Welcome On Board, Celcom Planet!

By Thara Sofian · 16th December, 2014

The ecommerce industry in Malaysia is blooming. Seeing how quick the trend is catching up, our CEO Chan Kee Siak, wasted no time and joined hands with Celcom Planet to give our online merchants access to upcoming online marketplace 11ST on a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), yesterday. In case you didn’t know, 11ST, hosted by SK Planet is South Korea’s top e-commerce martketplace. It recorded more than 30 million consumers with a gross merchandise value of US$5bil (RM17.48bil) last year. And since more than 10,000 merchants are registered with EasyStore (which provides all-in-one e-commerce solutions), this collaboration would be a value add for all our existing customers by exposing them to a wider group of online consumers via Celcom Planet’s ecommerce marketplace. In his speech, Mr Chan said, "The ecommerce market today is fiercely competitive. Hence, partnering with Celcom Planet will allow the ecommerce merchants registered on EasyStore (powered by Exabytes) to exploit more business opportunities presented in the digital economy by boarding onto an optimized ecommerce platform which is part of a global expansion. Ecommerce is picking up and growing fast. 2015 will be an interesting year for Malaysia ecommerce, and will be a major milestone in the development of Malaysia ecommerce. GST implemented, how that affect and change the entire supply chain landscaping, consumer behaviors, and Malaysia economy as a whole. Many conglomerate and large corporation also entering into Malaysia ecommerce market. 2015 is the year many new ecommerce brands popping up and entering the market.  Current Malaysian total spent in ecommerce, is still very small compare to the total overall spent in retail. Estimated is only 0.8% of the total retail spending. Exabytes has no interest to really compete in the existing 0.8% but rather how can we grow the overall retail and online spending further and bigger to 110%, 120% or even more and we capture the overall 2-3%. In short, is to grow the pie bigger, instead of competing on the tiny slice of cake. The overall retail spending size will grow as the Income is increasing, the size population between 20-40  years old is growing bigger, also this generation of people is computer literate, basically they grow up and lives in computer era. Online payment, no matter is via debit, or credit channels, interbank transfer, mobile payment, virtual currency is getting safer and more mature. Not to mention, computers, smartphones, tablets and Internet is widely accessible.  Although the consumer side and infrastructure side is ready, To achieve this, is not easy and not straight forward, it takes a lot of efforts and a lot of resources. We need more sellers to sell online, not only increase the numbers of sellers, but also need to increase the quality and reliability of the online sellers. When we have enough sellers on our platform, the sellers need to have more sales and better results. That's why we are here today, to announce our partnership with Celcom Planet on the 11Street Market Place Project.  Malaysia ecommerce although first started almost 20+ years ago, however the development has being very slow. The real awareness begins about 10+ years ago when our local low cost airline started online ticketing. The real ecommerce growth begins around 5 years ago when Group buying becomes Popular in this country region. Next year, will be a remarkable year where a lot of retail business, both new and traditional retails, will turn into ecommerce and expand aggressively.  The opportunity is here, the Gold Rush for ecommerce. However, we don't have the time and luxury to seat down and do our own R&D to reinvent the wheel or learn from error. I always told my team, we don't RUN an ecommerce business, the speed of running is too slow, we need to FLY an ecommerce business.  To achieve that, besides enhancing our own internal capability, hire more talents to accelerate our growth and development , one of the ideal way is to partner with those who are already very successful in this space. Such as 11Street of South Korea, who is the top ecommerce player in South Korea and with proven model expanded into Turkey and Indonesia. Through the joint venture between SK Group and Celcom, they formed Celcom Planet, and Exabytes is able to leverage on their experience in running ecommerce Market Place as a market leader in South Korea, leverage on the resources and reach Celcom Planet can provide. On the other hand, Exabytes also adding its own value in this partnership, such as our local ecommerce experience, the local shoppers culture and behavior, the reach to Small & Medium Businesses that Exabytes has access to and the local ecommerce community.  With the platform that Exabytes existingly has, such as EasyStore and EasyParcel, we provide an easy to use interface for anyone to start selling online. Through our platform, we take care the Hardware and Software needed for selling online, as well as delivery. Now, via this exciting partnership with Celcom Planet, we also drive traffics and potential sales opportunities to our ecommerce Sellers and Merchants. In nut shell, what the merchant need to take care is to have good and interesting products that the market need, upload the products photos and info to our platform and start selling.   If you look at how Ecommerce develop and works, it is not much different compare to conventional bricks and mortar shops, malls. Retailers, Mall Operators, and Property developers need to work hand in hand to develop the new township and ecosystems.  Conventional retailers and brand owners need to establish their online presence, starts selling online, else they are loosing their business to their competitors who has not only online presence, but also ecommerce presence. They are loosing not only to local competitor, but also foreign competitors. Ecommerce opportunities for conventional retailers come in 2 sides; first, of course the existing consumer group demographics and shopping behavior is changing, they want to get information more quickly, and shop efficiently.  For example, now my wife enjoy online shopping for groceries so much, it save times, money and energy, she or rather me no longer to carry those heavy groceries items.  Another example, when you go to some of the retail store, they don't carry the full lines or sizes of the products they are selling, at the end, they refer you to the catalog they have, or request you to back order. With that, online ordering solve the problems and frustration.  Secondly, how many retail outlets or physical store can you open to cover whole Malaysia? Imagine the capital investment needed, the human resources needed, the logistic supply chain needed. But with ecommerce, all these become possible. You just need an online store. You can continue to leverage on the existing physical outlets and warehouse you have, but now you can sell to whole Malaysia, and potentially export globally as well.  Many works still need to be done, but we are very excited, passionate, and we hope the partnership in place, gives us a good kick start for year 2015!" Celcom Planet is a joint venture between Celcom Axiata Berhad and SK Planet back in November to set up of a local version of 11ST here in Malaysia. According to Celcom Planet chief executive officer Hoseok Kim, the local version of the online marketplace is set to launch in the second quarter of 2015. Malaysia will also be the third country globally to see a local version of 11ST, after Turkey and Indonesia. For more information:http://www.easystore.my/11street



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