According to The World Bank, Indonesia will be the leading economy in Southeast Asia (SEA) by 2025: there’s a digital transformation taking place in the archipelago as the region’s internet penetration – especially via mobile – is skyrocketing. The Indonesian ecommerce market is becoming more and more interesting, so much so that Alibaba has invested US$1 billion in acquiring Lazada, one of the strongest marketplaces already operating in multiple countries across the region. Still, the Indonesian ecommerce panorama is huge.
The race to become an Indonesian ecommerce leader is still on. Here the big players are different: Amazon and eBay are not ruling the roost in Indonesia, instead Alibaba, in the guise of the Lazada marketplace, is the main player based on the number of visits. Other local ecommerce marketplaces are also creating a reliable and efficient system to cater for Indonesia’s 268 million consumers.
Amazon is currently struggling to enter SEA. After their November 2016’s announcement of plans to start a Singaporean marketplace in the first quarter of 2017, the launch date has been postponed until later in the year.
Conversely, Alibaba is experiencing greater success: the Chinese giant wasted no time in acquiring the German-owned Lazada Group, a company with a strong and established presence in the SEA area. Alibaba is simply securing access to a massive end-user base in a market where the lack of commerce infrastructure is similar to that of the early days in China: in an area where there is a very fragmented group of products and services Alibaba could be the player that pulls all the pieces together.
Creeping up behind Lazada is Tokopedia, a C2C marketplace that was launched in 2009 and well-funded by Soft-Bank and Sequoia, while in third place is multi-category site Elevenia.
Indonesian ecommerce is only at the beginning of what looks like an exciting journey to gain the loyalty of millions of tech-savvy consumers.
Exploring an emerging marketplace could be the first step into one of the tomorrow’s most flourishing economies.
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