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E-commerce is Thriving Due to 'Retail Entertainment'


Alibaba celebrating the 10th anniversary of their successful “Global Shopping Festival” recorded yet again record sales, reporting $30.8 Billion up 27% on last year’s record numbers.  Lazada, South East Asia leading ecommerce market place recorded 20 million shoppers

But the two retail giants no longer rely on quick one off special offers for them the success is about Entertainment. Building long term relationships with Better improved interactions and Fun. 

Globally there is a lot of focus on user experience or “UX” nowadays. As Joe Tsai, co-founder of the Alibaba Group, aptly put it, “Retail is entertainment”. And some in the internet coin it as “Retail-tainment”, just like the word “info-tainment”.

Retail-tainment is a strong vehicle to create Interest, Desire, Action under the tried and tested, old school Marketing model of AIDA(Awareness-Interest-Desire-Action). While Awareness is attained via established event dates like 11.11, Black Friday and Cyber Monday, consumer’s “Interest-Desire-Action” will depend on marketplace provider’s system and promotion activities.


Image: Lazada Singles Day Super Show

For example, the interest and desire of consumer is created via social interaction, live show and audience engagement. As reported by Lazada, 50 million vouchers were given through popular games, 5 million viewers and 50 thousand fans joined the Lazada 11.11 Super Show in Malaysia and Thailand. Also, Alibaba “See Now, Buy Now” event allows live audience and viewers to buy products they see on the fashion catwalk in real time using their smartphones. To create even more interactivity between brands and participants, viewers were able to vote for their favourite look with a new feature called “Play Now”.

Watch Video on Alibaba "See Now, Buy Now" event

Commentary by Maverick Chung


Image Source: Screen Capture from


eBay India prepares to re-open for Cross Border selling


India, a piece of ecommerce pie with huge growth potential, over 120 million people are expected to shop online in 2018 and over 340 millions of smartphone users. This is the pie that eBay could not resist. After revoking the deal from Flipkart, refusing their brand to be used by Walmart (ie. new owner of Flipkart), eBay is making a comeback to India introducing eBay India. eBay India will reopen in early 2019.

Along with the relaunch efforts, a new payment system is announced. Previously eBay used PaisaPay, now they will use Paypal, this will enable sellers in India to sell globally.

Other notable developments in India are listed below:

  • Flipkart, after getting acquired by Walmart for US$ 16 billion, is expected to launch more offline retail stores in India to promote private labels in segments such as fashion and electronics. In September 2018, Flipkart acquired Israel based analytics start-up Upstream Commerce that will help the firm to price and position its products in an efficient way.
  • Paytm has launched its bank - Paytm Payment Bank. Paytm bank is India's first bank with zero charges on online transactions, no minimum balance requirement and free virtual debit card
  • As of June 2018, Google is also planning to enter into the E-commerce space by November 2018. India is expected to be its first market.
  • E-commerce industry in India witnessed 21 private equity and venture capital deals worth US$ 2.1 billion in 2017 and 40 deals worth US$ 1,129 million in the first half of 2018.
  • Google and Tata Trust have collaborated for the project ‘Internet Saathi’ to improve internet penetration among rural women in India

Commentary by Maverick Chung


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Pos Indonesia Online Volume Increase but faces challenges


While USPS is plagued by its issue with terminal dues and losses due to falling letters volumes and higher cost of pension and health, Pos Indonesia faces an awkward situation of increasing ecommerce parcel volume, higher cost and fixed regulatory pricing.

Market Volume of Indonesia


McKinsey reported that Indonesia daily online parcel volume is estimated grow six times more (4.4 million) than current volume. This amount to a gross merchandise value of USD 65 billion by 2022.

Pos Indonesia challenges

According to Pos Indonesia president, Gilarsi Wahyu Setijono, Pos Indonesia is financially stable however the burden of shipping packages is bleeding the bottom line each passing quarter. Profit fell 18 percent last year.

Higher operating cost due to inadequate infrastructure (roads and bridges), and national obligation on Pos Indonesia to deliver (over 18,000 island) and operate post offices (4,800 offices) at commercially nonviable locations.

Delivery pricing is fixed due to government regulations that places Pos Indonesia in a disadvantage to private shipping competitors. While regulators are sympathetic to Pos Indonesia situation, the reason of price fixing is for the masses. “Strictly speaking, rates are only fixed for personal deliveries. The idea is to make sure that regular people can afford to send packages to family and friends.”, said Rudiantara, Minister of Communications.

Moving Forward

While there is no direct way of solving the problem faced, Setijono is restructuring Pos Indonesia. He’s spinning off a logistics unit, building a new business to handle digital payments, and planning the company’s first-ever bond sale, a 1 trillion rupiah issuance ($60 million).

Commentary by Maverick Chung


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11.11 Day 10th Anniversary


It’s the time of the year again, no, I am not referring to Christmas or Halloween. It’s Singles Day or 11.11 Day, founded in China 1993 and popularise by Alibaba. The first Singles Day celebrated by Alibaba is on 2009, this year’s celebration marks the 10th year.

How much did consumer spend on 2018 Singles Day?

Total delivery order received by major e-commerce was 1.35 billion as reported by China Economic Net. A combined Gross Merchandise Value of top 2 China e-commerce giants, Alibaba and, is USD 53.8 billion. USD 30.8 from Alibaba and USD 23 billion from

Lazada, a Southeast Asia e-commerce company owned by Alibaba, reported a total of 1.2 million orders within the first hour of Singles Day and high participation rate in Lazada 11.11 Super Show event with over 5 million viewers from Malaysia and Thailand.

What can we learn from consumer trend on 2018 Singles Day?

There is a notable trend of Chinese consumer preferring quality over price. CMO Lei Xu said, “…[there are] growing numbers of consumers who are willing to pay more for branded and imported goods.”

ParcelHero’s Head of Consumer Research, David Jinks MILT, says the move upmarket amongst Chinese consumers was noticeable: “For the first time Apple’s iPhones were the top-selling mobiles on Singles’ Day, beating bargain Chinese rivals such as Huawei and Xiaomi.”

The Chinese are buying international products. Alibaba reported, over 40% of consumers bought from international brands with 237 brands topped RMB100 million (USD 14.42 million) in GMV.

High demand of goods from countries like Japan, the US, South Korea, Australia and Germany.

Popular brands are leading international brands like Apple, Dyson, Kindle, Estée Lauder, L’Oréal, Nestle, Gap, Nike and Adidas. Other popular brands from UK are Burberry woollen scarf and Jaguar-Land Rover.

Social interaction and engagement is important. As reported by Lazada, 50 millions vouchers were through popular games, 5 millions viewers and 50 thousand fans joined the Lazada 11.11 Super Show in Malaysia and Thailand.

For example, Alibaba “See Now, Buy Now” event allows live audience and viewers to buy products they see on the fashion catwalk in real time using their smartphones. To create even more interactivity between brands and participants, viewers were able to vote for their favorite look with a new feature called “Play Now”.

With such hustle and bustle, does your postal administration has any exciting news to share with us about Singles Day 2018? Please drop us an email at .

Commentary by Maverick Chung


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