Following the biggest shopping event in China which is the Double 11 shopping festival comes this event. This shopping festival serves two purposes, one is to create opportunities for sellers to clear out remaining items from the Double 11 event and the other is to give way for the small retailers affected by big companies during the Singles Day shopping festival. 

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eCommerce

Five Greatest Growth Drivers of the Chinese E-Commerce Market

Who doesn’t know about China being the biggest e-commerce market not just in Asia, but in the whole world? Yes, you read it right. THE WHOLE WORLD. But what made China the e-commerce giant it is today? 

1. The COVID-19 Pandemic

Although putting this on the list doesn’t seem right and doesn’t seem like it will do any good to anything or anyone, the pandemic really served a huge role in the boom of e-commerce in China. Because of the COVID scare, consumers looked for ways to still look and buy products from different online shopping and e-commerce sites available within the country.

2. The Availability of Various Payment Methods

This may sound unimportant, but it is indeed important as it plays an essential role in the current state of e-commerce in China. Payment methods and solutions within the country such as Alipay and WeChat Pay made big contributions to the overall e-commerce sales of China. Why is it important though? These are important as it provides customers with their preferred way of purchasing goods and services, making the possibility of them buying a product higher. 

3. The Variety of E-Commerce Platforms to Choose From 

Tmall, Taobao, Pinduoduo, JD.com, and Xiaohogshu are just some of the biggest names in the e-commerce industry. With hundreds of e-commerce platforms to choose from, Chinese consumers have become more interested in purchasing various products on different platforms. Having different platforms to choose from allows the consumers to have freedom of choice, it will also allow them to find the platform that best suits their tastes, interests, and preferences.

4. The Number of Migrant Workers 

Migrant workers have been the most important fuel of China’s engine for growth. Having millions of migrant workers enables big companies such as JD.com and Tmall to offer same-day and low-cost delivery services within the country. This has become a very attractive offer for consumers because you know, who wouldn’t want a fast yet cheap delivery of the things you bought online, right? 

5. The Rise of M-Commerce 

A lot of people have been expecting M-Commerce in China to become huge at the end of 2022. This is solely due to the huge number of shoppers accessing e-commerce sites using their phones instead of desktop computers and laptops, it has been found that around 96% of Chinese consumers prefer to buy online using their smartphones. This is because it is much easier and more convenient for most of them.