140 e-commerce sites are participating in Indonesia’s biggest online shopping event
It is that time of the year again. Indonesia’s National Online Shopping Day (Harbolnas) will happen on December 12 with 140 e-commerce sites participating to give discounts of up to 90 per cent for one day, in a retail event comparable in magnitude to the Jakarta Great Sale.
To welcome it, Lazada Indonesia held a two-day e-commerce workshop The Road to Harbolnas at the startup’s head office in South Jakarta.
Speakers at the event were Chris Yio (Director of SMB Asia SalesForce), Magnus Ekbom (CEO of Lazada Indonesia), Joel Leong (Founder of Shopback), Jason Lamuda (CEO of Berrybenka), Edwin Chayadi (Client Solutions Manager, e-Commerce, Facebook Indonesia) and Brian Li (Product Operation Manager, Baidu Indonesia), to name a few.
In 2014, Harbolnas generated Indonesia’s highest traffic next only to the General Election, with many sites crashing because of the heavy traffic. To prevent such things from happening again, the workshop touched on aspects that startups need to prepare for the big day, such as marketing strategy, IT and even logistics.
First held in 2012, e-commerce industry players like startups and telco companies have been gathering yearly to create a retail holiday to help build Indonesia’s e-commerce industry. Participant numbers continue to grow with this year’s event surpassing last year’s number of 70.
“We want to ask as many companies as possible to join Harbolnas … Because no company can build itself on its own. [As e-commerce players] our competitors are those guys down the street offline,” said Ekbom, stressing the importance of collaboration in Harbolnas.
“More players does not mean there will be less cake for everyone, because the cake is growing,” added Lamuda.
Edwin Chayadi of Facebook gave an insight into Indonesians’ behaviour during what is called the “Festive Season”. He highlighted how peaking social media content in Facebook and Instagram during the season, with 87 per cent more video posts and 24 per cent more photo posts, helps fuel online shopping.
“There [is] 160 per cent more online shopping on December 12, making it the day with the highest site visits in the country,” he explained. “This also leads to 30 per cent more online shopping in January.”
E-commerce remains the top vertical in Indonesia’s online landscape, with travel and gaming following suit. What are the unexplored territories in the country, other than fashion?
“Everything,” said Lamuda.
“Even when we look at other countries who are more progressed, there is still room for improvement. Now, who is buying their veggies or medicines online here? Who is doing online consultation with their doctors? Maybe not today, but all these are coming.”
Joel Leong from Shopback has a different insight.
“I think there should be an introduction of cashback for online shopping. Most people tend to associate cashback with credit cards. This has been tried in Malaysia and Singapore, and it’s about time Indonesia gives it a try,” he said.
When it comes to growing business, is giving a discount enough?
“There’s no one answer on how to win costumers. They say in Silicon Valley they invest in people, while in Asia we invest in marketing,” said Ekbom.
“I think there’s truth in that. There’s a huge focus in using focussed marketing channels, but too little in building fantastic products such as apps and technology,” said Ekbom.
He also highlighted that there is a shortage of talent in the market, saying that keeping employees is more important than keeping customers.
“Enjoy 2-for-1 tickets to Echelon Indonesia 2016 now. Do not miss out on Indonesia’s biggest international tech conference!”
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