Chinese New Year eCommerce Guide: Trends, Insights and Best Practices

Chinese New Year eCommerce Guide: Trends, Insights and Best Practices

  The Chinese New Year marks the start of the Spring festival, a two week long celebration marking the beginning of a new season that is traditionally associated with health and prosperity. For retailers, this festival also presents a unique opportunity to reach out to a large consumer group that perceives the Chinese New Year as a time for new beginnings, or more specifically, new things. China is one of the fastest growing markets and with more than 1.4 billion Chinese across the globe, the holiday is indeed a golden opportunity for retailers both online and offline. So how can eCommerce retailers leverage this holiday to reach out to online consumers in China? This article discusses some key trends and best practices for the season. In 2014, SingPost eCommerce research found that majority of US mono brands were looking to China with a clear eCommerce strategy. 71% have set up an eCommerce business in China without a physical retail store. This also rings true amongst British retailers – Advertising Age revealed that high street fashion label Topshop launched on the mainland in September 2014 with a purely eCommerce strategy via Shangpin.com, an online retail platform. Global retailer Costco also leapfrogged setting up physical stores in China and announced its market entry via Alibaba’s Tmall marketplace. In the global retail space, Chinese New Year was listed as one of the top five international holidays for eCommerce in 2012, according to Business Insider. And it’s traction is growing year on year – according to Economy Watch, consumers in China spent over USD $86 billion within just the first six days of...
How Asia Pacific is Serving Consumers without Credit Cards

How Asia Pacific is Serving Consumers without Credit Cards

  Low credit card penetration has been a longstanding feature of developing markets in Asia Pacific. To counter this, countries like China, the Philippines and Indonesia are starting to provide various payment alternatives that allow eCommerce to grow despite the lack of cardholders in the region. Asia Pacific is one of the fastest rising eCommerce markets in the world. According to a 2014 yStats eCommerce report, the region is expected to grow by 20% annually until 2018, surpassing North America in terms of online B2C sales.1 But while developing markets like China and Indonesia have led eCommerce expansion in 2013 with growth rates of 71% and 65% respectively,2 low credit card penetration in the Asia Pacific region has made it challenging for online retailers to make conventional in-roads towards developing markets. However, credit card numbers are growing. In 2013, Euromonitor International estimated that credit card numbers will eventually grow to 77 million by 2018 across Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam and the Philippines. Both Mastercard and Visa also reported growth in the region. Visa revealed that Asia Pacific consumers accounted for 33.3% of all its total cards in 2014, while Mastercard reported that the region generated 25% of total transactions in 2013. But while credit card numbers are on the rise, there is still significant room for growth with highly differing usage rates across different markets. According to a 2014 UBS report, developing markets like Indonesia and Thailand have credit card penetrations of 6% and 5% respectively. But according to Cartes-Asia and Luxury Daily, more developed markets like Singapore and South Korea have revealed credit card ownership to be...
Developing The Correct Content To Drive Online Sales And SEO

Developing The Correct Content To Drive Online Sales And SEO

  The Role of SEO in eCommerce According to a study by GE Capital Retail Bank, 81% of online shoppers research online before making a purchase. The study also found that 60% of consumers start their research with a search engine before heading to a specific online store. This behaviour presents both a necessity and opportunity for brands and online retailers to optimize their webpages and secure more customers. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) involves the use of various techniques to increase the visibility of a site or webpage on a list of organic or unpaid search engine results. By utilizing SEO techniques enabling the indexing of content, providing unique content that includes popular keywords, businesses can secure a higher rank or earlier position within the list of search engine results and ultimately drive more traffic to their online stores. Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising is another popular technique to boost website traffic. PPC leverages advertising programs provided by all major search engines and is, as the name implies, a paid advertising service. These can be cost-intense campaigns which often result in low conversion rates if not planned strategically. At SingPost eCommerce, our team of performance marketing experts support our clients to develop strategic campaigns based on the client’s objectives and costing considerations leveraging both paid and unpaid digital advertising techniques. Prior to implementing SEO as part of a digital marketing strategy, an eCommerce Manager must identify their target audience and the search engines they are more likely to find success in using. Considerations should be made to what type of search they want to target with their optimization (such...
Why the Philippines is Primed and Ready for Mobile Payments

Why the Philippines is Primed and Ready for Mobile Payments

  The Philippines is primed for a shift towards mobile payments, marrying the country’s passion for mobile devices with the growing popularity of online shopping. But despite a mostly cash-based eCommerce market, local telcos like Smart Communications and Globe Telecommunications, alongside alternative payment providers like Dragonpay and PayPal, are transforming local mobile devices into viable payment solutions.   The eCommerce sector has grown significantly, particularly in developing economies like the Philippines. According to a 2014 study by Ken Research, the Philippines’ eCommerce market can expect an annual growth rate of 101.4% from 2013 until 2018, driven mostly by heavy internet usage and high mobile penetration. As of 2014, the Philippines has over 33 million active internet users with the average user spending more than 6.2 hours a day online and close to 2.8 of those hours being spent on their smartphone. Based on internet usage alone, the Philippines has surpassed Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore by a full hour of daily internet activity. In 2014, the overall mobile penetration rate exceeded 100% with the country having over 110 million mobile subscriptions across its 100 million population. Smart Communications and Globe Telecommunications, two of the leading mobile service providers in the Philippines, boasted a combined total of 70.5 million subscribers in 2014. Smart and Globe are perfectly poised to transform their subscription base into a formidable foundation for mobile payments as both companies expand their services to allow mobile phones to act as eWallets for online transactions. Mobile Will Be Massive In a 2014 study by On Device Research, the Philippines lagged behind the rest of Asia in terms of smartphone...
Black Friday & Cyber Monday 2014 – Key Learnings For Asia Pacific

Black Friday & Cyber Monday 2014 – Key Learnings For Asia Pacific

Introduction Every year, the first Friday after Thanksgiving marks the popular shopping day known as Black Friday, where retailers compete with one another to offer the best discounts and customers do the same to claim coveted deals in-store. Black Friday has since evolved, moving into the online space to cater to increasing eCommerce growth. This has also led to Cyber Monday’s popularity (first launched in 2005), the equivalent of Black Friday but focused purely on eCommerce. According to a report by IBM in 2014, Cyber Monday remained the busiest day for online shopping over the five day period (Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday) in the US. In 2014, Cyber Monday saw overall online sales jump by 8.5%. Mobile sales, which account for 22% of all Cyber Monday sales, also increased by 27.6% compared to figures in 2013. While Thanksgiving is traditionally celebrated in the US, the spread of Black Friday and Cyber Monday have gone far beyond the US market. In a 2013 report by eCoupons.com, Black Friday and Cyber Monday shoppers from outside the US market also began increasing in 2013, accounting for nearly USD $125 million or 5% of total sales figures. Asia Pacific is Anything But Cold Turkey Existing sales figures from eCommerce events such as China’s Singles Day are a good indicator of Asia Pacific’s potential for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. On November 11 2014, Singles Day sales hit USD $9.3 billion – that’s bigger than US sales of Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday combined, indicating a massive opportunity for retailers looking to boost sales during this period. Some US retailers like Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdale’s...
Asia Pacific’s Social Butterfly: Is Indonesia Ready for Social Commerce?

Asia Pacific’s Social Butterfly: Is Indonesia Ready for Social Commerce?

Indonesia’s large internet population and high social media engagement has made it an excellent market for rapid expansion in the social commerce sector. Despite low digital payments penetration and logistical challenges, Indonesia is still poised to expand its eCommerce market through a consumer demographic active on social media and a fast evolving B2B support sector aimed at turning the country into one of the most lucrative digital economies in the Asia Pacific region. Indonesia is quickly transitioning from a vibrant and vocal community of internet users into one of the fastest growing digital economies in Asia. With over 73 million internet users in a country of 250 million people, Indonesia’s internet population size is fourth worldwide after China, India and Japan. This continued adoption of the internet has spread well beyond conventional computer screens as users take to their mobile devices. Smartphone penetration in the country has doubled from 12% to 24% from 2012 to 2013 and is expected to approach the 30% mark by the end of 2014. While Indonesia’s internet penetration of 29% is lower than Asia’s regional average of 33%, the sheer size of the country’s internet population makes it a viable market for online growth. Market research company Statista predicts Indonesia’s internet population to steadily increase to 93.4 million users by 2015, ramping up to over 120 million by 2018. As internet users continue to boom, so will the country’s adoption of online shopping, with sales projected to grow as high as $10 billion USD by 2015, a substantial increase from 2014’s current estimate of $1 to $3 billion USD. Indonesians are also highly connected in...