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Indonesian ecommerce startup Blibli opens cashless physical store


Whilst consumers are shifting from offline to online buying habit, an Indonesian e-commerce startup, Blibli, is starting to establish offline retail shop - in fact, it is an offline presence for its BlibliMart online grocery brand which currently they have on their online shop.

The store’s concept is similar to Amazon Go, which also offers a cashless and cashier-less experience for consumers. However, unlike its US-based counterpart, the BlibliMart retail store still requires its customers to check out their purchases in presence of a shopkeeper to prevent theft. The store also has on-site Blibli staff to help shoppers adjust to a cashier-less shopping system.

Let’s go deeper into the reasons why Blibli decided to open their offline shop.

Blibli senior vice president of trade partnership Fransisca Krisantia Nugraha emphasise that 66 per cent of shoppers are omnichannel shoppers. “This means they are the type of shoppers that use both online and offline platforms for their shopping needs. That’s why the retail store will hopefully bring us to these omnichannel [consumers],” said Nugraha.

Nugraha said Indonesia had a US$200 billion grocery market opportunity, with 1 per cent, or a US$2 billion market potential, forecast for e-commerce.

Aside from the addition of retail stores, the company also plans to strengthen its online service by providing scheduled delivery, product subscription, and in-store pickup services through a partnership with third-party retailers.

Now, we can understand Blibli is setting up offline store. Firstly, they implement the concept of omni-channel marketing.

Omni-channel marketing is a multi-channel sales approach that provides the customer with an integrated customer experience. The customer can be shopping online from a desktop, mobile device, telephone, or in a bricks and mortar store and the experience would be seamless.

Omni-channel marketing has become key to marketing success as customers engage with companies in a variety ways, including in a physical store or online (via websites and mobile app), and through physical and virtual catalogs or through social media. Consumers also utilise landlines and smartphones to search for products, access services, and make purchases.

By uniting the strengths of each communication channel, marketing teams can use omni-channel marketing to deliver a more consistent and effective brand message.

Secondly, Blibli recognise that most Indonesians still go to the physical shops to purchase their daily household needs (foods etc.). It is why, their offline shop is focusing on providing Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) where it was said only 1% forecast for e-commerce.

Third reason why Blibli is establishing their physical store is because they are starting to develop their last mile delivery capability, which it is believed to be the key success factor of e-commerce business. The existence of their physical shops will become their in-store pick up service, where customers could get their goods that they buy online.



Commentary by Said Haryadi

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