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Over 75% SE Asia co.s plan to increase ecommerce investment

The role that ecommerce plays in bringing additional revenue streams to different kinds of companies, is strengthening. Consequently, various businesses have increased investments and attention that ecommerce is receiving. A study by Econsultancy and SAP company hybris software indicates that around three quarters of organisations say they are going to experiment heavily with ecommerce during the next 12 months. Additionally, the vast majority (90 per cent) is working towards delivering a unified customer experience across online and offline channels.

Mobile commerce is expected to come to the forefront and will be a key focus for four in five organisations, with around three-quarters (76 per cent) planning to increase investment in mobile-optimised transactional websites over the next three years. Additionally, half (51 per cent) plan to invest more in mobile applications with transactional capabilities.

The study titled ‘State of Ecommerce in Southeast Asia’ is based on a survey of 122 marketers and agencies, plus interviews with a range of senior digital marketing and ecommerce practitioners.

While three-quarters of companies surveyed agreed that they understand the importance of omnichannel, around a third (31 per cent) don’t currently have a strategy to embrace this.

Asked about the most significant challenges to growing an ecommerce business, lack of budget and resources emerged as the most common problem, cited by 59 per cent of company respondents and 39 per cent of supply-side respondents as one of the three greatest barriers to success. The second biggest issue was a lack of integration with the rest of the business, with 45 per cent of companies and 47 per cent of agencies reporting this to be a barrier.

“We see high interest from B2C retailers, B2B suppliers and related ecommerce services companies alike in developing the market, with both local and foreign investment that will drive maturity and innovation. Only organisations that make it easy for customers to do business with them, regardless of whether they operate B2C or B2B, will survive,” said Eric Toon, Country Manager, Southeast Asia and India at hybris software.

“Although China has taken much of the APAC spotlight when it comes to ecommerce, Southeast Asia is rapidly emerging as a buoyant market. It’s a very diverse, dynamic and challenging landscape, but there is an increased appetite from organisations of all shapes and forms to build scalable ecommerce operations,” added Econsultancy Research Manager Monica Savut.

Other findings from the report include:
• On average, client-side respondents indicate they are planning to increase their investment in ecommerce technology by 31 per cent. On the agency side, respondents report that they expect their clients to increase spend by 20 per cent.
• Two in five (41 per cent) companies surveyed indicate they have a separate ecommerce budget.
• Three in five companies surveyed claim to have a ‘good’ (48 per cent) or ‘very good’ (14 per cent) understanding of return on investment (ROI) from ecommerce.

Noor Fathima Warsia

A veteran journalist in the Indian marketing, media and advertising fraternity, Noor Fathima Warsia took on the role of Group Editor -– APAC for Digital Market Asia in May 2013. Noor has focussed on tracking trends and developments in the Indian media industry.