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Marketing eCommerce judge Anand Khaniyomdee on rethinking shopping

Coming onboard as a judge for Marketing‘s Asia eCommerce Awards is none other than Anand Khaniyomdee (pictured), GM and head of marketplace operations of Central Group Online. Having worked across various functions within the industry, Khaniyomdee is well-rounded in eCommerce.

Prior to his time at Central Group Online, Khaniyomdee was with Lazada as a business partner for the e-logistics division. Previously he was a financial analyst with the Alibaba-owned company. To Khaniyomdee, he has observed brands taking risks and putting forth innovative ideas to enhance its customers’ experience. He will be on the lookout for such brands which have successfully understood their customers. Here is more of his interview.

Marketing: What is your perspective of the eCommerce industry?

Every business is different in its aspects; they differ in style, volume and operations, but the core concept is the same for all. They are all moving into the eCommerce to stay competitive and maximise their business transactions while trying to provide the best product experience. The eCommerce industry has been growing continuously year after year, revolutionising the shopping experience glocally for both sellers and buyers. Nowadays people are more likely to search the internet than look through a phone book or a magazine for any ads.

Marketing: How have you witnessed the eCommerce industry evolve over the past few years?

From my experience over the past year I have witnessed the industry making significant changes in the following areas which all lean toward creating the best experience for the customer.

Data Utilisation: Many companies have been into eCommerce for a while now and have collected loads of data. Companies are utilising these data to get in touch with their customers and to better understand their behaviour in order to provide personalised ads, search, products and services.

I believe data can be a completely different ball game if the company harvest it correctly.

Logistics: After successfully launching an eCommerce business, companies want to get control over their supply chain in order to manage and deliver products as quick as possible from two to three days to same-day delivery, to delivery within hours. Companies have jumped into starting their own logistics companies and opened fulfilment centres around the nation to be able to deliver best customer experience while others are partnering up third party logistics to do this.

Super apps: Brands and companies are trying to differentiate themselves from the competitors through their application experience. Brands are tracking and personalising products for their customers, customers can track their order real time at every step, customer can use their camera to click and find related products online through AI-powered search engines.

Finance: Finance is one of the areas when businesses do not have a 100% control, especially in underdeveloped and developing countries where cash on delivery is still preferred. To minimise these risk companies are encouraging customer to use the company’s e-wallets while shopping on their platform to avoid any financial risk. Companies are looking for strategic alliance with banks, theatres and other platforms so customers can use their wallets across multiple platforms.

[Asia eCommerce Awards welcomes you to submit your entries by 23 August. Designed to recognise excellence in eCommerce across Asia, there are 30 enterable categories offered to showcase the best industry players from brands and eRetailers to agencies and enablers. Register now!]

Marketing: What comes to mind when you think of eCommerce excellence?  

Ecommerce excellence for me is the overall journey that customers experience on the platform. These include platform performance, great design, easy navigation and search, cross sell and upsell, customer engaging, hassle-free policies and understanding the customer journey.

Marketing: What qualities will you be looking out for in the entries for Marketing’s eCommerce awards? 

Other than sales and profitability I would like to see not only the macro journey, but the importance given to each micro journey. To me, the best performing business are the ones that understand their customers and thus, offer an enjoyable experience, whether it’s booking a flight, shopping, renting a car, searching for information or even just being social. I truly believe that companies who get this right are the companies that will ultimately succeed in the future.

Marketing: Why do you think recognising eCommerce players is important to the industry?

Recognising players is important no matter the industry as it ensures them that they are moving in the right direction and people believe in their brand. This gives them confidence to put forward new ideas, to further innovate their services and commitments, to continuously improve and enable them to take further risk in this highly competitive environment.

The only failure in eCommerce is to not take any risk.

Marketing: Where do you think eCommerce will be in five years?

In five years, I believe the big players will double down on omnichannel instead of just multi-channel eCommerce which is going to help the brands gain and maintain a larger pool of shoppers and most of all to give their customer the best experience across the channel. I would love augmented reality especially for the online shopping to get the exact size and fitting of the products such as furniture, watches etc.