Creating opportunities with digital commerce to expand business reach
If you’ve been following the developments in the Southeast Asian market, you’d know that a significant shift is taking place in the region’s patterns of digital commerce. Emerging consumer trends are presenting exciting opportunities for online retailers that wish to broaden their reach, driven by explosive growth in the digital payments sector.
Southeast Asia’s internet economy has demonstrated enormous potential recently, as evidenced by the sharp rise in the industry’s market value. E-commerce has the largest market share in the industry, followed by online travel and online media.
In fact, Thailand continues to be Southeast Asia’s second-largest digital economy, behind Indonesia. The value of Thailand’s online economy is predicted to increase from its current value of US$4 billion to US$57 billion by 2025, showing an average annual growth rate of 17%.
This surge was expected given the nation’s high rates of internet use over the previous few years and its thriving e-commerce sector. Although many businesses participated, the retail and wholesale sectors were the biggest drivers of the sector’s steady expansion.
Currently, it’s a trend developing throughout Southeast Asia.
Even the big global entities find it challenging
It’s important to note that it’s not always simple for companies from various sectors, like automotive, telecommunications, or even manufacturing, to adapt to a new market.
Motoring giant BMW Group has ambitious requirements for new e-commerce solutions, to serve markets worldwide and presenting a wide range of product and service brands. The company intended to use digital commerce to showcase its extensive inventory of automotive products and accessories as well as its complex digital solutions like Connected Drive and bookable services (like regular maintenance checks, oil changes, and more).
The Group’s existing systems, including OMS, CMS, warehousing, and fulfilment management, needed to be integrated with basic features like the product catalog, shopping cart, and orders. Additional criteria for any solution included a cloud-native design, excellent API implementation, and playability across many touchpoints.
The Group’s IT team needed an e-commerce solution that was powerful, scalable, and reliable, with a priority placed on its ability to integrate with other internal systems.
AT & T had a similar range of requirements to BMW. It had been using the ATG commerce platform (from Oracle) to allow customers to purchase phones and wireless plans online through the AT&T website.
In addition to phones and wireless plans, the company eventually acquired new media services in line with similar large telcos the world over. But its monolithic commerce platform was not created for true omnichannel selling and not able to interface with separate systems in production. It became apparent to the digital leadership team that they needed to upgrade and migrate to a more modern, agile architecture in order to facilitate cross-platform and cross-brand selling.
Similarly, audio specialist Bang & Olufsen, primarily a manufacturing company, lately needed to combine its high-end accessories and audio products from the BeoPlay and B&O brands under one roof. The goal was to improve its e-commerce ecosystem to boost direct-to-consumer (D2C) online sales.
Why invest in the MACH architecture?
What do these three companies have in common apart from facing similar challenges? They invested in MACH architecture. MACH is a future-ready, agile commerce architecture, as opposed to legacy “pure-play” e-commerce systems. MACH brings the elements that enable a commerce solution to move quickly.
Along with successfully meeting customers’ needs, these companies also increased sales and were able to diversify their revenue streams. MACH was able to solve their challenges in various ways to serve the region and the entire world.
With BMW, the business now complements its many in-house programming solutions via API interfaces, including a partially headless CMS, a self-programmed data management and payment system, as well as a tool that determines if items can be combined.
A client proof-of-concept was developed to map all of the BMW Group’s brands and markets against current initiatives, ventures, stores, and channels on the commerce solution.
AT&T, meanwhile, has decided to roll out a cloud-native, API-first commerce platform. Due to its increased ability to build and customize microservices to the demands of the business, it was also able to cross-sell and upsell any of its online properties.
Interestingly, Bang & Olufsen initiated the transformation project in 2018 and had a working website prototype within six weeks. After ten weeks, in February 2019, its online global shop went live. The website acts as a single online flagship store with a strong emphasis on digital commerce and storytelling based on the brand’s history, design, merchandise, and collaborations.
“This is why retailers must take advantage of agile infrastructure to successfully capitalize on limitless commerce possibilities and create a truly immersive experience,” said Joshua Emblin, Territory Director, APAC, commercetools.
MACH is only feasible because of commercetools, which gives growing brands and merchants the tools they needed to build MACH architecture using pre-bundled headless commerce kits. Click here to find out more.
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