In early March, professionals from all parts of the e-commerce ecosystem and from all over the world came together to participate in LMF Asia 2016. More than 100 exhibitors and over 80 international speakers, covering cross-border e-commerce from every conceivable perspective, created a dynamic and exciting atmosphere. Direct Link APAC participated with a booth and a presentation on European e-commerce.
For a southeast Asian e-commerce company wanting to expand to new markets, it’s natural to first examine the opportunities in neighboring countries in the same part of the world. And most of the companies do just that.
But for a growing number of these, this just isn’t enough anymore. After establishing themselves in for example China, India and Malaysia, a lot of Asia-based e-commerce companies are now starting to look westward, towards the US and Europe.
Establishing your company in a region that is quite different regarding culture, consumer behavior, buying habits and so on is a big step to take, but the opportunities are also enticing, to say the least. If we look back a few years, European e-commerce consumers bought products from China, for example, mainly because the prices were much lower than at home. Price levels are of course still an important factor but definitely not the only one. Today, people from other parts of the world are also interested in Asia because they gain access to a much wider product range with brands that are not available in their home markets.
This development also puts some pressure on Asian e-commerce companies. It’s no longer just a question of getting a product from the seller to the buyer. Today we are talking about The Customer Experience. And that involves everything from the purchase to the final delivery. The offer on the web site, the payment options that I get, the delivery options, whether there is easy-to-understand information about returns, and so on. All these features are competitive differentiators that will decide whether the customer will come back the next time.
And today, more and more Asian companies understand the importance of having solid information and knowledge about consumer behavior and expectations in the foreign markets they are interested in establishing themselves in. Providing this information and insight is one of the most rewarding parts of what we do and it’s a great feeling when we at Direct Link can help companies access new markets.